Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011

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

Postby Atri » 18 Nov 2014 23:26

http://therolibooksblog.wordpress.com/2 ... -urnabhih/

New upcoming historical fiction set in Mauryan INdia. Following is a review by a friend who managed to get an advance copy. The link above has an extract of the book.. The cover-page is very tasteful.

Can dharma survive the cruel world of geo-politics ? Is it possible to be good and righteous in a world where progressively values have no meaning, where alien power systems hold forth on lands far beyond their borders and shape it in their mold through the soft and hard power ? Are these questions new, or not really ? For a India, at crossroads, rapidly moving to take centre stage in a world dominated by values which its culture holds abhorrent, these are live questions. How do we seek for a place in the world where the only currency is brute power. Is it possible to be different and yet hold primacy in a world where matsyanyaya seems to be the only approach to life ? These are questions which Indians are grappling with in our moment of inflection, a topic of many works of cogitation from modern seers, social thinkers, and politicians alike, but we can take heart in the fact that Indias “timeless history” as Namita Gokhale states so eloquently while talking about the Urnabhih offers if not a ready made solution, at least a way, a path, a thought process to live by to get there, and as in the Indian way, how best to talk about such things, if not through a story. Urnabhih ? Is such a story. A Panchtantra for grownups, a slice of something from the genre of the epics, a darn good yarn, and a bloody hard as nails perceptive insight of the world of real politic.

The story which starts, tentatively, a little hesitatingly, apparently unsure of where things are going to go, a very natural beginning for a book which chronicles the adventures of the heroine in a very unsure and rapidly changing world, a dynamic world in which she has opted to live a life of intrigue and shadows, where nothing is what it is, and where the personal values of family, loyalty and attachment, must constantly battle the demands of serving a higher cause than oneself. Soon, the reader is plunged headlong into the rich and beautiful world of Mauyran period, painstakingly painted to a very real picture, the story coming alive and more a moving picture than words in a book as the protagonist plays a key role in historical events of the era, such as seeing through a smooth coronation of Chandragupta Maurya and the consolidation his rule. A book, whose colorful and vividly described cover are indeed a good judge of the pages within, which are a colorful, esthetically depiction of the ancient India come alive, as might be the case when the frescos of Ajanta would move in words, covers a journey of Mirakesi, who has chosen to make her life as a Ganika as she moves to being a hidden hand of the web which Acharya Chanakya is laying along India, a web of silk and steel to bind India into a single political formation, centered around the Charkavartin philosophies of an even older India. Is she the spider of her own web, or just being driven by the web of the preceptor ? A layered narrative where one is never sure what the motivations of the principle players are, as they themselves grapple with the competing pulls and pressures of the different calls, each of which they hold dear.

To add more of the story, would be giving it away, and the book, which in keeping with the theme of many layers, is at once a historical narrative, an espionage thriller and a treatise on balancing geo-politics with individual values, is truly one of the rare books, where the experience of the book through reading it is a bigger reward than the knowledge of the story. So any statement on the book, would need to end with just this recommendation that reading it would be the worthwhile investment of the rare commodity of our times, time.

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

Postby svinayak » 08 Mar 2015 21:56

Is the American Century Over (Global Futures) Paperback – January 20, 2015
by Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Author)


Provides cogent argument that the US is not declining in influence vis-a-vis Russia, China, Europe, Brazil, and is likely to remain the world's most powerful nation for the next few decades and probably more. A refreshing alternative to the pervasive American "decline-ism" that periodically sweeps across our army of tongue-wagging media commentators

The American Century is over: How our country went down in a blaze of shame
We face a triple crisis in foreign policy, economics and democracy. Here's how it all went to hell
In 1914, the American Century began. This year the American Century ended. America’s foreign policy is in a state of collapse, America’s economy doesn’t work well, and American democracy is broken. The days when other countries looked to the U.S. as a successful model of foreign policy prudence, democratic capitalism and liberal democracy may be over. The American Century, 1914-2014. RIP.

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

Postby svinayak » 08 Mar 2015 22:26

The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder Hardcover – November 4, 2014
by Peter Zeihan (Author)



The raw, natural, unique geographical potential of the US been, perhaps, hardly noticed and in this early 21st century we can see that is barely realized. The US emerged from WW2 as the only standing power of the age and an accident of circumstance to rebuild the world. Without much notice or aplomb, the accident turned real and changed the world as we know it at 1944 Bretton Woods. Zeihan's premise is that the US has seemed to mature beyond its needy detractors and lukewarm allies and might reconsider the strategic US role in the world away from the position of an active enforcer of global institutions. Zeihan's premise is that we can do better for ourselves without a whole lot of effort. Such an imagining has been inconceivable since the US has been an energy importer.
Peter Zeihan has done an excellent job of presenting the history of the Bretton Woods agreements and their resulting impact - seven decades of relative peace and prosperity for the world, due to the umbrella of naval and military security provided by America and the free access allowed to American markets.

Next he outlines America’s internal demographics that are bringing the Bretton Woods era to an end. He then examines the likely effects of this change on each region of the world, in combination with each region’s own demographics and geopolitical constraints.

The world Mr. Zeihan predicts will be less stable and less equal, both economically and in terms of human rights. Outside of America, life will be harder, local wars will be common, and governments will fail. In parallel, Zeihan predicts that America and her friends will prosper.

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

Postby ramana » 14 Mar 2015 01:17

This book ahs rave reviews from all over English speaking world:UK, Canada and US.

Radhika Desai, "Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire"
English | ISBN: 0745329926, 0745329934 | 2013 | 328 pages |
Geopolitical Economy radically reinterprets the historical evolution of the world order, as a multi-polar world emerges from the dust of the financial and economic crisis.

Radhika Desai offers a radical critique of the theories of US hegemony, globalisation and empire which dominate academic international political economy and international relations, revealing their ideological origins in successive failed US attempts at world dominance through the dollar.

Desai revitalizes revolutionary intellectual traditions which combine class and national perspectives on ‘the relations of producing nations’. At a time of global upheavals and profound shifts in the distribution of world power, Geopolitical Economy forges a vivid and compelling account of the historical processes which are shaping the contemporary international order.



Read her introduction!!!

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

Postby ramana » 14 Mar 2015 05:01

Singha do read this for your amusement:

Submarine Hydrodynamics
Springer | Robotics & Automation, Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Mechanical Engineering | April 14 2015 | ISBN-10: 3319161830 | 150 pages |



This book adopts a practical approach and presents recent research together with applications in real submarine design and operation. Topics covered include hydrostatics, manoeuvring, resistance and propulsion of submarines. The author briefly reviews basic concepts in ship hydrodynamics and goes on to show how they are applied to submarines, including a look at the use of physical model experiments.
The issues associated with manoeuvring in both the horizontal and vertical planes are explained, and readers will discover suggested criteria for stability, along with rudder and hydroplane effectiveness. The book includes a section on appendage design which includes information on sail design, different arrangements of bow planes and alternative stern configurations. Other themes explored in this book include hydro-acoustic performance, the components of resistance and the effect of hull shape.
Readers will value the author’s applied experience as well as the empirical expressions that are presented for use at the preliminary design stage. A wide range of state-of-the-art material is included, and there are over fifty references to recent publications in the field.
Intended for advanced students and professionals working in the specialised field of submarine hydrodynamics, this book brings theoretical and practical knowledge together in one comprehensive work that is particularly valuable to the submarine hydrodynamicist.




And apply to estimate INS Arihant!!!

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

Postby ramana » 14 Mar 2015 05:16

Deborah Cadbury, "Princes at War: The Bitter Battle Inside Britain's Royal Family in the Darkest Days of WWII"
English | ISBN: 1610394038 | 2015 | 384 pages |


In 1936, the British monarchy faced the greatest threats to its survival in the modern era—the crisis of abdication and the menace of Nazism. The fate of the country rested in the hands of George V’s sorely unequipped sons:

•a stammering King George VI, terrified that the world might discover he was unfit to rule
•a dull-witted Prince Henry, who wanted only a quiet life in the army
•the too-glamorous Prince George, the Duke of Kent—a reformed hedonist who found new purpose in the RAF and would become the first royal to die in a mysterious plane crash
•the Duke of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII, deemed a Nazi-sympathizer and traitor to his own country—a man who had given it all up for love

Princes at War is a riveting portrait of these four very different men miscast by fate, one of whom had to save the monarchy at a moment when kings and princes from across Europe were washing up on England’s shores as the old order was overturned. Scandal and conspiracy swirled around the palace and its courtiers, among them dangerous cousins from across Europe’s royal families, gold-digging American socialite Wallis Simpson, and the King’s Lord Steward, upon whose estate Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess parachuted (seemingly by coincidence) as London burned under the Luftwaffe’s tireless raids.

Deborah Cadbury draws on new research, personal accounts from the royal archives, and other never-before-revealed sources to create a dazzling sequel to The King’s Speech and tell the true and thrilling drama of Great Britain at war and of a staggering transformation for its monarchy.

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

Postby ramana » 14 Mar 2015 05:19

Eugene Rogan, "The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East"
English | ISBN: 046502307X | 2014 | 512 pages |

In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and enduring consequences of one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The Great War spelled the end of the Ottomans, unleashing powerful forces that would forever change the face of the Middle East. In "The Fall of the Ottomans," award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region's crucial role in the conflict. Bolstered by German money, arms, and military advisors, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British, and French forces, and tried to provoke Jihad against the Allies in their Muslim colonies. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies' favor. The great cities of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and, finally, Damascus fell to invading armies before the Ottomans agreed to an armistice in 1918. The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands between the victorious powers, and laid the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, "The Fall of the Ottomans" is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.

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

Postby ramana » 28 Mar 2015 01:13

Two diverse books!



The precious garland and The song of the four mindfulnesses (The Wisdom of Tibet series; 2) by Nagarjuna
English | 1975 | ISBN: 006063541X | 119 Pages |

Nagarjuna was an Indian pandit from Vidarbha in south India who lived approximately four hundred years after Buddha's death. At that time the Mahayana teaching had diminished, and Nagarjuna assumed the task of reviving it by founding the Madhyamika school of tenets. Here, in his Precious Garland, he clarifies the Buddha's exposition of emptiness based on the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras (Prajnaparamita). He presents the ten Bodhisattva stages leading to Buddhahood based on the Sutra on the Ten Stages (Dashahhiimilca). He details a Bodhisattva's collections of merit and wisdom based on the Sutra Set Forth by Ak~ayamati (Ak~ayamatinirdesa). The Precious Garland was intended primarily for the Indian king Satavahana, therefore, Nagarjuna includes specific advice on ruling a kingdom. (The section on the undesirability of the body is written with reference to the female body simply because the king was a male. As Nagarjuna says, the advice should be taken as applying to both males and females.) Among his works, the Precious .Garland is renowned for extensively describing both the profound emptinesses and the extensive Bodhisattva deeds of compassion.





Thomas P. M. Barnett, "Great Powers: America and the World After Bush"

English | 2009 | ISBN: 0399155376 | 496 pages |

The author of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller The Pentagon’s New Map brings us a remarkable analysis of the post-Bush world, and America’s leadership role in it.

In civilian and military circles alike, The Pentagon’s New Map became one of the most talked about books of 2004. “A combination of Tom Friedman on globalization and Carl von Clausewitz on war, [it is] the red-hot book among the nation’s admirals and generals,” wrote David Ignatius in The Washington Post. Barnett’s second book, Blueprint for Action, demonstrated how to put the first book’s principles to work. Now, in Great Powers, Barnett delivers his most sweeping—and important—book of all.

For eight years, the current administration has done much to disconnect or alienate America from the world, but the world has certainly not been standing still. Now, with a chance to start over, what do we do? Where’s the world going now, and how do we not only rejoin it but become a leader again in what has become the most profound reordering of the globe since the end of World War II?

In Great Powers, Barnett offers a tour de force analysis of the grand realignments that are both already here and coming up fast in the spheres of economics, diplomacy, defense, technology, security, the environment, and much more. The “great powers” are no longer just the world’s major nation-states but the powerful forces, past, present, and future, moving with us and past us like a freight train. It is not a simple matter of a course correction but of a complete recalibration, and the opportunities it presents are far greater than the perils. Barnett gives us a fundamental understanding of both, showing us not only how the world is now but how it will be.

There are those writing now who say America is in decline... and we just have to deal with it. Barnett says no. Globalization as it exists today was built by America—and now it’s time for America to shape and redefine what comes next. Great Powers shows us how.

From Publishers Weekly
Barnett (The Pentagon's New Map) offers a comprehensive catalogue of the failings of the Bush administration and a strategic roadmap for American foreign policy in this sweeping text. The author takes a broad approach to the contemporary political landscape, surveying U.S. history from the Revolution through the end of the Cold War and applying lessons from that history to the present. Drawing on a variety of secondary sources and his personal and professional experiences as a national security specialist and consultant, Barnett argues in favor of cooperation with rising powers such as China and India and continued movement in the direction of globalization; he distills his central thesis down to the contention that America must dramatically realign its own post-9/11 trajectory with that of the world at large. Barnett writes in a conversational style. Despite the text's vast scope, it has a clear, straightforward structure, even featuring a glossary of key terms, and it provides an accessible and engaging foray into global grand strategy.

Review
“Political consultant Barnett (Blueprint for Action: A World Worth Creating, 2005, etc.) evaluates the Bush administration’s failures, offers prescriptions for correcting them and pleads with America not to mess things up now that everything is going our way.

His excoriating first chapter limns “The Seven Deadly Sins of Bush- Cheney,” starting with Lust (for world primacy). A sensible grand strategy, even for a superpower, must attract more allies than it repulses, he notes, yet the Bush administration broke treaties and advocated preemptive wars, then complained when Russia and China refused to help in Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Proceeding with catchy titles, Barnett delivers “A Twelve-Step Recovery Program for American Grand Strategy” in the second chapter. We must begin by admitting our powerlessness over globalization, he writes. We opened that Pandora’s box long ago, and it’s ridiculous to denounce other nations’ cheap labor and protectionist trade policies, because that’s how American growth began.

Unlike many world-affairs gurus, but in line with Fareed Zakaria’s The Post-American World (2008), Barnett is an optimist, pointing out that free-market capitalism is now the world’s default system, the middle-class is increasing and poverty is diminishing.

Attacking Bush’s fixation on the “global war on terror” (Sin No. 2: Anger), he stresses that it’s merely one of a half-dozen world problems, more easily solved by rising prosperity than military action. Naïveté, not anger, led to Bush’s painfully unsuccessful efforts to spread democracy. Looking back, Barnett reminds readers that America was a one-party autocracy until the 1820s and that freedom doesn’t happen when a government grants it but when an increasingly assertive, and prosperous, citizenry demand it. China’s rise mirrors the American model more than we realize, he contends, and Iraqis won’t demand a bill of rights until they have jobs.


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

Postby A_Gupta » 28 Mar 2015 18:21

A review of Gary Bass' "The Blood Telegram"
http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/ ... r-genocide

The Blood Telegram by Gary Bass is the best single account of how the United States responded to the 1971 Bangladesh independence war.

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

Postby member_23692 » 28 Mar 2015 21:30

A review of Penn Bobby Singh's "A Perennial Stream"

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Star Publish (October 27, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935188399
ISBN-13: 978-1935188391


http://www.amazon.com/Perennial-Stream-Penn-Bobby-Singh/dp/1935188399/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427561235&sr=1-1&keywords=a+perennial+stream#customerReviews

A Perennial Stream gives an eloquent history of nine generations of an Indian dynasty. The author's art of storytelling engages the reader, bringing them back in time. Vivid accounts of the family struggles with corruption and injustice clearly portray the strength of the characters in standing up for and following their beliefs.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of the story is the evolution of the family from intriguing business ventures to leadership challenges and major civic contributions and involvement over the centuries. The book easily transitions from centuries of history to current problems and issues of present day India. Another inspiring aspect is the author's braving adverse forces to uphold the honor and tradition of his ancestry and dedication to his heritage and family's country.

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

Postby Multatuli » 31 Mar 2015 14:20

Rajiv Malhotra's new book (I received my copy a fews days ago):

Indra's Net: Defending Hinduism's Philosophical Unity

Hardcover: 376 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9351362442
ISBN-13: 978-9351362449


Indra’s Net

Indra's netIt is fashionable among many intellectuals to parrot that dharma traditions lacked any semblance of unity before the British period, and that the contours of contemporary Hinduism were bequeathed to us by our colonial masters.

Such intellectuals often target Swami Vivekananda, accusing him of camouflaging various alleged ‘contradictions’ among the systems of dharma. He gets charged with appropriating ideas from Western religion and science to ‘manufacture’ a coherent worldview and set of practices known as Hinduism. This slanderous thesis is feeding the view that Hinduism is an illegitimate façade with oppressive motives.

This book offers a detailed, systematic rejoinder to such views, and articulates Hindu dharma’s multi-dimensional, holographic understanding of reality. Originating in the Atharva Veda, the concept of Indra’s Net is a powerful metaphor for this inter-relatedness. It was transmitted via Buddhism’s Avatamsaka Sutra into Western thought, where it now resides at the heart of post-modern discourse. This book invokes Indra’s Net to articulate the open architecture, unity and continuity of Hinduism.

Seen from this perspective, Hinduism defies being pigeon-holed into the traditional, modern and post-modern categories by which the West defines itself; rather, it becomes evident that Hinduism has always spanned all three categories simultaneously and without contradiction.

Taking the debate further, Rajiv Malhotra argues that Vivekananda’s creative interpretations of Hindu dharma informed and influenced many Western intellectual movements of the post-modern era. Indeed, appropriations from Hinduism have provided a foundation for cutting-edge discoveries in several fields including cognitive science and neuroscience. Not only self-help gurus and lifestyle coaches but also scientists and philosophers increasingly draw on Hindu cosmology in framing their work.

http://rajivmalhotra.com/books/indras-net/

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

Postby ramana » 04 Apr 2015 20:21

Christopher Layne, "The Peace of Illusions: American Grand Strategy from 1940 to the Present"
English | ISBN: 0801474116, 080143713X | 2007 | 304 pages |


In a provocative book about American hegemony, Christopher Layne outlines his belief that U.S. foreign policy has been consistent in its aims for more than sixty years and that the current Bush administration clings to mid-twentieth-century tactics—to no good effect. What should the nation's grand strategy look like for the next several decades? The end of the cold war profoundly and permanently altered the international landscape, yet we have seen no parallel change in the aims and shape of U.S. foreign policy. The Peace of Illusions intervenes in the ongoing debate about American grand strategy and the costs and benefits of "American empire." Layne urges the desirability of a strategy he calls "offshore balancing": rather than wield power to dominate other states, the U.S. government should engage in diplomacy to balance large states against one another. The United States should intervene, Layne asserts, only when another state threatens, regionally or locally, to destroy the established balance. Drawing on extensive archival research, Layne traces the form and aims of U.S. foreign policy since 1940, examining alternatives foregone and identifying the strategic aims of different administrations. His offshore-balancing notion, if put into practice with the goal of extending the "American Century," would be a sea change in current strategy. Layne has much to say about present-day governmental decision making, which he examines from the perspectives of both international relations theory and American diplomatic history.


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

Postby ramana » 06 Apr 2015 01:30

Wolff-Michael Roth, "Rigorous Data Analysis: Beyond "Anything Goes""
English | ISBN: 9462099960, 9462099979 | 2015 | 260 pages |

In qualitative research, one can often hear the statement that research results are just (social) constructions. In criminal cases and in court hearings, we tend to expect that the true sequence of events has to be found rather than just any story. Here the author shows that qualitative social research can be conducted in the manner of police work or court proceedings. He does so by exhibiting how short pieces of transcriptions can be approached to uncover who, when, where, and how participated, what kind of social situation produced the transcription, and so on without any background knowledge other than that talk itself. Commenting on transcriptions of a researcher in the course of doing rigorous data analysis, readers learn doing ethnographically adequate accounts and critical institutional ethnography "at the elbow" of an experienced practitioners. Further topics include the role of turn sequences, the ethnomethods of knowledge-power and institutional relations, the documentary method of interpretation, and time-sensitive social analysis.


Looks like a valuable skill for BRFites. we do all these without formal awareness.

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

Postby panduranghari » 13 Apr 2015 17:31

Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival
By Apek Mulay
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mass-Capitalism ... B00N3CGQ0K
Job security flew out the door decades ago—and now seems forever out of reach, thanks to the Great Recession. As much of our economy follows jobs to other countries, especially China, Americans must wonder what we will be left holding.
Can we retrieve what we have lost?
Apek Mulay knows we can. His book Mass Capitalism: A Blueprint for Economic Revival presents solutions to the economic problems threatening the survival of the US and global economies. Mass capitalism would help:
-- establish a balanced economy
-- eliminate unemployment
-- eliminate deficits and national debt
-- revive the US economy
-- establish a free-market economy.
A true free market—with minimal government intervention and lower taxes on individuals—calls for the majority shares of Fortune 500 companies to be owned by their employees, rather than outside investors.


Excellent book. Saw his interview on Mi Marathi channel and bought this book.

An Indian guy who has explained the problem very coherently. And is fulfills Modi's ideas of Maximum Governance Minimum Government.

Its mostly of Keynesian bent. Though as someone has stated in the review its not Neo Keynesian which has been very destructive.

Here is his interview on Doordarshan.


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

Postby Avarachan » 24 Apr 2015 05:59

X-posted.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/26/ ... urder-inc/

Andrew Cockburn has written a must-read book. The title is Kill Chain: The Rise Of The High-Tech Assassins. The title could just as well be: How the US Government and US Military Became Murder, Inc ....

The decision [to scrap Global Hawk] was supported by the 2011 report from the Pentagon’s test office that the drone system was “not operationally effective.” Among its numerous drawbacks was its inability to carry out assigned missions 75% of the time. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress that in addition to the system’s unacceptable failure rate, the drone system “has fundamentally priced itself out of our ability to afford it.”

As Cockburn reports: “It made no difference. Congress, led by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon and Democratic Congressman Jim Moran (whose northern Virginia district hosts the headquarters of both Northrop and Raytheon) effortless brushed aside these pleas, forcing the Air Force to keep buying the unwanted drone.”

Cockburn provides numerous examples of the utter failure of the unmanned revolution ushered in by unrealistic dreamers, such as Andrew Marshall, John Foster, William Perry, and David Deptula, who have done much harm to the US military and American taxpayers. The failure stories are legion and sad. Almost always the victims are the innocent going about their everyday affairs.

The book opens with the story of three vehicles crammed with people from the same village heading to Kabul. Some were students returning to school in Kabul, some were shopkeepers heading to the capital to buy supplies, others were unemployed men on their way to Iran seeking work, and some were women bringing gifts for relatives. This collection of ordinary people, represented on screens by vague images, was willfully mistaken, as the reproduced conversations between drone operators and assassins show, for a senior Taliban commander leading forces to attack a US Special Forces patrol. The innocent civilians were blown to smithereens ....

What the US military has done in Afghanistan and Iraq is to create far more enemies than it has killed. Every time high-tech killing murders a village gathering, a wedding or funeral, or villagers on the way to the capital, which is often, the US creates hundreds more enemies. This is why after 14 years of killing in Afghanistan, the Taliban now control most of the country.

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

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2015 12:10

Has this been posted earlier?
by Robert D. Kaplan...Random House 2010.
Monsoon.
The Indian Ocean and the future of American Power.


Though now 5 years old,the primary role of India in the 21st century is well defined. The author has not dwelt much upon Yemen though,though noting its "weak central govt".,but a lot on Oman.Both nations traditionally having strong ties with India. perhaps we have not exploited the ties with Yemen,Ethiopia and other nations that control the Bab el Mandeb/Red Sea.

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

Postby svinayak » 26 Apr 2015 22:27

The HEAD Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decision Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems Quickly
Philip Mudd (Author)


Given his background as director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center and FBI National Security Branch, Philip Mudd seems to be uniquely well-qualified to explain "high-efficiency analytic decision-making [i.e. HEAD] and the art of solving complex problems more quickly." The strategies and tactics he discusses can help leaders in almost any organization - whatever its size and nature may be -- to consider questions such as these that are, obviously, far easier to ask than to answer:

"What is the question that must be answered"?
"What is the problem that must be solved?"
"What do we want this answer or solution to achieve?"
"What are the drivers of this process?"
"How will progress be measured?"
"What do we need to know?"
"Most reliable sources of information?"
"Verification of data?"
"Traps to avoid?"

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

Postby svinayak » 04 May 2015 10:11

Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients. Hardcover – April 7, 2015
by Jeremy N. Smith (Author)


Medical doctor and economist Christopher Murray began the Global Burden of Disease studies to gain a truer understanding of how we live and how we die. While it is one of the largest scientific projects ever attempted—as breathtaking as the first moon landing or the Human Genome Project—the questions it answers are meaningful for every one of us: What are the world’s health problems? Who do they hurt? How much? Where? Why?

Murray argues that the ideal existence isn’t simply the longest but the one lived well and with the least illness. Until we can accurately measure how people live and die, we cannot understand what makes us sick or do much to improve it. Challenging the accepted wisdom of the WHO and the UN, the charismatic and controversial health maverick has made enemies—and some influential friends, including Bill Gates who gave Murray a $100 million grant.

In Epic Measures, journalist Jeremy N. Smith offers an intimate look at Murray and his groundbreaking work. From ranking countries’ healthcare systems (the U.S. is 37th) to unearthing the shocking reality that world governments are funding developing countries at only 30% of the potential maximum efficiency when it comes to health, Epic Measures introduces a visionary leader whose unwavering determination to improve global health standards has already changed the way the world addresses issues of health and wellness, sets policy, and distributes funding.

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

Postby svinayak » 04 May 2015 10:26

Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Hardcover – March 10, 2015
by Robert D. Putnam (Author)


A groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility.

It’s the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. This is the America we believe in—a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort. But during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Now, this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

Robert Putnam—about whom The Economist said, “his scholarship is wide-ranging, his intelligence luminous, his tone modest, his prose unpretentious and frequently funny”—offers a personal but also authoritative look at this new American crisis. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. By and large the vast majority of those students—“our kids”—went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research done especially for this book.

Our Kids is a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence. Putnam provides a disturbing account of the American dream that should initiate a deep examination of the future of our country.

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

Postby ramana » 08 May 2015 19:27

The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics by Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis
English | 2015 | ISBN: 1107054532 | 338 pages


Over the past decade, a group of prolific and innovative evolutionary biologists has sought to reinvent historical linguistics through the use of phylogenetic and phylogeographical analysis, treating cognates like genes and conceptualizing the spread of languages in terms of the diffusion of viruses. Using these techniques, researchers claim to have located the origin of the Indo-European language family in Neolithic Anatolia, challenging the near-consensus view that it emerged in the grasslands north of the Black Sea thousands of years later. But despite its widespread celebration in the global media, this new approach fails to withstand scrutiny. As languages do not evolve like biological species and do not spread like viruses, the model produces incoherent results, contradicted by the empirical record at every turn. This book asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology.



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

Postby svinayak » 28 May 2015 09:17

Superpower: Three Choices for America's Role in the World Hardcover – May 19, 2015

America will remain the world’s only superpower for the foreseeable future. But what sort of superpower? What role should America play in the world? What role do you want America to play?

Ian Bremmer argues that Washington’s directionless foreign policy has become prohibitively expensive and increasingly dangerous. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have stumbled from crisis to crisis in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine without a clear strategy. Ordinary Americans too often base their foreign policy choices on allegiance or opposition to the party in power. We can no longer afford this complacency, especially now that both parties are deeply divided about America’s role in the world. The next presidential election could easily pit an interventionist Democrat against an isolationist Republican—or the exact opposite.

As 2016 rapidly approaches, Bremmer urges every American to think more deeply about what sort of country America should be and how it should use its superpower status. He explores three options:

Independent America asserts that it’s time for America to declare independence from the responsibility to solve other people’s problems. Instead, Americans should lead by example—in part, by investing in the country’s vast untapped potential.

Moneyball America acknowledges that Washington can’t meet every international challenge. With a clear-eyed assessment of U.S. strengths and limitations, we must look beyond empty arguments over exceptionalism and American values. The priorities must be to focus on opportunities and to defend U.S. interests where they’re threatened.

Indispensable America argues that only America can defend the values on which global stability increasingly depends. In today’s interdependent, hyperconnected world, a turn inward would undermine America’s own security and prosperity. We will never live in a stable world while others are denied their most basic freedoms—from China to Russia to the Middle East and beyond.

There are sound arguments for and against each of these choices, but we must choose. Washington can no longer improvise a foreign policy without a lasting commitment to a coherent strategy.

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

Postby ldev » 05 Jun 2015 15:26

Just bought this book. Fascinating ....he is a driven man....who could at the least revolutionize the space launch business..if not much much more. Recommended by me.

ELON MUSK
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
By Ashlee Vance
392 pages. Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers. $28.99.

Book review from The New York Times

“We’ve become a nation of indoor cats,” Dave Eggers wrote in “A Hologram for the King” (2012), his existential novel about an American doing IT work in the Saudi Arabian desert. “A nation of doubters, worriers, overthinkers.”

Ashlee Vance, in his new biography of the celebrity industrialist Elon Musk, delivers a similar notion of the deflating American soul. An early Facebook engineer tells Mr. Vance, “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.” The author quotes the venture capitalist Peter Thiel: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

If Silicon Valley was holding out for a hero after Steve Jobs’s death, a disrupter in chief, it has found a brawny one in Mr. Musk. This South African-born entrepreneur, inventor and engineer is the animating force behind companies (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity) that have made startling advances in non-indoor-cat arenas: electric cars, space exploration and solar energy. He is all of 43.

Mr. Musk is about as close as we have, circa 2015, to early industrial titans like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Along with his swagger, he totes surprise, style and wit. Tesla’s Model S sedan was not only Motor Trend’s car of the year in 2013 — the first non-internal-combustion engine vehicle to win that award — but it also has a sound system that, in a homage to the film “Spinal Tap,” you can turn up to 11.

“Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” isn’t the first biography we’ve had of Mr. Musk, nor will it be the last. But it is easily the richest to date. It’s also the first one Mr. Musk has cooperated with, though he had no control, the author says, over its contents. Mr. Vance is a technology writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. He won over Mr. Musk, who initially declined to be interviewed, impressing him with his diligence after he had interviewed some 200 people.

The result is a book that is smart, light on its feet and possesses a crunchy thoroughness. Mr. Vance can occasionally veer toward hagiography and the diction of news releases. After noting that Mr. Musk’s grand vision is to colonize Mars, for example, Mr. Vance writes:

“He’s the possessed genius on the grandest quest anyone has ever concocted. He’s less a C.E.O. chasing riches than a general marshaling troops to secure victory. Where Mark Zuckerberg wants to help you share baby photos, Musk wants to ... well ... save the human race from self-imposed or accidental annihilation.” As the Beast from “X-Men” likes to remark, Oh my stars and garters.


Mostly, though, Mr. Vance curbs his enthusiasm and delivers a well-calibrated portrait of Mr. Musk, so that we comprehend both his friends and his enemies. It’s a book with many ancillary pleasures. Mr. Vance brings us up to date on the states of green energy and space launches. He also veers away from his subject just often enough, offering profiles of the frequently brilliant people who work alongside Mr. Musk.

Bits from this biography have already made Internet gossip ripples. According to Mr. Vance, Mr. Musk berated a male employee who missed a Tesla event to be present for the birth of his child. (Mr. Musk has denied this.) Either way, he does not come off like Alan Alda. He has been married three times — twice to the same woman — and, while thinking about fitting a new relationship into his schedule, he asks: “How much time does a woman want a week? Maybe 10 hours?”

Other eye-popping details, not all of them previously reported, are flecked atop this book like sea salt. His five children don’t merely have nannies but have had a nanny manager. He worries that Google is building a fleet of robots that may accidentally destroy mankind. He rents castles and sumo wrestlers for his parties. At one of them, a knife thrower aimed at a balloon between the blindfolded Mr. Musk’s legs.

The best thing Mr. Vance does in this book, though, is tell Mr. Musk’s story simply and well. It’s the story of an intelligent man, for sure. But more so it is the story of a determined one. Mr. Musk’s work ethic has always been intense. One observer says about him early on, “We all worked 20 hour days, and he worked 23 hours.”

Mr. Musk was born in 1971 and grew up in Pretoria. His father was an engineer; his mother, whose family had roots in the United States and Canada, was a model and dietitian. There are indications his father was brutal, and that Mr. Musk is a tortured soul trying to make up for a wrecked childhood. But no one will speak specifically about any such events.

He attended college in Canada before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and moving to the West Coast. His first start-up, a company that provided maps and business directories, was bought by Compaq Computer and made Mr. Musk $22 million. His interest in online banking led to his part in the creation of PayPal. When it was sold to eBay, he walked away with roughly $250 million, the author says, enough to bankroll his interests in space and green technology.

Mr. Musk got started in space exploration by first learning all he could about it, sometimes reading Soviet-era rocket manuals. There were many failures, and several near-bankruptcies, along the way to making SpaceX what it is today, notably one of only two private companies to have docked with the International Space Station.

Mr. Vance tells the stories of both SpaceX and Tesla with intricacy and insight, often stuffing the technological details, for those who are interested, into long footnotes. We come less close to Mr. Musk himself. Though the author interviewed him for several dozen hours, he remains a remote and somewhat chilly figure, a perfectionist not unlike Mr. Jobs, often given to confrontation and fits of rage.

What does come through is a sense of legitimate wonder at what humans can accomplish when they aim high, and aim weird. The animosity and jealousy some feel toward Mr. Musk’s achievements put me in mind of a great line from the HBO show “Silicon Valley,” in which the tech chief executive Gavin Belson comments, “I don’t know about you people, but I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.”

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

Postby svinayak » 12 Jun 2015 10:59

The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower Hardcover – February 3, 2015
by Michael Pillsbury (Author)


One of the U.S. government's leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country's rise - and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world's leading superpower.


For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the "China Dream" is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?


Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China's secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the "hawks" in China's military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders - as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.


Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped - sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately - to make this "China Dream" come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be. The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.

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

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2015 19:07

European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche by Frank M. Turner
2015 | ISBN: 0300207298 | English | 320 pages |


One of the most distinguished cultural and intellectual historians of our time, Frank Turner taught a landmark Yale University lecture course on European intellectual history that drew scores of students over many years. His lectures—lucid, accessible, beautifully written, and delivered with a notable lack of jargon—distilled modern European history from the Enlightenment to the dawn of the twentieth century and conveyed the turbulence of a rapidly changing era in European history through its ideas and leading figures.

Richard A. Lofthouse, one of Turner’s former students, has now edited the lectures into a single volume that outlines the thoughts of a great historian on the forging of modern European ideas. Moreover, it offers a fine example of how intellectual history should be taught: rooted firmly in historical and biographical evidence.


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

Postby ramana » 23 Jul 2015 07:38

Hubris: Why Economists Failed to Predict the Crisis and How to Avoid the Next One by Meghnad Desai
English | 2015 | ISBN: 0300213549 | 304 pages |

The failure of economists to anticipate the global financial crisis and mitigate the impact of the ensuing recession has spurred a public outcry. Economists are under fire, but questions concerning exactly how to redeem the discipline remain unanswered. In this provocative book, renowned economist Meghnad Desai investigates the evolution of economics and maps its trajectory against the occurrence of major political events to provide a definitive answer.

Desai underscores the contribution of hubris to economists’ calamitous lack of foresight, and he makes a persuasive case for the profession to re-engage with the history of economic thought. He dismisses the notion that one over-arching paradigm can resolve all economic eventualities while urging that an array of already-available theories and approaches be considered anew for the insights they may provide toward preventing future economic catastrophes. With an accessible style and keen common sense, Desai offers a fresh perspective on some of the most important economic issues of our time.

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

Postby Philip » 24 Jul 2015 12:40

If posted earlier ,apologies.
Success mantra of Brahmos.
Author: A.Sivathanu Pillai.

ISBN:978-93-5049-890-3

Excellent book on the history of the JV and success of the missile. The immense hard work put in by both sides to make this missile a grand success, which a decade on,no other nations possess an equiv missile.

Dr.SP says this,that there are 3 ways of going about a project.
1.Licnence production,like MIG-21s.Problem,we still import spares.

2 Desi approach.Go it alone for everything as we did with Prithvi and Agni.
Success takes a long time to arrive.

3.The JV approach.Find a good partner who has the required tech needed,share the costs of dev. and profits and save much time. This is the best way in his view.

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

Postby svinayak » 09 Aug 2015 10:42

PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future’, by Paul Mason
Review by Gillian Tett
The analysis of the forces reshaping the world economy merits serious consideration
I
f you hear the word “Wikipedia”, what springs to mind? For most of us, the answer is probably “useful information”. After all, in the decade since Wikipedia appeared, it has become such a mainstay of modern life that it is hard to imagine how anyone ever did their homework or research without it.
But for Paul Mason, a prominent British economics journalist, the online encyclopedia is not just a handy intellectual resource; it also symbolises a world on the verge of a revolution. For Mason believes that after two centuries in which capitalism has dominated the western world, this economic system has become desperately dysfunctional: inequality is growing, climate change is accelerating and nations are beset with bad demographics, debt burdens and angry voters.

But unlike many critics of capitalism, Mason — economics editor at Channel 4 News and a Guardian columnist — is not beset with despair; he thinks that if we could only harness some of the revolutionary ideas that Wikipedia embodies, we could overturn the capitalist system in a way that is as dramatic as anything proposed by Karl Marx, and perhaps more effective, too. Indeed, to him Wikipedia epitomises a potentially brave new postcapitalist world. “Capitalism is a complex, adaptive system which has reached the limits of its capacity to adapt,” he thunders. “Once capitalism can no longer adapt to technological change, postcapitalism becomes necessary.”

Some readers may scoff at this. Others may stifle a yawn. There is nothing new in such leftwing critiques, after all, and though Mason makes his case with passion — he does not hide his contempt for the global elite — the writing is sometimes infused with such anger that it feels irritatingly shrill.

But even if you love the current capitalist system, it would be a mistake to ignore the book. For Mason weaves together varied intellectual threads to produce a fascinating set of ideas. At times, the text is unnervingly dense; Mason has done extensive research. But the thesis about “postcapitalism” deserves a wide readership among right and left alike.

His starting point is an assertion that the current technological revolution has at least three big implications for modern economies. First, “information technology has reduced the need for work” — or, more accurately, for all humans to be workers. For automation is now replacing jobs at a startling speed; indeed, a 2013 report by the Oxford Martin school estimated that half the jobs in the US are at high risk of vanishing within a decade or two.
The second key point about the IT revolution, Mason argues, is that “information goods are corroding the market’s ability to form prices correctly”. For the key point about cyber-information is that it can be replicated endlessly, for free; there is no constraint on how many times we can copy and paste a Wikipedia page. “Until we had shareable information goods, the basic law of economics was that everything is scarce. Supply and demand assumes scarcity. Now certain goods are not scarce, they are abundant.”

But third, “goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy”. More specifically, people are collaborating in a manner that does not always make sense to traditional economists, who are used to assuming that humans act in self-interest and price things according to supply and demand. “The biggest information product in the world — Wikipedia — is made by 27,000 volunteers, for free,” he observes. “If it were run as a commercial site, Wikipedia’s revenue could be $2.8bn a year. Yet Wikipedia makes no profit. And in doing so it makes it almost impossible for anybody else to make a profit in the same space.”

This has radical consequences for anybody who dislikes the current western capitalist system, Mason says. Hitherto, revolutions have usually occurred when workers have united against elites. But Mason thinks this is outdated. “The old left’s aim was the forced destruction of market mechanisms . . . by the working class [and] the lever would be the state,” he observes. “[But] over the past twenty-five years, it is the left’s project that has collapsed.”

Instead, Mason thinks that it is time to recognise that technology has turned us all into individualists — but connected us by networks in unusually powerful ways. And he wants to use the power of millions of individuals to build a more equal and just world that is no longer dominated by a “neoliberalism [that] is the doctrine of uncontrolled markets”. More specifically, Mason thinks — or hopes — that a postcapitalist world is a place where only part of the population will work for cash, on a quasi-voluntary basis; the rest will be pursuing non-monetary goals. He wants governments to provide a guaranteed income for the entire population and free (or low-cost) basic services and public infrastructure. He also wants companies to automate as many processes as they can (rather than relying on cheap labour) and central bankers to conduct financial repression to reduce national debt.

Mason’s vision for the future, in other words, is a world where the government provides the framework to enable individuals to flourish but state functions are handed over to citizens. It is a place where people are secure — and equal — enough to use the efficiencies unleashed by automation to pursue worthy goals, such as volunteering to write Wikipedia pages.

It sounds utopian. And Mason does not attempt to describe in any detail exactly how western society might achieve this new postcapitalist world. Nor does he address the issue that tends to preoccupy many unions and leftwing groups today, namely the fact that technology is currently turning many workers into the equivalent of insecure digital sharecroppers, rather than collaborative creative spirits. Just look at the current fights around Uber, and the lack of security for workers there.

But while Mason’s ideas might seem crazily idealistic, they are thought-provoking. And it is worth remembering that the concept of Wikipedia would have once seemed crazy, too. So perhaps the key message from the book is this: in a world of rapid technological change, we need to rethink our old assumptions about “left” and “right”; cyberspace is ripping up many ideas about the government and class system. Politicians of all stripes should take note. And so should the people who vote for them.

Gillian Tett is the FT’s US managing editor and the author of ‘The Silo Effect’, to be published by Simon & Schuster next month
PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future, by Paul Mason, Allen Lane, RRP£16.99, 368 pages

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

Postby Austin » 05 Sep 2015 11:05

Foxtrots of the Indian Navy
Cmde. P.R. Franklin, AVSM, VSM (retd.) narrates some true accounts of the Soviet Foxtrot submarines that were in Indian Navy service. The names of the eight Foxtrots have been anagrammed to arrive at the name “Vanshali”, which is the central submarine character of these narratives. The book covers a spectrum of the activities of Foxtrots in the service including facets of training in the USSR, taking possession, bringing them to India, wartime and peacetime activities, and finally beaching a Foxtrot for display as a museum. The book has interesting revelations of a brush with a nuclear submarine in the Arabian Sea and of an Indian submarine’s predicament when confronted with the situation of meeting up with the American Carrier USS Enterprise when it entered the Bay of Bengal during 1971 Indo-Pak war.

? Commodore P.R. Franklin, AVSM, VSM, did his submarine training in Vladivostok, in erstwhile USSR. He commissioned the third and the sixth of the eight ‘Foxtrot’ class submarines that the Indian Navy purchased, and sailed them from Riga, Latvia, to India round Africa in the late sixties/early seventies. He subsequently commanded two of them. After a few squadron appointments both afloat and ashore, he headed the submarine arm as Director Submarine Operations in Naval Headquarters. Among his other appointments in the navy, he commanded the Training Squadron training officer cadets of the Indian Navy, INS Venduruthy in Kochi, was Naval Assistant to the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Naval Advisor to the Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, and the Naval Officer-in-Charge Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry.

A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, he also served as Directing Staff in that institution. He did the higher command and staff course in the former Marshal A.A.Grechkov Academy in Leningrad (renamed now as the N.G. Kuznetsov Academy in St. Petersburg). He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 1995 and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2001 by the President of India.

After retiring from the navy after 36 years of commissioned service, he was a consultant for a brief spell to a private Indian company while it produced a Submarine Control Simulator for the Indian nuclear propelled submarine, INS Arihant. He is also the author of the book titled ‘Submarine Operations’.

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

Postby krishna_krishna » 07 Sep 2015 08:02

Just finished : The assassin's mace by Bob Butalia awesome read

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

Postby SSridhar » 07 Sep 2015 10:42

I have just started the monumental work by Dhulipala "Creating a New Medina". I was blown by the meticulous research in the very first chapter that describes the revival of the Muslim League in the United Provinces (UP) which Jinnah termed as the "heart of Muslim politics" which we call as the Ganga-Jamuna belt. This chapter describes the events leading up to the 1937 provincial assembly election, which Pakistanis point out as a paver for Pakistan eventually because Nehru betrayed Jinnah by refusing to accommodate ML candidates in the UP ministry. I am trying to correlate the events with two other sources, one edited by Mushirul Hasan, "The Partition Omnibus" and the other by the noted journalist who lived through these events, was close to both India and British leaders, Durga Das, from his enlightening book, "From Curzon to Nehru and After". I might simultaneously read the Pakistani perspective by Ayesha Jalal, "The Struggle for Pakistan". It is going to take me quite some time but when I do that I will write a review of Venkat Dhulipala's book here. Insh'a Alla'h.

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

Postby svinayak » 08 Sep 2015 21:10

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/c ... 296505.ece
Creating a New Medina

Jinnah’s speech to the Muslim Students Federation at Kanpur a few weeks later went a little further causing a furore in the Urdu press in U.P. He declared that in order to liberate 7 crore Muslims of the majority provinces, ‘he was willing to perform the last ceremony of martyrdom if necessary, and let 2 crore Muslims of the minority provinces be smashed.’


This is the origin of suicidal streak of Pak state.

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

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2015 05:16

Folks please this is a book review thread and not a comments thread.

I don't ask for editing but no more comments.

Thanks,

ramana

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

Postby Rampy » 10 Sep 2015 05:57

Folks

some books I read last month and would highly recommend

1) TEN KINGS: Dasarajna: Based on the Rig-Veda (Itihasa) - Its a original story from Rig Veda, its 300 of India. Author seems to have seen to many Viking movies and character description have an imprint of it but a good read

2) The Vikramaditya Trilogy: Book 1 - The Guardians of the.- very goof fiction, could not keep the book down. Its almost like Shiva trilogy format

3) The Bard of Blood - by Billal, young writer and seems his first. But a good fiction to read. I remembers our own Vivek Ahuja and our spy guru stories at BR while reading. Vivek its be a good read and you can mix your facts with Billal's style of fiction :)

4) THE GARUD STRIKES - About 1971 war and guards battles and how they helped win the war. Very good read

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

Postby Paul » 17 Sep 2015 19:51

I have books on the Indian defence forces and other subjects. Do BRFites in Benagaluru think it worthwhile to set up Book Bank so that we can exchange books.

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

Postby ramana » 12 Oct 2015 06:50

Katherine C. Epstein, "Torpedo: Inventing the Military-Industrial Complex in the United States and Great Britain"
English | ISBN: 0674725263 | 2014 | 328 pages |
When President Eisenhower referred to the "military-industrial complex" in his 1961 Farewell Address, he summed up in a phrase the merger of government and industry that dominated the Cold War United States. In this bold reappraisal, Katherine Epstein uncovers the origins of the military-industrial complex in the decades preceding World War I, as the United States and Great Britain struggled to perfect a crucial new weapon: the self-propelled torpedo.

Torpedoes epitomized the intersection of geopolitics, globalization, and industrialization at the turn of the twentieth century. They threatened to revolutionize naval warfare by upending the delicate balance among the world's naval powers. They were bought and sold in a global marketplace, and they were cutting-edge industrial technologies. Building them, however, required substantial capital investments and close collaboration among scientists, engineers, businessmen, and naval officers. To address these formidable challenges, the U.S. and British navies created a new procurement paradigm: instead of buying finished armaments from the private sector or developing them from scratch at public expense, they began to invest in private-sector research and development. The inventions emerging from torpedo R&D sparked legal battles over intellectual property rights that reshaped national security law.

Blending military, legal, and business history with the history of science and technology, Torpedo recasts the role of naval power in the run-up to World War I and exposes how national security can clash with property rights in the modern era.


for BRF to mull over

member_29089
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_29089 » 12 Oct 2015 10:37

Perhaps a boring list for educated and enlightened BRFites. But should be an essential reading for those NaMo bhakts who want to understand NaMo and Vivekananda.

The trail begins with the old vintage

An Autobiography of a Yogi. Here Chapter 9 is about "M" (AKA Mahendranath Gupta when he was old). This "M" was a householder-devotee (as against the renounciate-devotee) of Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Deva. "M"'s reverence for his guru is beyond description not to mention his own holiness and miracles.

Being intrigued by "M", I found an english translation of Sri Ramakrishna Kathamtrita. Which is a treasure trove of guidance and maps to the spiritual world. It is essentially a huge volume based on diaries kept by "M" while he was in the holy company of Paramhansa.

While at it. There is no better way to spend evenings than to read The Ramayana at an old secluded Shiva temple. How people lived, behaved, and thought during that period. The description of birds, animals, seasons, and reverence for so many mother rivers will remind anyone of the cultural heritage of India. The conversation between Bharata and Rama about returning to Ayodhya would give anyone goosebumps. Not to mention the ultimate reverence, strategy, thoughts, attitude of Hanuman when he saw Mother Sita for the first time, and what he did after so as not to frighten her.

(Also was interesting to read how Rama relished the deer meat with Mother Sita. The deer was freshly killed, cut and cooked by Laxmana himself)

Why Indians do not know that the greatest poet in the history of the world is Tulsidas or Valmiki or Vyasa. Is it a western conspiracy to label our heritage as "mythologies" or is our own English speaking elite who are utterly confused about the true wealth of India causing this? India lives in the villages, in folklores, and local dialects. If Jesus Christ was a true son of God and a true messiah then in India there have been a million such Jesus Christs. Do we know about Totapuri, Shankar Maharaj, Kalavati Devi, Trailanga Swamy and thousands such holy men and women. But I bet in every village unwashed and uneducated people know at least one person of immense spiritual power.

I hope Bharat Rakshak has a thread for the Sants of India.

PS.Most of my Indian friends had never heard of Neem Karoli Baba until he was (indirectly) mentioned by Mark Zuckerberg in his townhall with NaMo.

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

Postby ldev » 30 Oct 2015 08:39

The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin
by Steven Lee Myers

Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Knopf (Sept. 29 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307961613
ISBN-13: 978-0307961617

The New Tsar is the book to read if you want to understand how Vladimir Putin sees the world and why he has become one of the gravest threats to American security.

The epic tale of the rise to power of Russia's current president—the only complete biography in English – that fully captures his emergence from shrouded obscurity and deprivation to become one of the most consequential and complicated leaders in modern history, by the former New York Times Moscow bureau chief.

In a gripping narrative of Putin’s rise to power as Russia’s president, Steven Lee Myers recounts Putin’s origins—from his childhood of abject poverty in Leningrad, to his ascension through the ranks of the KGB, and his eventual consolidation of rule. Along the way, world events familiar to readers, such as September 11th and Russia’s war in Georgia in 2008, as well as the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, are presented from never-before-seen perspectives.


This book is a grand, staggering achievement and a breathtaking look at one man’s rule. On one hand, Putin’s many reforms—from tax cuts to an expansion of property rights—have helped reshape the potential of millions of Russians whose only experience of democracy had been crime, poverty, and instability after the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism, unyielding in his brutal repression of revolts and squashing of dissent. Still, he retains widespread support from the Russian public.

The New Tsar is a narrative tour de force, deeply researched, and utterly necessary for anyone fascinated by the formidable and ambitious Vladimir Putin, but also for those interested in the world and what a newly assertive Russia might mean for the future.


A very well researched book. Gives an insight as to how Putin views the world and where he has come from. Fascinating.....

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

Postby ramana » 07 Nov 2015 08:16

The Siddhāntasundara of Jñānarāja: An English Translation with Commentary by Toke Lindegaard Knudsen
English | 2014 | ISBN: 1421414422 | 376 pages |


A treasure for anyone interested in early modern India and the history of mathematics, this first English translation of the Siddhāntasundara reveals the fascinating work of the scholar-astronomer Jñānarāja (circa 1500 C.E.). Toke Lindegaard Knudsen begins with an introduction to the traditions of ancient Hindu astronomy and describes what is known of Jñānarāja’s life and family. He translates the Sanskrit verses into English and offers expert commentary on the style and substance of Jñānarāja's treatise.

The Siddhāntasundara contains a comprehensive exposition of the system of Indian astronomy, including how to compute planetary positions and eclipses. It also explores deep, probing questions about the workings of the universe and sacred Hindu traditions. In a philosophical discussion, the treatise seeks a synthesis between the cosmological model used by the Indian astronomical tradition and the cosmology of a class of texts sacred in Hinduism. In his discourse, which includes a discussion of the direction of down and adhesive antipodeans, Jñānarāja rejects certain principles from the astronomical tradition and reinterprets principles from the sacred texts. He also constructs a complex poem on the seasons, many verses of which have two layers of meaning, one describing a season, the other a god's activities in that season.

The Siddhāntasundarais the last major treatise of Indian astronomy and cosmology to receive serious scholarly attention, Knudsen’s careful effort unveils the 500-year-old Sanskrit verses and shows the clever quirkiness of Jñānarāja's writing style, his keen use of mathematics, and his subtle philosophical arguments.


member_28990
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Re: Book Review Folder - 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014/

Postby member_28990 » 07 Nov 2015 12:33

Gurus, I am looking for a good kindle recommendation on history/people/culture of early Vedic period. Thanks in advance.


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