Musings on the Empire
Reviewed by Rumina Sethi
Empire and Beyond
By Antonio Negri. Trans. Ed Emery.
Polity, Cambridge. 
Pages 239. £16.99.
Restless politics is the focus of this book. After 11 years in prison and 14 in exile, the Italian philosopher, Antonio Negri, travels and lectures all over the world; it is these lectures, delivered in 2003-04, which are collected in this volume. Though we may call this collection of thoughts "travel writing", they include serious considerations about the nation-state, empire, Europe, multitude, post-socialist politics and political philosophy in imperial postmodernity. Of these, the nation-state, empire and multitude have been much popularised in Negri and Michael Hardt’s two earlier books, Empire and Multitude.

Crusade against injustice
Reviewed by Belu Maheshwari
Struggle for Gender Justice: Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lectures
Ed. Murlidhar C. Bhandare.
Penguin Books. Pages 272. Rs 499.
A compilation of 15 memorial lectures delivered in honour of Justice Sunanda Bhandare, this book commemorates his death through these gender-sensitive, well-researched papers. The choice of speakers is eclectic, from political personalities like Sonia Gandhi, to educationists of the stature of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, social activist Aruna Roy, many legal luminaries, Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen and Prof. Madhu Dandavate.

Profound wisdom
Reviewed by D. S. Cheema
Corporate Chanakya
By Radhakrishnan Pillai.
Jaico. Pages 317. Rs 275.
TODAY, developed and successful countries all over the world have created their own unique management styles in consonance with their culture and heritage and have reaped great benefits. A good example of this is Japan’s spectacular success through ‘Japanising’ the management to fit in the framework of their cultural ethos. The world has recognised the fact that every sector of Japanese economy has shown tremendous strength and grown considerably over the years. Obviously, analysis, synthesis and adaptation of their unique management practices by such countries was far easier as compared to the others who started copying them in their eagerness to get similar benefits.

Key to happiness
Reviewed by Mohammad Imtiaz
The Manual of Enthusiasm
By Yamo.
Enthusiasm Inc. Pages 256. Rs 240.
WE generally complain of losing happiness after growing up despite the fact that we were not as independent in our childhood. People work hard to get things done, though the fact remains that things go on "effortlessly" in life. Reason being that we fail to follow our legend, and keep on loosing our true self. This is the tragedy of modern man that he keeps on doing things just because he is assigned to do them. People are trapped in the consumer culture and, therefore, lose the very purpose of life. They fall deaf to their inner calling.

A brush with death
Reviewed by Kuldip Dhiman
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience
By Pim van Lommel, M.D.
HarperOne. Pages 442.
Price not stated.
THERE can be nothing more obvious than consciousness. After all, we seem to experience it all the time. As the philosopher Rene Descartes said, you could doubt the existence of everything, but you could not doubt your own existence, and that is because you are thinking and you are conscious. And yet, consciousness is the biggest mystery ever, and there are philosophers and scientists who say consciousness is mere fiction, or at the most it is an epiphenomenon, i.e., it is a by-product of bio-chemical activity in the brain. Of late, the materialist view is being questioned, and scientists are beginning to take consciousness seriously. Many now believe that consciousness is somehow connected with the brain, and that it ends with death. In other words, body is a necessary condition for consciousness. That is why, when someone receives a severe blow on the head, they might become unconscious.

Learning the norms
Reviewed by Randeep Wadehra
Broom Groom
by Kiran Bedi and Pavan Choudary
Wisdom Village. Pages: 168. Rs 195
Every society has an unwritten code of conduct governing interaction among its members; this code – seemingly static – changes with time. It is true that earlier various communities, existing in relative isolation, had evolved their own precepts and practices vis-`E0-vis hygiene (broom) and etiquettes (groom). Gradually, communities began to interact on various planes, leading to more complex B&G requirements.

  • When a Jilted Woman Hits Back
    by Dr. Rajinder Singh
    Diamond Books. Pages: 174. Rs100

  • Samina – A Living Legend
    by Kailash Chander Sharma
    Pages: 95. Rs 160

Star authors lined up for the India debut of the Hay Festival in Kerala 
Where there is a will there is a Hay
Fifty bestselling writers, performers and intellectuals from across the world, including Sebastian Faulks, Bob Geldof, Simon Schama, Vikram Seth, Shashi Tharoor and William Dalrymple, will make Kerala their literary playground for three days when the international Hay Festival debuts in the state from November 12-14. The 20-year-old festival, often dubbed the "Woodstock of the mind", traditionally opens at the Hay-on-Wye in Wales for 10 days in May-June. Over the years, the festival has expanded into international non-profit charity, with editions in Colombia, Spain, Nairobi, Maldives and Beirut.

The India presence at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair was as diverse as the country itself
Fair chance
Shobit Arya
The Frankfurt Book Fair will never be the same again. This is no doomsday call. Well, almost not, but any regular to the most important book fair of the world will tell you that the characteristic buzz of the fair is weaning away, and the change, this time, seems irreversible.

Mechanics of art and life
Nonika Singh
His images are provocative and his assertions equally intriguing. “Often, I don’t understand my work… my works are completely meaningless… there is no value to it.” But before you take one of India’s leading conceptual artist Sudarshan Shetty’s comments seriously, lest you get carried away by the apparent superfluousness of it, better take cognisance of the deeper truths of life hidden beneath his mechanised sculptural installations.