Unbending to the last
Jyoti Singh

An Uncivil Servant: An autobiography of Ravi Mohan Sethi as told to Ashok Lavasa
Rupa. Pages 400. Rs 595.

he book vividly recounts the life of a refugee’s son, from Allahabad to the halls of bureaucracy. Unveiling the private and public realms of Sethi’s life, the intimate and inspiring account gives the reader a peak into the various trappings of the government.

Development as delusion
“Marvellous falsehood, most pleasant”
Shastri Ramachandaran
The History of Development: From Western Origins to Global Faith
by Gilbert Rist
Translated by Patrick Camiller
Academic Foundation, New Delhi
Pages 286 Rs 695

erhaps, no other term is used with such certitude as the term ‘development’. The undisputed currency and implied clarity the word has acquired across the world, among the poor and the prosperous, the deprived and the “developed”, belies its loaded and conflicting meanings.

Beacons in the age of conformity
Shelley Walia
The Intellectual.
by Steve Fuller. Icon Books, Cambridge. £10.00 Pages 184.

n a world of cutthroat economics, Vaclav Havel advises that it is our responsibility to improve the world, “first of all in the field of the human spirit, of human conscience, of human responsibility” and thus provide some inspiration for the people of this world. Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick, likewise, explains the role of the intellectual in times of trouble: “Like Batman scouring the skies of Gotham City for the bat signal requesting his services, the intellectual reads the news as hidden appeals for guidance from a desperate world.”

Fictional take on gang wars
new novel about an Indo-Canadian gangster is creating waves. Ranj Dhaliwal’s debut novel Daaku, to be launched looks at the life of Ruby Pandher, a self-described daaku. Ruby learns young that might, in the form of his drunken father’s fists, is right and that money is easier to steal than earn.

A good strong read by St. Carter
Robert Fisk
call it the Alice in Wonderland effect. Each time I tour the United States, I stare through the looking glass at the faraway region in which I live and work, the Middle East, and see a landscape which I do no recognise, a distant tragedy turned, here in America, into a farce of hypocrisy and banality and barefaced lies. Am I the Cheshire Cat? Or the Mad Hatter?

How efficiency is measured
D.S Cheema
Optimising the Organisation
by Subhash Khare. Tata McGraw-Hill. Pages 195. Rs. 375

he author is a manager at Wipro Technologies and has been involved in optimising the business operations and resource management of the company for many years. In his foreword, Azim Premji says this is a book that should “…Not to be kept on the book shelf but to be used on the organisational shop floor.”

Diversity documented
Rajesh Kumar Aggarwal
Changing Indian Society
by Yogesh Atal. Rawat Publications. Pages 256. Rs 575.

ndia is a multicultural entity comprising different ethnic origins, religions, and dialects yet bonded together as a nation, sharing a common polity and economy. The book begins with a brief profile of India via its topography, history, racial origins, linguistic diversity, and plurality of religion. It shows how the emerging culture of India has mixed several elements from different sub-cultures and even cultural traits from abroad without disturbing the distinctive Indian characteristics.

Exemplar’s life
Priyanka Singh
An Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth
by M.K. Gandhi. Puffin. Pages 257. Rs 150

andhiji’s autobiography is inspiring but its volume could unnerve young readers. For this reason, Puffin has come out with an abridged version to acquaint young readers with the life and philosophy of one of the greatest thinkers of our times. This volume introduces children to Gandhi in a manner that is not arduous.

Back of the book
My Three husbands

by Swan Adamson Headline
Pages 308. £2.50

hat’s a girl to do when husbands just keep lining up? Meet Venus Gilroy: twenty-five, carefree, irresistible, and with a nasty habit of getting hitched to the wrong guy. Husband No. 1: would have been a winner, if it hadn’t been for the forgery and embezzlement charges.

Books received: HINDI