From the French Revolution to Bush
This splendid book is a result of a lifetime’s engagement with Tocqueville, writes Jonathan Wright
Alexis De Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution
by Hugh Brogan
Profile. £ 330
Everyone seems to adore Alexis de Tocqueville these days. His extraordinary account of the political landscape of the early United States, Democracy in America, is endlessly quoted by pundits and politicians of every stripe.

OFf the shelf
Making of a nation
V. N. Datta
Haksar Memorial Volume III: Challenges to Nation Building in a World of Turmoil.
Ed Subrata Banerjee. Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh.
Pages xi+ 464. Rs 795.
As a tribute to the memory of P N Haksar, a week-long seminar-cum-lecture series programme on themes relating to nation building, development process, communication and governance was organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development, Chandigarh, from November 7 to 17, 2005. The book under review is based on the papers presented at that seminar.

Cursed by caste
Mohan Lal Phillauria

by Vinod George Joseph.
Books for Change. Pages 385. Rs 350.
Hitchhiker is the story of an untouchable, Peterraj, a Verumar. He has adopted Christianity because he thinks that Christianity is the only way to attain salvation from the bind of casteism. He was employed as a watchman by a Christian School. The main theme of Hitchhiker is the conversion of the untouchables because of oppression by those belonging to higher castes.

Rich variety of themes
Ramesh Luthra
by J P Das. Translated from Oriya by the poet. Grassroots. Pages 112. Rs 195.

P Das is a reputed Oryia, poet, playwright and short story writer as well. His inborn talent of writing impelled him to resign from the IAS to and devote his time to writing.

Dattani’s classic Indian drama
Tejwant Singh Gill
Dance Like a Man
by Mahesh Dattani.
Pages 74. Rs 99.
Dance Like a Man is the best- known play by Mahesh Dattani. English is the medium of this modern Indian playwright. His forte lies in conceiving and consummating his writing in English, regarded outwardly foreign but inwardly native by the Indian people, particularly putting up in urban, more so metropolitan centers.

The not-so-humble hand pump
Meeta Rajivlochan
Water: A Matter of Life and Death
by Maggie Black with Rupert Talbot, Oxford University Press. Pages 262. Rs 545.
For a country that boasts of tremendous technical manpower and crows about its achievements in science and then mewls about the absence of opportunities for work, it seems something of an irony that none of the technical types could be bothered to design a hand pump for water that would function well under Indian conditions.

Rich in imagery
Surinder Singh Tej
Rukhan Di Dastaan
by Varinder Walia
Ravi Sahit Parkashan, Amritsar
Pages 112. Rs 120
Newspaper journalism is perenially based on hard facts. Facts are generally considered sacrosanct. And the constant emphasis on thesacrosanct nature often takes its toll. It makes scribes hard-boiled, cynical, sceptical and somewhat sneering even in their personal lives.

Crime and punishment
Randeep Wadehra
Gandhi’s View of Legal Justice
by Ajit Atri
Deep & Deep, N. Delhi.
Pages: xix + 284. Rs 650

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