lust and fudged scientific data
Kamaldeep K. Toor
Of Moths and Men
by Judith Hooper. 4th Estate, London. Pages 377. 'A3 8.99
JUDITH Hooper makes it clear at
the very beginning that lepidopterists are boring and that one cannot
empathise with them unless one shares their interests, but she weaves
such a fascinating story about their personal and professional lives
that it leaves even the layman besotted. Of Moths and Men is an
account of the deceit and fraud in scientific treatises, of how personal
agony like a troubled childhood or illness and complexes influence
wounds of violence
by Sushobha Barve. Penguin,
New Delhi. Pages 240. Rs 295.
THIS is a work of
non-fiction based on the aftermath of riots and an effort to heal
the wounds of violence. The author witnessed the orgy of violence
against Sikhs in 1984 while on a train from Mumbai to Barabanki.
That event was the most frightening for her, which transformed her
whole life. Sharing her second-class compartment were two Sikhs,
taking back goods for their shops in Kanpur. In essence, the book is
saga of self-disclosures
by Betsey Barnes
Penguin, New Delhi. Pages 371. Rs 350.
ONE may call this novel a
tragi-comedy of disclosures, but only tentatively, since the tenor
of the novel does not permit such a formulation. The elements of
tragedy that are present here are too posed, self-chosen and,
therefore, too fine to be depressive, or even purgative. And
comicality is to be inferred only as it does not break through the
surface until the orgy of the final act.
to Old Delhi
Pankaj K. Jha
Shahjahanabad/Old Delhi: Tradition and Colonial Change.
edited by Eckart Ehlers & Thomas Craft. Manohar, Delhi. Pages 134.
IT is a measure of the sweeping
ways in which history reconstitutes memory that few know even in Delhi
today that Shahjahanabad was the name by which the Mughal walled city of
now Old Delhi, stretching from the Red Fort in the east to Turkman Gate
in the west and Daryaganj in the south to Kashmiri gate in the north,
on rhetoric, low on logic
Blueprint of Political Reforms
by Subhash C. Kashyap. Shipra Publications, Delhi. Pages 316. Rs 550.
THIS book is the result of a
Ford Foundation-funded research project undertaken by the Centre for
Policy Research (CPR). The feedback and suggestions, which form the core
of the book, came from workshops, seminars and conferences conducted by
the CPR in various parts of the country and they were "concrete and
lyrical on the Prime Minister
A Man With Lamp: A.B. Vajpayee
by P. Rathnaswamy. Bookwell, New Delhi. Pages 133. Rs 225.
OVER the last few years
Vajpayee’s public image has undergone a metamorphosis. As long as his
party was in the opposition he was known as a politician-poet with a
penchant for oratory characterised by dramatic pauses and little else.
He first displayed statesman-like traits as India’s foreign affairs
minister in Morarji Desai’s government.
God on God
by Scott Macgregor. Penguin, New Delhi.
Pages 186. Rs 195.
CLOUDS, pearly gates, winged
angels and the staple ‘bright white light’ images usually sum up
what most of us think of life after death. But still most of us wonder
what really happens after death. This quizzing about the end-of-the-road
scenario is probably what prompted the author to choose the format of
Indian Geographical Facts
by S M Mathur. Rupa, New Delhi.
Pages 139. Rs 150
AS essential book of knowledge,
this is a unique information bank for those who want to know India. This
is a book of reference that deals with both the physical and human
geography of the subcontinent. Mathur covers a wide array of topics on
which information is not easily available, and he aims to provide a
non-technical account of certain aspects of India, thereby developing an
understanding of different geographical features and entities that
interest today’s readers.