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Showing posts from June, 2020


SEE BELOW FOR THE MOST DETAILED SCHOLARLY REVIEW YET of Sanjay Subrahmanyam's masterly and pathbreaking understanding of the fundamental nature and  history of empires . . . '. . . What is certain is that, thanks to his use of "connected histories" as a starting point for the study of empires, and to the wide range of primary sources which he has drawn upon – including texts of different languages and less usual sources . . . to create a useful antidote to teleology, Subrahmanyam manages brilliantly to bypass aprioristic historiographical and geographical categories with their heuristic bias and ideological implications. At the same time, broadening the geographical scale of inquiry means that the reader must leave her or his “intellectual – too often Eurocentric – comfort zone” and deal with unfamiliar terms such as rasa, dhvani, zikr. In other words, this book is a plea to expand our own conceptual vocabularies, to take on board new and unfamiliar concepts


According to the historian Srinath Raghavan, “The ongoing stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh is a useful reminder of Faulkner's dictum that the “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” The current crisis practically sags under the weight of the gnarled history of the two countries' competing claims to this land without a people. And yet, bulk of the reportage and commentary on the unfolding situation is oblivious of the long shadow of the past - except to toss up such factoids as the Galwan Valley having been a "flashpoint" ahead of the war of 1962. There is no way of grasping what is at stake and interpreting the behaviour of all concerned without coming seriously to grips with the history of boundary dispute.” Ten years ago, we published Srinath Raghavan’s War and Peace in Modern India . The book is a study of Jawaharlal Nehru's handling of a concatenation of international crises during his long years as prime minister of India.


“A timeless classic about lost illusions, lost ideals, lost youth”  ECONOMIST BOOKS OF THE YEAR “Joan Sales’ outstanding novel, Uncertain Glory , is fiction from the ranks of the defeated in the Spanish Civil War. Written in 1948, the book was first published in Barcelona in 1956 – but this was only a first version, written under Franco’s censorship. Sales continued to write and develop the novel till it was published in its present full form in 1971. The author had fought in Madrid and in Aragon. The novel grew out of his experiences in the war. Sales’ loyalties are nowhere in doubt. But the novel contains no political message and yields no ground to glib partisan flag waving. It is in fact refreshingly free from the so-called glories of war. Sales provides a bare-knuckle account of physical and moral devastation: of ordinary individuals with all their loves, desires, and frailties trapped in some great game that fashions and refashions their destinies” RUDRANGSHU MU