Features

January 7, 2015 , By BlabberCat

Five BOOKS that defined 2014

Five BOOKS that defined 2014

The Accidental Prime Minister Sanjaya Baru

Indians are not known for writing autobiographies or biographies. In the 20th century I could count three autobiographies and two biographies, which would be in print for decades: Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiences with Truth; Nehru’s An Autobiography; Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian; Amrit Rai’s biography of his father Munshi Premchand — Kalam Ka Sipahi; and S. Gopal’s master biography of his father S. Radhakrishnan. This year we have been given a number of memoirs well-known individuals. Sanjaya Baru’s The Accidental Prime Minister caused a flurry. When it came out, I read in one go. It is well-written with flair and brio. Only two others from the Prime Minister’s office had written about their service there — P.N. Dhar and B.N. Tandon. The candour of Baru’s book attracted tens of thousands of readers. It also ruffled quite a few eminent feathers, including those of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. It’s a page turner

Editor Unplugged Vinod Mehta

Vinod Mehta’s new book takes forward the story of Lucknow Boy, recounting his experiences in the corridors of power in Delhi. His views on Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and the Nehru–Gandhi dynasty, and his decoding of coalition politics and the significant changes ushered in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, are expressed with his characteristic sharp insight, wit and wisdom. So too are his analyses of the sweeping changes taking place in the print and TV media, and his pen portraits of personalities such as Ratan Tata, Niira Radia, Sachin Tendulkar and Arundhati Roy. Peppered with anecdotes and gossip, every page of this honest, lively and irreverent book is both illuminating and entertaining

Thoughts and Reflections Pranab Mukherjee

Thoughts and Reflections is a collection of Pranab Mukherjee’s views on a range of subjects, from democracy and its institutions to education and innovation, from economic policy to the nation’s security. This unique compilation throws a new light on the dilemmas confronting contemporary India.

2014 Rajdeep Sardesai: The election that changed India

The 2014 Indian general elections has been regarded as the most important elections in Indian history since 1977. It saw the decimation of the ruling Congress party, a spectacular victory for the BJP and a new style of campaigning that broke every rule in the political game. But how and why?

In his riveting book, Rajdeep Sardesai tracks the story of this pivotal elections through all the key players and the big news stories. Beginning with 2012, when Narendra Modi won the state elections in Gujarat for a third time but set his sights on a bigger prize, to the scandals that crippled Manmohan Singh and UPA 2, and moving to the back-room strategies of Team Modi, the extraordinary missteps of Rahul Gandhi and the political dramas of an election year, he draws a panoramic picture of the year that changed India. Page-turning, full of insights and great portraits, and written with a media insider’s eye, 2014 is political storytelling at its absolute best.

Sachin Tendulkar: Playing it my way Sachin Tendulkar

24 years of legend retired in 2013. The most celebrated Indian cricketer, and the receiver of the Bharat Ratna Award, is here to narrate his own story – from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill. When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long Sachin Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers. Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked Mumbai. His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain. Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.

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