Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_28990 » 02 Dec 2015 12:06

Currently reading the amazing "Buddha and the Sahibs" by Charles Allen. Fascinating - i am a very big fan of the author. His other books include ones on Ashoka, the rise of jihadi culture and the mapping of the great rivers and mount kailasa

http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B00X61M ... TF8&btkr=1

Today there are many Buddhists in the West, but for 2000 years the Buddha's teachings were unknown outside Asia. It was not until the late 18th century, when Sir William Oriental Jones, a British judge in India, broke through the Brahmin's prohibition on learning their sacred language. Sanskrit, that clues about the origins of a religion quite distinct from Hinduism began to be deciphered from inscriptions on pillars and rocks.

This study tells the story of the search that followed, as evidence mounted that countries as diverse as Ceylon, Japan and Tibet shared a religion which had its origins in India yet was unknown there. British rule brought to India, Burma and Ceylon a whole band of enthusiastic Orientalist amateurs - soldiers, administrators and adventurers - intent on investigating the subcontinent's lost past. Unwittingly, these men helped lay the foundations for the revival of Buddhism in Asia during the 19th century and its spread to the West in the 20th.

Charles Allen's book is a mixture of detective work and story-telling, as this acknowledged master of British Indian history pieces together early Buddhist history to bring a handful of extraoridinary characters to life.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_29218 » 02 Dec 2015 22:14

Dear BRFites, I need your help.

I've been a lurker and occasional poster here since BRF was first conceived but in my new Avatar I am a newbie.

I am sure this is not an uncommon situation to be in but believe me, the solution is not as simple as it sounds. I did run this by one of my old college buddies (who is a well known senior admin here) and he agreed it is a bit more complicated than it sounds.

Let me try to explain. Please indulge my verbosity a bit.

My teenaged niece here in the US is of mixed heritage and we are, along with the extended family traveling to India in the near future for a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Rajasthan etc. In the entourage are other family members who've grown up in the US and are wide ranging in age, the oldest being 32. The older kids have very little knowledge of India other than what they see and read in the Western media.

My niece asked me if I could give her or recommend a good book on Indian history. She said if I didn't have one she could easily ask her history teacher at school.

Now you can understand my dilemma. Either I can just ignore the whole thing and let her read whatever her school library has or I can be a true BRFite and give her something that is really honest and closer to reality.

I thought it would be easy as I scanned my collection of books. I am an avid reader and have a lot of books on Indian history, from Alberuni's India to Will Durant's tome and more recent works. I also have plenty of other books by Arun Shourie, Francois Gautier, NS Rajaram, Rajiv Malhotra and so on. However, none of them really help since they are all written for somebody who is already on the road to 'discovery'.

I have the usual Romila Thapar, Narayani Gupta stuff of course but less said about it the better.

So I am looking for a book on Indian history that meets the following criteria:

1. Simple enough for a young adult/teenager, less than 200 pages long if possible.
2. Factual and true to the Indian ethos.
3. Preferably not too 'boring' with lots of dates and stuff but interesting enough to engage a person who typically has a short attention span - granted this is an almost impossible task given the subject matter.
4. Perhaps focusing on the Rajputs and the Marathas more since we will mainly be in Rajasthan, but not essential.
5. Period - what I am looking for is really the Islamic and British period. Clearly a single book would not be adequate, and I am happy with multiple books if each focuses on one area, such as the 'British Raj' or even ancient India.

The problem that I have encountered in my search so far is that either you have the stuff by 'eminent historians' who all suffer from 'Wendy's Child Syndrome' or the overly complicated Indophile versions that assume the reader is already well versed with the opposite point of view and is ready to accept 'the truth'.

A simple, short, well-written book on Indian history that speaks the truth is all I am looking for. Surprisingly I have not found one. All the ones I've come across are either factually incorrect or whitewash the entire story of foreign aggression. When we visit Chittor for example, I want the next generation to know what really happened here.

Please help. Thanks much in advance.

Pradeep

ramana
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby ramana » 04 Dec 2015 15:02

Pradeep, This one is decent overview:

Herman Kulke and D Rothermund- A History of India

Its written by two Germans. I have a hardbound copy. This is 3rd edition. Can be read on Kindle or Phone.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby svinayak » 04 Dec 2015 22:31

Indian Author and Indian written
The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise of India Hardcover – 2015
by Subhash Kak (Author)

Hardcover: 233 pages
Publisher: Aditya Prakashan (2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8177421530
ISBN-13: 978-8177421538

Image

In The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise of India, Subhash Kak presents what is arguably the most complete, articulate and up-to-date overview on the entire Indic tradition. More notably, he speaks not from a dry academic standpoint but from one in contact with the very soul and spirit of the culture. His panoramic view covers spirituality, science, linguistics and history, making clear India's important role in world civilization past, present and future. He dispels the many current distortions and misinterpretations of India, the cobwebs of colonial and Eurocentric thinking, and reveals her vast civilization in its true light. Everyone interested in India and in human civilization will be fascinated and transformed by his many-sided insights. They will never look at India again in the same way. - David Frawley.

More notably, he speaks not from a dry academic standpoint but from one in contact with the very soul and spirit of the culture. His panoramic view covers spirituality, science, linguistics and history, making clear India's important role in world civilization past, present and future. He dispels the many current distortions and misinterpretations of India, the cobwebs of colonial and Eurocentric thinking, and reveals her vast civilization in its true light. Everyone interested in India and in human civilization will be fascinated and transformed by his many-sided insights. They will never look at India again in the same way.' This is how David Frawley describes the book and I believe that is a fair assessment. The book is based on lectures at Stanford and California universities.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_29218 » 05 Dec 2015 03:34

ramana wrote:Pradeep, This one is decent overview:

Herman Kulke and D Rothermund- A History of India

Its written by two Germans. I have a hardbound copy. This is 3rd edition. Can be read on Kindle or Phone.


Thank you Ramana Ji. I just ordered the fifth edition, now available from Amazon. Reading the pdf version, it still talks about from the Aryan Invasion, but given that it was published in 1986 originally it may be forgivable. After all, even Will Durant's epic on India suffers from the same error but I guess it was the prevalent thinking at the time.

The book is a bit too complex and detailed for a casual read by a young adult, but will make an interesting reference for me.

Pradeep

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_29218 » 05 Dec 2015 03:49

[quote="svinayak"]Indian Author and Indian written
The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise of India Hardcover – 2015
by Subhash Kak (Author)

Hardcover: 233 pages
Publisher: Aditya Prakashan (2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8177421530
ISBN-13: 978-8177421538

Image

Thank you Vinayak Ji.

I actually have this book in my collection. I am a big fan of Subhash Kak. Indeed, it may be a good one to give to the youngsters as it is a good overview of India's and specifically the Dharmic contribution to the world. I had read this so many years ago that I forgot about it. It will be a good supplement to a factual history which I am still hoping to find.

I have an interesting book called 'A Backward History of India' by N. Luther, who happens to be my childhood buddy's father. It starts with the present era and goes 'back in time' so to speak. Written simply, (less than 100 pages) it is a fun read, but again is very 'kind' to the British and the Islamic invasion of India and thus factually incorrect, and of course also falls for the same AI beginnings of India. A more accurate book of this kind would be very interesting.

I am hoping somebody will write it one day.

Pradeep

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2015 06:52

This is the best introduction to Sanatana Dharma/Hinduism that I have ever read - written for a modern English reading Indian
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Satya_anveshi » 22 Dec 2015 07:01

Thank you for letting us know. I did not know about this book before.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby shiv » 22 Dec 2015 09:09

Satya_anveshi wrote:Thank you for letting us know. I did not know about this book before.

It is available here
http://www.amazon.in/Sanatana-Dharma-In ... o+hinduism

One of the authors is known to some of us here

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Paul » 22 Dec 2015 10:12

Dilip Hiro after a long hibernation has come out with a book on India/Pakistan affairs. He is the original Indic SDRE expert on the ME/Central Asian affairs and provides insightful observation into the ME powerplay in the 70s. It should be worth a read

*The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry Between India and Pakistan (2015).

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Satya_anveshi » 22 Dec 2015 10:13

shiv wrote:One of the authors is known to some of us here


Of course and that is the primary reason for my interest :) and I know it will be delightful read.

Timing can't be more perfect as it is holiday season.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby ramana » 26 Dec 2015 23:45

David Tucker, "The End of Intelligence: Espionage and State Power in the Information Age"
2014 | ISBN-10: 0804790426, 0804792658 | 256 pages |

Using espionage as a test case, The End of Intelligence criticizes claims that the recent information revolution has weakened the state, revolutionized warfare, and changed the balance of power between states and non-state actors--and it assesses the potential for realizing any hopes we might have for reforming intelligence and espionage. Examining espionage, counterintelligence, and covert action, the book argues that, contrary to prevailing views, the information revolution is increasing the power of states relative to non-state actors and threatening privacy more than secrecy. Arguing that intelligence organizations may be taken as the paradigmatic organizations of the information age, author David Tucker shows the limits of information gathering and analysis even in these organizations, where failures at self-knowledge point to broader limits on human knowledge--even in our supposed age of transparency. He argues that, in this complex context, both intuitive judgment and morality remain as important as ever and undervalued by those arguing for the transformative effects of information. This book will challenge what we think we know about the power of information and the state, and about the likely twenty-first century fate of secrecy and privacy.



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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby ramana » 14 Jan 2016 09:11

Craig Jeffrey and John Harriss, "Keywords for Modern India"
English | ISBN: 019966563X, 0199665648 | 2014 | 224 pages |

What have English terms such as 'civil society', 'democracy', 'development' or 'nationalism' come to mean in an Indian context and how have their meanings and uses changed over time? Why are they the subjects of so much debate - in their everyday uses as well as amongst scholars? How did a concept such as 'Hinduism' come to be framed, and what does it mean now? What is 'caste'? Does it have quite the same meaning now as in the past? Why is the idea of 'faction' so significant in modern India? Why has the idea of 'empowerment' come to be used so extensively? These are the sorts of questions that are addressed in this book.

Keywords for Modern India is modelled after the classic exploration of English culture and society through the study of keywords - words that are 'strong, important and persuasive' - by Raymond Williams. The book, like Williams' Keywords, is not a dictionary or an encyclopaedia. Williams said that his was 'an inquiry into a vocabulary', and Keywords for Modern India presents just such an inquiry into the vocabulary deployed in writing in and about India in the English language - which has long been and is becoming ever more a critically important language in India's culture and society. Exploring the changing uses and contested meanings of common but significant words is a powerful and illuminating way of understanding contemporary India, for scholars and for students, and for general readers.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby chetak » 14 Jan 2016 10:00

ramana wrote:Pradeep, This one is decent overview:

Herman Kulke and D Rothermund- A History of India

Its written by two Germans. I have a hardbound copy. This is 3rd edition. Can be read on Kindle or Phone.


fourth edition is also there : 2004

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Avarachan » 25 Jan 2016 02:39

Paul Craig Roberts reviews "The Essential Saker."

Several years ago a new commentator appeared on the scene. He writes under the pen name, The Saker, and describes himself as European born son of Russian refugees from the Bolshevik Revolution. He has two US college degrees and worked in Europe as a military analyst until his opposition to the US/NATO sponsored wars in Chechnia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo cost him his career. He retooled as a software engineer and began writing in response to the nonsense spewed by the Western media.

The Saker knows several languages which, together with his background, provides him access to information not available in the presstitute media. He has collected articles and essays from his website and published them as a book, The Essential Saker.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608880583

The Saker is an outside-the-box thinker. His analysis is interesting even if you disagree with it. He makes you think. He is knowledgeable in many areas. His contrast of the “Russian civilizational realm” with the “AngloZionist Empire” contains many valuable insights into the real differences between Russia and the West.

His book is divided into parts: Russia and Islam, Russia and the Ukraine, Russia and the West, Anglo-Zionism, Russia and China, Syria and Iran, France, the Russian Military, Religion, the West and Sex, and a section explaining how he became a 9/11 truther.

The Saker’s writings have many virtues. They are forthright and do not kowtow to political correctness and enforcement groups such as the homosexual lobby, the Israel lobby, and the neoconservative media ....

There is much to be learned from the Saker. However, he is not always right. He gets both Ronald Reagan and Joseph Stalin wrong. As these are both subjects about which I am knowledgeable, I am going to correct him. I have learned so much from the Saker that he can learn a little from me.

The Saker sees President Reagan as allied with the neoconservatives in support of monied interests, US military violence, illegality, American arrogance and imperial hubris, and systematic deception. Saker’s impression of Reagan seems to have come from a left-wing screed. As I have explained many times, president Reagan had two goals. I know because I had assignments in both. One was to end the stagflation that was devastating the poor and the prospects for the government’s budget. The other was to end—not win—the cold war.

These were difficult undertakings. Wall Street, the Republican Establishment, and even Reagan’s own chief-of-staff and budget director did not understand his economic program. At the Treasury in order to get Reagan’s program out of his own government we had to fight the Reagan administration. Anyone interested in this history can read my book, The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1984). There were no neocons in the Treasury. Reagan’s economic policy was based on the Kemp-Roth bill, which I wrote while a member of the congressional staff. The supply-side approach to macroeconomics became the policy of both House Republicans and Senate Democrats.

The Saker’s focus is on Reagan’s foreign policy, which Saker misunderstands along with the danger to Reagan of the politics of the policy. The military/security complex did not want the Cold War to end, because the cold war was profitable for the power and profit of the military/security complex. American conservatives did not trust the Soviets and did not trust presidents who negotiated with them. The wily Gorbachev, whom many called the anti-Christ, would take advantage of the old movie actor, and America would suffer the consequences.

One reason that Reagan wanted to renew US economic performance by finding a solution to stagflation was to be able to put pressure on the Kremlin with the threat of a renewed arms race. Reagan did not believe that the Soviet economy could stand up to the threat, and, therefore, Gorbachev would come to the negotiating table and agree to the end of the cold war. The CIA told Reagan that as the Kremlin controlled the economy, the Kremlin could allocate more resources to an arms race than an American president could, and that if Reagan renewed the arms race the US would lose.

Reagan did not believe this, and he formed a secret committee to which he appointed me to assess the CIA’s claim. The committee found that the claim was based in the CIA’s self-interest in continuing the Cold War.

The neocons sold themselves to naive conservatives as anti-communists. It pleased American conservatives to have left-wing support originating in Trotskyism against American liberals who ridiculed conservatives for their anti-communism. This is how the neoconservatives took over gullible conservative foundations and media ....

In addition to the Saker’s interesting analyses, he is rewarding as a person unafraid to speak his mind and as a person from whom one can learn new ways of thinking even when in disagreement with his analysis. These are gifts that few writers convey to readers. For my part, I wish the Saker was my next door neighbor. I would have someone very interesting with whom to discuss the the state of the world.

_______________________
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.


http://thesaker.is/paul-craig-roberts-r ... ial-saker/

"The Essential Saker" can also be ordered directly from the publisher:
https://www.nimblebooks.com/index.php/saker.html

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby ramana » 08 Feb 2016 04:48

the Uniqueness of Western Civilization By Ricardo Duchesne
2012 | 540 Pages | ISBN: 9004192484 |


After challenging the multicultural effort to provincialize the history of Western civilization, this book argues that the roots of the Wests exceptional creativity should be traced back to the uniquely aristocratic warlike culture of Indo-European speakers.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby VinodTK » 13 Feb 2016 20:55

How Nehru, Menon conspired against army chief Thimayya
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Nehru, unlike Bose and Patel, veered away from building military power. Although, when cornered, he was not averse to using it—as in the case of Kashmir in 1947-48 and then Goa in 1961—for the most part, he talked disarmament, non-alignment and Panchsheel. In a speech delivered at the Kerala Provisional Conference in 1928, Nehru had spelt out his international assessments: ‘No danger threatens India from any direction; and even if there is any danger we shall cope with it.’ No surprise then that when the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, General Sir Rob Lockhart, went to Nehru with a formal defence paper that needed a policy directive from the prime minister, Nehru had exclaimed: ‘Rubbish! Total rubbish! We don’t need a defence policy. Our policy is ahimsa (non-violence). We foresee no military threats. As far as I am concerned you can scrap the army—the police are good enough to meet our security needs.’ It’s a different matter that Nehru had to eat his words by the end of October 1947 itself when the tribal hordes invaded Kashmir.
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As he drove from South Block to Teen Murti, Thimayya was acutely aware of the prime minister’s deep distrust of the military. Even before he took over from General S. M. Shrinagesh, Thimayya had made no bones about the fact that he was deeply distressed by the continuous neglect of the army. Publicly Nehru was seen to be fond of Timmy; however, behind his back, the prime minister adopted tactics that clearly indicated that he viewed Thimayya as a rival who could challenge his position as the undisputed head of the Indian Union. Given the general’s track record in World War II—Thimayya had been the first and only Indian officer to command a fighting brigade in the Arakan where he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO)—and the role played by him in the Jammu and Kashmir Operations, Nehru knew he could not browbeat him.
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Politics is full of subterfuge, and survival… Not only did the Nehru-Menon team now have to survive, they had to neutralize Thimayya. Three days later, Krishna Menon sent for Thimayya in ‘a highly excited state of mind’ and vented his anger at the chief for having approached the prime minister directly, suggesting instead that the matter should have been resolved at his level. Threatening Thimayya of ‘possible political repercussions if the matter became public’ Krishna Menon ended the meeting. A seething Thimayya… promptly sent in his resignation letter.

The letter, which was received by Teen Murti on the afternoon of 31 August, was put up to Nehru who promptly sent for Thimayya in the afternoon. … After a long conversation in which the prime minister persuaded the army chief to withdraw his resignation letter in the larger interest of the nation, especially since the problem with the Chinese had flared up, the matter of the resignation was deemed closed.

However, after Thimayya’s departure, news of his resignation was deliberately leaked to the media while the subsequent rescinding of the letter was held back. … Thimayya resignation made banner headlines the next morning. …
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On 2 September 1959, the prime minister once again rose in Parliament to make a statement. He told the Lok Sabha that he had persuaded the chief to withdraw his resignation. He then went on to speak about the supremacy of the civilian authority over the military and then, had surprisingly, proceeded to castigate Thimayya, saying the issues that led to his resignation were ‘rather trivial and of no consequence’, and that they arose ‘from temperamental differences’. He then chided the chief and reproached him for ‘wanting to quit in the midst of the Sino-Indian border crisis’.

Even today, the contents of Thimayya’s resignation letter remain a highly guarded secret. Instead, vague stories about Thimayya’s resignation were routinely floated where it was said that Timmy had resigned out of pique because of the manner in which Krishna Menon treated him. On careful scrutiny, that doesn’t hold water.

The much adored prime minister, who could do no wrong in the eyes of the public, had betrayed General Thimayya. Trapped in this bad situation, the chief had no option but to quietly endure the humiliation and get on with the job of trying to prepare the army to face the Chinese…

The prime minister’s attitude towards Thimayya was damaging to the chief as well as the army. … General Thimayya was… a seasoned, disciplined soldier who would hardly have made issues over trifles. … After the resignation drama Thimayya was seen as an alarmist and a defeatist. Having thus weakened the office of the army chief, the prime minister now placed his hope in …Lieutenant General B. M. ‘Bijji’ Kaul whose star was on the rise.
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Perhaps Nehru could not have reacted militarily when China invaded Tibet in 1950, but since then he had had more than ten years to prepare... Despite repeated warnings... Nehru did very little to address the shortcomings of the army… Nehru was never comfortable with the armed forces… his political indoctrination had… instilled in him a desire to downgrade India’s officer cadre rather than tap their leadership potential... To make matters worse, Nehru... began to develop a deep-seated paranoia about the army. Many other countries that had become independent after World War II fell prey to military coups (the most pertinent example being Pakistan)…
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...Nehru was waiting for Thimayya and for the first time, the normally reticent Timmy exchanged angry words with the prime minister. He told Nehru that his arbitrary decision of making NEFA (North East Frontier Agency now called Arunachal Pradesh) the responsibility of the army, made public in Parliament, was... completely against Indian interests... Without providing the additional resources required, handing over the borders to the army was a meaningless gesture; this would allow the Chinese the opportunity to claim that the Indians were the aggressors... Thimayya asked Nehru to find a way out of the mess...

Nehru and Krishna Menon knew that the prime minister was in serious trouble. He had got away with the admission in Parliament earlier in the day only because the triple whammy — ongoing clashes on the border, the construction of National Highway G219 across the Aksai Chin and the Khenzemane and Longju incidents — had come as a shock to the members of the House… Thimayya wanted Nehru to undo the mistake; but should the prime minister formally withdraw his statement about deploying the army... he would be committing political hara-kiri. The threat of Thimayya taking over the reins of government, at least in Nehru’s mind, was very real. Politics is full of subterfuge, and survival… Not only did the Nehru-Menon team now have to survive, they had to neutralize Thimayya. Three days later, Krishna Menon sent for Thimayya in ‘a highly excited state of mind’ and vented his anger at the chief for having approached the prime minister directly, suggesting instead that the matter should have been resolved at his level. Threatening Thimayya of ‘possible political repercussions if the matter became public’ Krishna Menon ended the meeting. A seething Thimayya… promptly sent in his resignation letter.
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_29218 » 13 Feb 2016 22:06

shiv wrote:
Satya_anveshi wrote:Thank you for letting us know. I did not know about this book before.

It is available here
http://www.amazon.in/Sanatana-Dharma-In ... o+hinduism

One of the authors is known to some of us here


I bought the pdf version from Amazon. Very well written though a bit complex for teenagers with limited attention span.

And yes, I do remember him very well, had some email exchanges with him too.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Sachin » 09 Apr 2016 13:31

Book Review - Who killed Karkare? by S.M Mushrif, (Retd.) IG of Police, Maharashtra
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Managed to get a copy of the book from a lending library. I was interested in this book for a long time, since people who wanted to prove that Islamic terrorism does NOT exist in India, uses this book as The Bible. The book has broadly 11 chapters, and the chapters dealing with bomb blasts & terror attacks have a distinct pattern of narration.

Notes:
1. What caught my attention was that the book straight away begins with a lot of assumptions. The word "Brahminist" comes up in the very first chapter itself, and this would be the most repeated word in the entire book. The author starts with the declaration that there exists a set of people - the "Brahminists" who seems to be present all across India, and have many a public entity firmly in its control. The "Brahminists" looks like the Opus Dei folks in the "Davinci Code" book.
2. In the starting few chapters the author also states that Intelligence Bureau, right from its early days were under the control of "Brahminists". And he goes onto state that the R&AW does not seem to have this "problem" as it was formed much later. Without stating any specific reasons, incidents or court reports the author states that IB seems to be an organisation which can even make governments dance to its tune.
3. Now that the book has "proven" that there exists this secret gang of evil "Brahminists" and that they control IB, which in turn controls the government of the day; the next chapters deal with various terrorist incidents and bomb blasts etc. These chapters follow a peculiar pattern. The author lists out a series of news paper articles (the headline of the report, the news paper and the approximate date), talking about the case. And the discrepancies in these news reports are used to prove that the police stories are not matching up. The author relies totally on news paper reports, and not even compares it with the police records like charge-sheets etc. The news paper reports generally get a day-to-day briefing from their sources in the police, and gladly report that as the "gospel truth". But in the subsequent days, the investigation may go on a different direction. Mushrif considers this as a "cover up", by the IB under instructions of the "Brahminists".
4. What I found as surprising is that the author being a police officer does not seem to rely on any of the official documents which the police would have used (including scene mahassars, FIRs, charge sheets, evidences, forensic reports) to prove his point. But he purely relies on a very unreliable source in India; the main stream media.
5. The chapters related to the Malegaon blasts is interesting. The author proudly states that this time the case was getting investigated by a "god fearing" police officer Hemant Karkare. To be honest, Hemant Karkare did seems to have got good evidence on the involvement of Hindu right wing elements. He had worked on the leads and even had picked up a few retired Army officials. The ATS under Karkare seems to have got some good evidence on the activities of people like Col. Purohit and Pragnya Singh Thakur etc. This could be one chapter (Chapter 5 - Malegaon bomb blast 2008) which requires much more detailed study and analysis.
6. Chapter 6th - who killed Karkare is a very lengthy one and deals with the Mumbai blasts. Again this report too relies on news paper reports, and the recordings of wireless messages (of Mumbai Police that day) which were telecasted by some media channels. The author using news paper reports state that around 16 CCTV cameras at Mumbai CST was not working that day, and this was a pre-planned move by the IB. He also quotes a statement made by Kasab that he was instructed NOT to kill Muslims, but in the casualty list from CST the majority of victims were Muslims (and could be easily identified by dress, beards etc.). He then uses these two points to "prove" that it was IB who used some rogue criminals to arrange and execute the CST shoot out. As per Mushrif, Kasab was some Pakistani who was picked up from Nepal by Indian agencies much before. The book how ever is silent on one important point - Kasab's capture, and the death of ASI Tukaram Omble. Perhaps that incident does not fit in the conspiracy theory of the author.
7. The book also mentions that as per some news reports the terrorists at Cama Hospital did ask a few questions in Marathi to one staff out there. And he was not killed (even when identified as a Hindu). As per the book Hemant Karkare who was at his home at Dadar got the message of the shoot out, and decided to proceed to the spot. Mushrif tries to prove that all instructions to Karkare seems to have been delivered over mobile phone, as in the wireless chatter between "King" (Com.Pol Mumbai) and "Crime" (Jt. Commisioner, Crime) they did not seem to know of the exact location of "Victor" (Hemant Karkare as ATS chief). The author tries to prove that Karkare was kind of lured into the area by calls made to his cell phone. But the fact is that a large city like Mumbai would have multiple police channels (for each zone - under a DCP, plus other channels for special units and senior officials). That being said Karkare (and his wireless operator who reported that they have all been shot) could be on the appropriate zone channel, where as "King" and "Crime" would be on another channel for senior officials. This chapter also requires much more detailed reading (and note taking) - to understand the time lines etc.

What makes this book a bit peculiar is that it seems to be written on a specific agenda, and then evidences & inferences are all listed down to prove the agenda. It is more like one of those detective novels where the author knows who is to be the criminal, but then draws up a complex story line to keep the readers guessing. The second point is that even when written by a police official, no official police records have been analysed and then gaps in the police version are listed out. The author always relies on media reports, when pretty much the whole of India now know how reliable they are. The book also tries to paint the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as some sort of secret cult/organisation who seems to be so powerful that even elected governments are unable to control them. But considering other reports about IB, and the way they operate, it seems to be an incorrect inference. And then the "Brahminists" are supposed to be even so powerful to control the IB :).

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby svinayak » 11 Apr 2016 01:48

The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens Hardcover – September 22, 2015
by Gabriel Zucman (Author), Teresa Lavender Fagan (Translator), Thomas Piketty (Foreword)


We are well aware of the rise of the 1% as the rapid growth of economic inequality has put the majority of the world’s wealth in the pockets of fewer and fewer. One much-discussed solution to this imbalance is to significantly increase the rate at which we tax the wealthy. But with an enormous amount of the world’s wealth hidden in tax havens—in countries like Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Cayman Islands—this wealth cannot be fully accounted for and taxed fairly. No one, from economists to bankers to politicians, has been able to quantify exactly how much of the world’s assets are currently hidden—until now. Gabriel Zucman is the first economist to offer reliable insight into the actual extent of the world’s money held in tax havens. And it’s staggering.

In The Hidden Wealth of Nations, Zucman offers an inventive and sophisticated approach to quantifying how big the problem is, how tax havens work and are organized, and how we can begin to approach a solution. His research reveals that tax havens are a quickly growing danger to the world economy. In the past five years, the amount of wealth in tax havens has increased over 25%—there has never been as much money held offshore as there is today. This hidden wealth accounts for at least $7.6 trillion, equivalent to 8% of the global financial assets of households. Fighting the notion that any attempts to vanquish tax havens are futile, since some countries will always offer more advantageous tax rates than others, as well the counter-argument that since the financial crisis tax havens have disappeared, Zucman shows how both sides are actually very wrong. In The Hidden Wealth of Nations he offers an ambitious agenda for reform, focused on ways in which countries can change the incentives of tax havens. Only by first understanding the enormity of the secret

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby svinayak » 16 May 2016 08:29

The Seventh Sense: The Secrets of Remote Viewing as Told by a "Psychic Spy" for the U.S. Military Paperback – February 1, 2003
by Lyn Buchanan (Author)

For the past thirty years, the United States government has secretly trained a select corps of military personnel in the art of "remote viewing" -- the psychic ability to perceive the thoughts and experiences of others through the power of the human mind....
Now, for the first time, Lyn Buchanan -- a world-renowned expert on remote viewing and its potential -- tells the complete, candid story of his experiences. Assigned for nearly a decade to a clandestine U.S. Army intelligence group, Buchanan trained military personnel who utilized their inherent psychic abilities as a data-collection tool during the Iran hostage crisis, the Chernobyl disaster, and the Gulf War.

In this incredible account, Buchanan tells how he was selected for his unique psychic abilities, and how he was transformed from an ordinary soldier into one of our nation's leading psychic spies. Working on top-secret government and military projects using "mental espionage" created permanent, life-altering changes within Buchanan. Now, after many years of analysis and interpretation, he reveals the techniques and mental exercises used to train remote viewers, and demonstrates that each of us carries a dormant psychic ability that we can explore and use ourselves.

For anyone interested in a hard, scientific look at the reality of psychic covert operations in the world today, or anyone who has ever wondered if he or she could have the inherent skills to become a remote viewer, this fascinating chronicle of life as a psychic spy will reveal the answers.

The author is a veteran of the Army-CIA Project STAR GATE psychic espionage unit, where he specialized in a form of ESP known as "controlled remote viewing," whose practitioners can supposedly see events from a distance in time and space. His feats, he claims, included reading Saddam's mind during the Gulf War, divining the health and prospects of the American hostages in Iran, predicting the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and remotely viewing the surface of Mars; he even wonders whether he didn't have something to do with the fall of communism. Project STAR GATE really did exist, and Buchanan's low-key tone, full of military jargon and acronyms, detailed protocols and much griping about army red tape, lends credibility to his account of life as a GI clairvoyant. Himself the head of a psychic training and consulting firm, he insists that remote viewing is both a "martial art" to be mastered through training and rote drill, and an "application-oriented science" for use in "police work, medical diagnostics and business," rather than the romantic and familial fortune-telling that is the bread and butter of the psychic industry. Skeptics will vigorously dispute Buchanan's claims for the efficacy of remote viewing, but true believers in search of government certification for their views will be greatly reassured by this odd and interesting book. Photos.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_28990 » 16 May 2016 10:55

currently reading this very detailed account of the 1962 war.

https://www.amazon.in/1962-Wasnt-Shiv-K ... B01A4BKRVG

superbly written imo - the stark contrast between the bravery and spirit of the jawans, NCOs and JCOs vs the incompetence of the political generals and the worthlessness of the delhi political establishment makes the blood boil.

Sad, sad chapter in the history of Bharat, and one that must never be repeated again.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby chetak » 20 May 2016 18:45

Sachin wrote:Book Review - Who killed Karkare? by S.M Mushrif, (Retd.) IG of Police, Maharashtra
----
Managed to get a copy of the book from a lending library. I was interested in this book for a long time, since people who wanted to prove that Islamic terrorism does NOT exist in India, uses this book as The Bible. The book has broadly 11 chapters, and the chapters dealing with bomb blasts & terror attacks have a distinct pattern of narration.

Notes:
1. What caught my attention was that the book straight away begins with a lot of assumptions. The word "Brahminist" comes up in the very first chapter itself, and this would be the most repeated word in the entire book. The author starts with the declaration that there exists a set of people - the "Brahminists" who seems to be present all across India, and have many a public entity firmly in its control. The "Brahminists" looks like the Opus Dei folks in the "Davinci Code" book.
2. In the starting few chapters the author also states that Intelligence Bureau, right from its early days were under the control of "Brahminists". And he goes onto state that the R&AW does not seem to have this "problem" as it was formed much later. Without stating any specific reasons, incidents or court reports the author states that IB seems to be an organisation which can even make governments dance to its tune.
3. Now that the book has "proven" that there exists this secret gang of evil "Brahminists" and that they control IB, which in turn controls the government of the day; the next chapters deal with various terrorist incidents and bomb blasts etc. These chapters follow a peculiar pattern. The author lists out a series of news paper articles (the headline of the report, the news paper and the approximate date), talking about the case. And the discrepancies in these news reports are used to prove that the police stories are not matching up. The author relies totally on news paper reports, and not even compares it with the police records like charge-sheets etc. The news paper reports generally get a day-to-day briefing from their sources in the police, and gladly report that as the "gospel truth". But in the subsequent days, the investigation may go on a different direction. Mushrif considers this as a "cover up", by the IB under instructions of the "Brahminists".
4. What I found as surprising is that the author being a police officer does not seem to rely on any of the official documents which the police would have used (including scene mahassars, FIRs, charge sheets, evidences, forensic reports) to prove his point. But he purely relies on a very unreliable source in India; the main stream media.
5. The chapters related to the Malegaon blasts is interesting. The author proudly states that this time the case was getting investigated by a "god fearing" police officer Hemant Karkare. To be honest, Hemant Karkare did seems to have got good evidence on the involvement of Hindu right wing elements. He had worked on the leads and even had picked up a few retired Army officials. The ATS under Karkare seems to have got some good evidence on the activities of people like Col. Purohit and Pragnya Singh Thakur etc. This could be one chapter (Chapter 5 - Malegaon bomb blast 2008) which requires much more detailed study and analysis.
6. Chapter 6th - who killed Karkare is a very lengthy one and deals with the Mumbai blasts. Again this report too relies on news paper reports, and the recordings of wireless messages (of Mumbai Police that day) which were telecasted by some media channels. The author using news paper reports state that around 16 CCTV cameras at Mumbai CST was not working that day, and this was a pre-planned move by the IB. He also quotes a statement made by Kasab that he was instructed NOT to kill Muslims, but in the casualty list from CST the majority of victims were Muslims (and could be easily identified by dress, beards etc.). He then uses these two points to "prove" that it was IB who used some rogue criminals to arrange and execute the CST shoot out. As per Mushrif, Kasab was some Pakistani who was picked up from Nepal by Indian agencies much before. The book how ever is silent on one important point - Kasab's capture, and the death of ASI Tukaram Omble. Perhaps that incident does not fit in the conspiracy theory of the author.
7. The book also mentions that as per some news reports the terrorists at Cama Hospital did ask a few questions in Marathi to one staff out there. And he was not killed (even when identified as a Hindu). As per the book Hemant Karkare who was at his home at Dadar got the message of the shoot out, and decided to proceed to the spot. Mushrif tries to prove that all instructions to Karkare seems to have been delivered over mobile phone, as in the wireless chatter between "King" (Com.Pol Mumbai) and "Crime" (Jt. Commisioner, Crime) they did not seem to know of the exact location of "Victor" (Hemant Karkare as ATS chief). The author tries to prove that Karkare was kind of lured into the area by calls made to his cell phone. But the fact is that a large city like Mumbai would have multiple police channels (for each zone - under a DCP, plus other channels for special units and senior officials). That being said Karkare (and his wireless operator who reported that they have all been shot) could be on the appropriate zone channel, where as "King" and "Crime" would be on another channel for senior officials. This chapter also requires much more detailed reading (and note taking) - to understand the time lines etc.

What makes this book a bit peculiar is that it seems to be written on a specific agenda, and then evidences & inferences are all listed down to prove the agenda. It is more like one of those detective novels where the author knows who is to be the criminal, but then draws up a complex story line to keep the readers guessing. The second point is that even when written by a police official, no official police records have been analysed and then gaps in the police version are listed out. The author always relies on media reports, when pretty much the whole of India now know how reliable they are. The book also tries to paint the Intelligence Bureau (IB) as some sort of secret cult/organisation who seems to be so powerful that even elected governments are unable to control them. But considering other reports about IB, and the way they operate, it seems to be an incorrect inference. And then the "Brahminists" are supposed to be even so powerful to control the IB :).


will this book have another edition in view of the fact that lakhvi has been charger with abetment to murder in a pakistani court for the death of the Bombay attack victims??

LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six others accused in the 2008 Mumbai attack case will be individually charged for the abetment to murder of each of the 166 people who died in the carnage, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court ruled today.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby Brad Goodman » 12 Oct 2016 18:17

Finished reading "Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army's Way of War" by C Christine Fair.

The book is close to 280 pages (don't remember exact pages now) seems like a quick read but alas it isn't. The book seems to be one huge research paper with tons of citations. Listening to some of her talks on the book I get an impression that she wrote this book to finally get the much coveted tenure that she hasn't yet achieved. This is not to belittle her effort which was huge and the fundamental idea to read through green books are fantastic. I am sad that no Indian scholars ever thought of reading them (hell even pakis never though anyone would read them other than their own military and now since the publication of book are toning down its content).

The book is loaded with words that need dictionary handy and I would recommend readers to not gloss over some of these words else you will lose the narrative she is trying to build. Starting from Revisionist State definition and her take on it etc. She dives into Partition history of British India. We kind of know most of the details but the point she makes to her readers (and more like what Pakis make as their take on partition deal to west) is that regions that made up Pakistan (especially west pak) were the last regions that tasted democracy (limited local government type). So the institutions that had matured in rest of India never really had deep roots in those provinces. Other thing she talks is how NWFP and Baluchistan were not really part of British India but were ruled like semi autonomous regions with different criminal and administrative rules. She also talks a lot about the great game and how British Afghan war were fought the deep insecurity that Brits had for Russians who would walk in through either Khyber or Bolan pass into India as historically invaders had been doing for centuries before. The idea to have a buffer state/ territory between India and Soviet Union (Wakhan corridor history). So even between Afghan territories and Indus river they created this semi buffer territory where they let Pathans rule themselves.

A huge chunk of Army was posted in these provinces to deter Russians. So after partition The new Pakistan that got created (again author is talking more of west Pakistan because she admits that east was completely ignored and Pakistan would have been different if East had got to call the shots) inherited all the troubled frontiers but lost all the revenue that came from other territories of British India that became India. So now it had to keep the same posture but did not have money to do it. Afghanistan not recognizing Durand line added to paranoia. So all these points are used as justification for why Pakistan needs strategic depth (which some of green book articles suggest is more of british idea that Pakistan inherited and modified). Book also talks of how definition of strategic deph has changed over decades.

Not going into lot of details of the book which I will encourage readers to peruse. I want to put down her conclusions How can we change Pakistan she presents some options

1) With recruitment patterns shifting away from districts that have been dominating army since inception there will be gradual bottom up changes as people from Sindh, Baloch or Khyber take up more prominent positions (in officer level)
2) Civilian institutions can some how take control of foreign policy from Army
3) Economic turmoil makes Pakistan rethink its policies
4) Natural disaster of large scale

To me only 4th option seems practically possible. Over all highly recommended for reading. Don't buy her conclusion but do look at the data she provides and draw your own conclusions

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby ramana » 15 Oct 2016 04:32


Psychoanalyzing the Left and Right after Donald Trump: Conservatism, Liberalism, and Neoliberal Populisms
Palgrave McMillan | Psychoanalysis | Nov. 08 2016 | ISBN-10: 3319448072 | 113 pages |

Authors: Samuels, Robert

Shows why it is hard to understand contemporary politics and society without using psychoanalytic theories
Argues that the emerging fields of evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural economics are actually political ideologies masquerading as scientific discourses
Clarifies the foundations of psychoanalysis and the possibility of a new politics based on psychoanalytic practices

This book outlines a new model for global social justice movements that is based on Freud and Lacan’s central insights regarding the unconscious, repetition, drives, and transference. Since most of our current social issues are global in nature, Bob Samuels convincingly argues that we need a global solution, but that global solidarity is blocked by narcissistic nationalism and the capitalist death drive. In examining contemporary social movements for global justice, Samuels articulates a comprehensive theory of non-pathological social solidarity, and argues that in the age of multinational corporations and global climate change, we need a new model of global justice and government that requires an understanding of analytic neutrality and free association. This book uses psychoanalytic theories and practices to explain how someone like Trump can rise to power, and explores why liberals have failed to provide a convincing or effective political alternative. It will be compelling reading to students and teachers in a range of psychological and political disciplines, and to anyone interested in psychoanalysis and current politics.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby chetak » 20 Oct 2016 21:12

India Conquered - Britain's Raj and the Chaos of Empire
by Jon S. Wilson
Simon & Schuster Ltd August 2016 | ISBN-10: 1471101258 |
https://www.amazon.com/India-Conquered- ... 1471101258

For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent. Britain's East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that. For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers. The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue. But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos. Britain's Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice. The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled. The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence. The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system's collapse. But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power. Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own. India Conquered revises the way we think about nation-building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power. The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.

CONTENTS
Preface: Facts on the Ground
1. Society of Societies
2. Trading with Ghosts
3. Forgotten Wars
4. Passion at Plassey
5. New Systems
6. Theatres of Anarchy
7. The Idea of Empire
8. Fear and Trembling
9. The Making of Modern India
10. The Legalization of India
11. The Great Depression
12. Governments within Governments
13. Military Imperialism and the Indian Crowd
14. Cycles of Violence
15. The Great Delusion
List of Illustrations
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Last edited by chetak on 20 Oct 2016 23:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby Rampy » 20 Oct 2016 21:30

svinayak wrote:The Seventh Sense: The Secrets of Remote Viewing as Told by a "Psychic Spy" for the U.S. Military Paperback – February 1, 2003
by Lyn Buchanan (Author)


Sir have you heard about paroman vigyan, this has been part of indian Tantra culture for ages and I know few who practice it and seen with my eyes
Last edited by Rampy on 20 Oct 2016 21:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby Rampy » 20 Oct 2016 21:35

Reading/listening to two books
1. The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier - about FATA and SWAt area and lot of history/background on tribes and groups
2. Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding - good read and background on 65/71 wars

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby johb » 22 Oct 2016 22:39

Read ebook on kindle
Kashmir's Death Trap: Tales of Perfidy and Valour by Col. Danvir Singh

Book is about personal experiences of Col. Singh in the army and mostly covers his tenure in Kashmir with Sikh LI and later with 19 RR. Gives a great description of daily work in a soldier's life while posted in Kashmir. Reader really appreciates the sacrifice made by our soldiers to keep the valley out of Jihadi hands. Good description of quite a few encounters that eliminated dreaded militants.
The best part was Colonel's analysis of long term solution to the Kashmir problem. He quotes Shiv Kumar Verma who says that in a soccer game you just can't play defensive all the time. If you play great defense you might save most of the goals but after 100 saves you might let one goal in. The only way to win a match is to get your strikers to hit a goal in your opponents half. Colonel feels (and I agree) the solution to Kashmir problem lies in dismantling the idea of Pakistan by breaking Pakistan. We need to bring out fissures within Pakistan and break it up.

Book had a few grammatical and proof reading mistakes which I found surprising.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby Rampy » 23 Oct 2016 17:04

Reading a new book , very interesting details by Howard Leedham
Ask Forgiveness Not Permission: The True Story of an Operation in Pakistan's Badlands :

On retirement from an unusual military career Howard Leedham settled in the U.S. with his American wife and successfully flew executive jets—until he was recruited in 2003 by the State Department's airwing. Despite being British, he had the unusual skills they required, and his specific brief was to activate a fleet of antiterrorist helicopters which had been given to the Pakistan armed forces, but never properly used. This was easier said than done—he had to win over opposition from inside the State Department and in particular from their Islamabad Embassy, and also dispel the suspicions of the Pakistani Armed Forces. The helicopters were released and brought up to the high standard of mechanical and operational maintenance required. He had to get past the closed door of the appropriate Pakistani general—which he did by offering to stand outside the general's bathroom and outline his plans. He was given command of a team of Pathan soldiers to train in Special Forces tactics and helicopter skills—they became an amazingly loyal team and the book describes in detail several very successful discreet operations. Howard had to do all this while under great personal threat, unable to tell who friend and who was foe, even among his own troops. This book recounts in fascinating detail the successes and failures of an unusual military operation in one of the most inhospitable and turbulent environments in the world.

about author - http://www.thenational.ae/business/econ ... nd-manager

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby ramana » 25 Oct 2016 06:58

Scott C. Levi, "Caravans: Punjabi Khatri Merchants on the Silk Road"
2016 | ISBN-10: 0143426168 | 256 pages |

Fills many gaps in our knowledge of India's vibrant business past highlights India's pervasive role in the Silk Road' - Business Standard Caravans tells the fascinating story of countless Punjabi Khatri merchants who built great business empires through their ingenuity and spirit of adventure. Operating during the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, these merchants risked everything and travelled across Afghanistan, Central Asia, Iran and Russia. They used sophisticated techniques to convert a modest amount of merchandise into vast portfolios for trade and moneylending ventures. Caravans challenges the belief that the rising tide of European trade in the Indian Ocean usurped the overland 'Silk Road' trade and demonstrates how thousands of Punjabis created a booming market in Central Asia at precisely this historical moment.


Read along with Shikarpur traders from Sindh.

parag tope this one is for you!!!!!

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby Paul » 26 Oct 2016 10:14

Indian trade routes all from India to as far as Kazan was discussed 10 years ago on this forum. Russian domination of these areas uprooted the Indian banking system and trade domination of Central Asia.

Which is why I hold the way that what Bartania did to Indian trade and commerce on the high seas, Russia did the same on the land. IOW, Russian imperialism is the other side of the coin of British imperialism. Russian reluctance to let India play a role in CA is manifested by the low Key Russian lobbying to deny India the airbase in Farkhor, Tajikistan,

It is in our interests to roll Russia west of Urals so that we Asians have the territories in Siberia for Asia.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby ramana » 27 Nov 2016 00:54

An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor
2016 | ISBN: 938306465X | English | 360 pages |


In this explosive book, bestselling author Shashi Tharoor reveals with acuity, impeccable research, and trademark wit, just how disastrous British rule was for India. Besides examining the many ways in which the colonizers exploited India, ranging from the drain of national resources to Britain, the destruction of the Indian textile, steel-making and shipping industries, and the negative transformation of agriculture, he demolishes the arguments of Western and Indian apologists for Empire on the supposed benefits of British rule, including democracy and political freedom, the rule of law, and the railways. The few unarguable benefits-the English language, tea, and cricket-were never actually intended for the benefit of the colonized but introduced to serve the interests of the colonizers. Brilliantly narrated and passionately argued, An Era of Darkness will serve to correct many misconceptions about one of the most contested periods of Indian history.

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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby svinayak » 06 Dec 2016 09:04

Disruption is coming

A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
by Richard Haass (Author, Reader), Dan Woren (Reader)


An examination of a world increasingly defined by disorder and a United States unable to shape the world in its image, from the president of the Council on Foreign Relations

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. The rules, policies, and institutions that have guided the world since World War II have largely run their course. Respect for sovereignty alone cannot uphold order in an age defined by global challenges from terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons to climate change and cyberspace. Meanwhile, great power rivalry is returning. Weak states pose problems just as confounding as strong ones. The United States remains the world’s strongest country, but American foreign policy has at times made matters worse, both by what the U.S. has done and by what it has failed to do. The Middle East is in chaos, Asia is threatened by China’s rise and a reckless North Korea, and Europe, for decades the world’s most stable region, is now anything but. As Richard Haass explains, the election of Donald Trump and the unexpected vote for “Brexit” signals that many in modern democracies reject important aspects of globalization, including borders open to trade and immigrants.

In A World in Disarray, Haass argues for an updated global operating system—call it world order 2.0—that reflects the reality that power is widely distributed and that borders count for less. One critical element of this adjustment will be adopting a new approach to sovereignty, one that embraces its obligations and responsibilities as well as its rights and protections. Haass also details how the U.S. should act towards China and Russia, as well as in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He suggests, too, what the country should do to address its dysfunctional politics, mounting debt, and the lack of agreement on the nature of its relationship with the world.

A World in Disarray is a wise examination, one rich in history, of the current world, along with how we got here and what needs doing. Haass shows that the world cannot have stability or prosperity without the United States, but that the United States cannot be a force for global stability and prosperity without its politicians and citizens reaching a new understanding.



Things are going to fail since US did not empower other democratic powers in the last 20 years.

ramana
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby ramana » 31 Dec 2016 22:12

Small Powers and Trading Security: Contexts, Motives and Outcomes (International Political Economy Series) by Michael Intal Magcamit
2016 | ISBN: 3319388142 | English | 269 pages |

This book examines why and how small powers link their security interests and trade agendas, and how security threats influence the facilitation and outcome of their trade activities. In doing so, it analyses the increasingly complex connections between trade and security, demonstrating how these linkages affect the overall security of four small but important states in East Asia. Focusing on the role of high levels of internal and external insecurities, marginal geo-economic size and peripheral geopolitical position, and multidimensional and multidirectional security contexts and threats, the author concludes that for every security enhancement that a linkage creates a consequent security risk is generated. In other words, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines are effectively trading their security. This innovative book will appeal to political scientists, economists, and security and trade experts.



Now read book along Indian history of colonialism and invasions.

manju
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby manju » 16 Jan 2017 02:05

am trying to list books that I need to read.. I was wondering if a review is posted here means one of us (BRakshaks) have read it and recommend it. thanks in advance

I

manju
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby manju » 16 Jan 2017 02:06

I read this book and would recommend it
influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) Paperback – 26 Dec 2006

lot of piskology on the lines of dr shiv..

chetak
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby chetak » 16 Jan 2017 03:06

The Tamil Story: Through the Times, Through the Tides
Dilip Kumar (ed.)

Publisher: Tranquebar
Year: 2016 Edition: 1st
Language: English Pages :602
ISBN: 978-9385152757

Subashree Krishnaswamy (Translator)

Spanning close to a century, this pioneering anthology deftly traces the evolution of the Tamil short story, a genre that the Tamils have subsumed effortlessly to create illuminating glimpses of life. Like all timeless masterpieces, these eighty-eight finely etched stories will both hold you spellbound and jolt you out of your complacency as they traverse through the changing landscapes of different times, highlighting at once the uniqueness and the universality of life.

Culled from every available source – little-known magazines from the turn of the previous century and out-of-print editions from yester years to contemporary literary magazines and innumerable anthologies of both serious and popular short fiction – the writings include not only stalwarts such as Pudumaippittan, Mauni, Sundara Ramaswamy and Ashokamitran, to name just a few, but also unsung women writers and path-breaking modern voices. Carefully and sensitively translated, these nuanced, chiselled gems reflect nearly all the aesthetic and political perspectives that make up the Tamil short story. Rooted in realism and fantasy, framed on folklore and myth, steeped in irony and angst, underscored by humour and pathos, there is a story for every reader, a story which will surely leave an indelible imprint on the mind.

ramana
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby ramana » 16 Jan 2017 04:11

Will buy it.

svinayak
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

Postby svinayak » 23 Jan 2017 09:10

The End of White Christian America Hardcover – July 12, 2016
by Robert P. Jones


Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, spells out the profound political and cultural consequences of a new reality—that America is no longer a majority white Christian nation. “Quite possibly the most illuminating text for this election year” (The New York Times Book Review).

For most of our nation’s history, White Christian America (WCA) set the tone for our national policy and shaped American ideals. But especially since the 1990s, WCA has steadily lost influence, following declines within both its mainline and evangelical branches. Today, America is no longer demographically or culturally a majority white, Christian nation.

Drawing on more than four decades of polling data, The End of White Christian America explains and analyzes the waning vitality of WCA. Robert P. Jones argues that the visceral nature of today’s most heated issues—the vociferous arguments around same-sex marriage and religious and sexual liberty, the rise of the Tea Party following the election of our first black president, and stark disagreements between black and white Americans over the fairness of the criminal justice system—can only be understood against the backdrop of white Christians’ anxieties as America’s racial and religious topography shifts around them.

Beyond 2016, the descendants of WCA will lack the political power they once had to set the terms of the nation’s debate over values and morals and to determine election outcomes. Looking ahead, Jones forecasts the ways that they might adjust to find their place in the new America—and the consequences for us all if they don’t. “Jones’s analysis is an insightful combination of history, sociology, religious studies, and political science….This book will be of interest to a wide range of readers across the political spectrum” (Library Journal).


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