OFF the shelf
Images of the thinker and activist
V.N. Datta
Postmodern Gandhi and other Essays: Gandhi in the World and at Home
by Lloyd I. Rudolph and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. Pages X+252. Rs 575.
I think that E.H. Carr was absolutely right when he had said, while using his undying phrase, that "history is an unending dialogue with the past". Historians argue with the past, and interpret it on the basis of critical evaluation in a candid manner, uninfluenced by preconceived notions. There are different ways of seeing the past.



Books received: HINDI

Stirs the spirit and fires the mind
Humra Quraishi
A Celebration Of Progressive Urdu Poetry Anthems of resistance
by Ali Husain Mir & Raza Mir IndiaInk, Roli Books, Delhi. Pages 248. Rs 295
ONLY after being associated with the Jamia Millia Islamia did one became familiar with the Progressive Writers Movement. This volume on their poetry has been put together by brothers, Ali Husain Mir and Raza Mir. If one were to pick up this book, one can’t put it down till each verse has been read and re-read.

Portrait of a partner
Aruti Nayar
Annamma Mrs K.M. Mathew: A book of memories
by K.M Mathew Penguin Enterprise Pages 67. Price not mentioned
THIS one is not for those who like dazzling prose that either sweeps them off their feet or awes them into submission. A touching tribute from an 87-year-old man to his wife, after 61 years of companionship. The first book of a man for a woman who wrote 25 books.

Focus on Punjab peasantry
M. Rajivlochan
Colonizing Agriculture: The Myth of Punjab Exceptionalism
by Mridula Mukherjee. Sage Publications, New Delhi. Pages 209. Rs 420.
THOSE agriculturists who did not have a non-agricultural income in Punjab had a little chance of becoming prosperous. It was the salaried class who could lead the life of a gentleman. "Naukaran de chitte kapade", the Punjabi peasant would say.

The social matrix of films
Rachna Singh
Bollywood: Sociology Goes to the Movies
by Rajinder Kumar Dudrah. Sage Publications. Pages 210. Rs 280.
THE Bollywood cinema as a genre has been regarded with derision by intellectuals who have written off this genre as being ‘escapist’, ‘trivial’ ‘low-brow’ and having only ‘mass appeal’. Such a response obviously stems from uninformed opinion makers who do not want to look beyond the ‘fluff’ perception of a ‘Bunty aur Bubbly’.

Managerial viewpoint
B.S. Thaur
Winning at Work Against all Odds
by Ashwani Lohani. Wisdom Tree. Pages 168. Rs 295.
THE management caught fancy of the business world after the government launched economic reforms about 14 years back. Though there is already a galore of books and other material on management in the market, Winning at Work Against all Odds is shades different.

Amis lands in fresh controversy
Louise Jury
E it his teeth, his relationships or his writing, he has a seemingly endless capacity to provoke controversy. Martin Amis is unlikely to be diminished this autumn, given the subject matter covered in his new book. House of Meetings, his first since the widely derided Yellow Dog two years ago, begins with a straightforward novella, the title story, a gothic love triangle involving two brothers and a Jewish girl across four decades in post-war Russia.

Rock ’n’ Roll moments
HEN it comes to being wild, weird and wacky, probably nothing beats rock ‘n’ roll stars. And now, a new book detailing just how bizarre these stars can be, will soon be available for all to read. The book, titled Rock’n’ Roll’s Strangest Moments is a collection of the most out of the ordinary stories from 50 years of music history.

Seamy side of life
Randeep Wadehra

  • First Rain
    by B Vaqar Peacock books, Mumbai. Pages 44. Rs 95.

  • Pen Friendship
    by Dr. Manjit Singh Bal Unistar, Chandigarh. Pages 77. Rs 100.

  • Explore Guru Granth
    by Giani (Captain) Nasib Singh Dhillon Guru Granth Explorative Mission, N. Delhi. Pages 175. Price not mentioned.