Unlearnt Chinese lessons
Amar Chandel
Are we Deceiving Ourselves Again?
Lessons the Chinese Taught Pandit Nehru but which we Still Refuse to Learn
by Arun Shourie. 
Rupa & Co. Pages 214. Rs 395.
WHENEVER talk veers round to the 1962 debacle, the general impression that the Congressmen give to everybody is that it was a stabbing in the back by the Chinese who deceived us by pretending to be friends and launching a frontal attack on the sly. That is how our lack of preparedness and abject surrender are sought to be justified.

Books received

Peace bid gone awry
M.R. Narayan Swamy
My Belly is White
by Austin Fernando. Vijitha Yapa 
Publications, Colombo. 
Pages 927. $20
THIS is a revealing book on Sri Lanka’s now dead peace process, written by one who was in the thick of it all. Austin Fernando was Defence Secretary when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe signed the Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement (CFA) with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002. In no time, critics, dominantly from the Sinhalese majority, began to accuse the government of betrayal.

A bold new voice
Rajdeep Bains
You Are Here
by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan.
Penguin. Pages 255. Rs 199.

OOD girls don’t booze. Good girls don’t sleep around, and good girls certainly steer clear of potentially dangerous situations. Bullshit, says Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan in her debut impertinent-meets-urban daily-living book.

A world of fantasy
Aradhika Sharma
The Lost Unicorn 
by Amreeta Sen.
Writer’s Workshop, Calcutta.
Pages 202. Rs 200.
AN extravagantly fanciful tale, The Lost Unicorn demands the suspension of reality as it takes the reader to an unexplored world that might have been. Sen says she did not consciously "think out the novel".

Requiem to a bygone era
Aruti Nayar
Nehru to Iraq
by Shanta Vasisht.
Harman Publishing House. Pages 105. Rs 200. 
THE book is an account of the writer’s memories against the backdrop of the struggle for freedom. She showcases significant political milestones, changes in India and abroad and the leaders who contributed to the process of nation-building.

Personal exchanges from 1857
Cookie Maini
The Warner Letters
The Experiences of two English Brothers During the Indian Rebellion of 1857-1859
by June Bush.
Rupa & Co. Pages 414. Rs 395.
THE mutiny of 1857, if I may dare to term it so at the risk of incurring the wrath of the ‘nationalists’ like Veer Savarkar (and some of our jingoists like the Bajrang Dal) who regard it as the first war of Indian independence, had its underpinning repercussions for British India.

‘There’s nothing great about the American novel’
John Lichfield
THERE is no argument like a literary argument. You can criticise a nation’s politics, or its cuisine, or even its dress-sense, but to describe a nation’s books as ignorant is fighting talk.

Galbraith’s book still essential reading
Stephen Foley
HE late John Kenneth Galbraith attributed the longevity of his book The Great Crash 1929 — published in 1955 and never since out of print — to the tendency of history to threaten a repeat.

Back of the book
Zubin Mehta — The Score Of My Life
As told to Renate Grafin Matuschka.
 Roli. Pages 201. Rs 395.

  • Sahibs Who Loved India
    Edited and compiled by Khushwant Singh. Penguin
    Pages 191. Rs 325.