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Sunday, November 4, 2001
Books

 

Books
received

The culture wars of today
Review by Shelley Walia
The Idea of Culture
by Terry Eagleton . Blackwell Publishers, London. Pages 156. £12.99.
OUR history extends over a critical and crucial period of adjustments when nothing in religion, politics, society or the life of the individual is absolute and any attempt to prove the contrary is doomed to failure. Life cannot be fixed and codified; the very nature of existence is that it is changing and when one thing changes everything changes with it.

Rendezvous with death: road to immortality
Review by Ram Varma

The Undiscovered Country: Exploring the Promise of Death
by Eknath Easwaran. Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages 144. Rs 150.
DEATH is a certainty. As Krishna says in the Gita, one who is born is sure to die. Death follows life as inevitably as night follows the day. Yet we shudder at the thought of our fateful rendezvous with death. We are traumatised by its visitation in our family. We live our life dreading death. And however certain the fact of death, it never ceases to shock and surprise us when it comes.

Dissecting Roop Kanwar’s tale
Review by Anoop Beniwal
Death by Fire: Sati, Dowry Deaths and Female Infanticides in Modern India
by Mala Sen. Penguin Books, New Delhi.
AS an interpretive category, India is an elusive entity. It is a protean flux that evades any attempt at clear-cut interpretation. Over the years, it has been imagined and interpreted variously by numerous scholars and critics. Ironically, all these efforts have only added layers to the meanings of India, without really pinning it down to meaning.

 


Re-reading a 19th century classic
Review by M. L. Raina

Who is to Blame? A Novel
by Alexander Herzen and translated from Russian by Michael R. Katz. Cornell University Press, Ithaca & London Pages 293. $ 41.
THE fact that a classic gets reprinted several times implies three things. One, it has an enduring interest for readers separated in time. Two, there are enough readers willing to reconsider its relevance to their own ages and concerns. Three, the work displays a singular craftsmanship not matched by any other book.

Kargil: the hard facts
Review by Bimal Bhatia

A Ridge Too Far: War in the Kargil Heights 1999
by Amarinder Singh. Motibagh Palace, Patiala. Pages 256. Price not stated.
POLITICIANS do not understand military matters and care much less for the sacrifices of those in uniform, or so it is widely believed. Amarinder Singh makes you rethink. A Ridge Too Far is dedicated to the 26 officers, 21 junior commissioned officers and 452 soldiers who gave their lives in the Kargil war between May 5 and July 26, 1999, remembering also the 66 officers, 60 junior commissioned officers and 1,085 soldiers who were wounded.