China’s foreign policy on top of weekend titles (IANS Books)August 25th, 2012 - 11:39 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) The bookshelf this week has an inclusive feel - from the continent’s geopolitics to the dark comedy. Browse with IANS…
Book: “Restless Empire”; Written by Arne Westad; Published by Random House India; Price: Rs.599
A prize-winning historian and expert on Chinese foreign relations examines the country’s relationship with the outside world over the last 250 years, showing how the past will set the course for its future.
“Restless Empire” examines the past 250 years of Chinese history - in particular China’s foreign relations - to consider the issues and pre-occupations that have haunted the Chinese agenda over the course of the two and a half centuries. Tracing the nation’s history from the Qing Dynasty in the 18th century to the People’s Republic in the 21st, Westad shows how China’s world view has been determined by both its receptiveness and its resistance to outside influence.
China’s economic output has increased rapidly over the past 30 years and most people believe that within two decades, China will have overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest economy. Neighbours fear that China will strengthen its military might in order to bend others to its will.
Book: “The Bankster”; Written by Ravi Subramaniam; Published by Rupa & Co; Price: Rs.250
Three different plots intertwined with the strange happenings in the life of a set of retail bankers in Greater Boston Global Bank bring up the initial part of the story. The uneasy calm in GB2 is shattered when a series of murders rock the façade of the compliant and conforming bank that GB2 has built up over the years. Who is to blame? Who is driving these intriguing and bone-chilling murders? What is the motive behind these gruesome killings? No one has a clue.
In the racy build-up to unravelling of the “who-done-it” plot, stranger than fiction characters emerge, faith gets shattered and ivory towers come crashing down. Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thought… till the day the truth within GB2 gets revealed. Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a Bankster? Or was he always one?
A story extremely relevant in modern-day context where large global banks, placed on the pedestal, have been crashing to unimaginable depths from untouchable heights, one after the other and with amazing regularity - almost always on account of the same reasons - greed, ambition and lust for money and power.
Book: “Behenji: The Political Biography of Mayawati”; Written by Ajay Bose; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.300
This book examines Mayawati’s record as chief minister since 2007. It pinpoints the reasons behind the BSP’s poor performance in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, her return to the Dalit agenda prior to the 2012 assembly elections, as well as its surprising results. Also scrutinized are Mayawati’s performance as a Dalit leader and administrator, besides the rampant corruption and failure of her social engineering project during these years.
Though no longer likely to become prime minister, the author sees Mayawati playing a pivotal role in UP, and, indeed, Indian politics after the 2014 elections.
Book: “Sweet Tooth”; Written by Ian McEwan; Published by Random House; Price: 18.99 pounds (Rs.1,664 approx)
The year is 1972. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight against Communism goes on, especially in England’s cultural circles. Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has just completed her maths degree at Cambridge. Her brief affair with one of her professors leads to an interview with MI5.
Serena lands an assignment in ‘Operation Sweet Tooth’: the funding of artists and writers with whom MI5’s political views align. Her ‘target’ is Tom Healey, a promising young writer. First she falls in love with his stories, then she begins to fall in love with the man. When his novella wins a prestigious prize, the deceit becomes too much for Serena to bear. But before she can confess, her cover is blown, scandalizing the literary world and crippling MI5’s efforts. Who blew the whistle and why?
Book: “The Illicit Happiness of Other People”; Written by Manu Joseph; Published by Harper Collins; Price: Rs.499
Seventeen-year-old Unni Chacko has done something terrible. The only clue to his action lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen in the hands of father Ousep, an anarchist. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, blissfully aware that his long-suffering wife is trying to kill him.
Set in Madras (now Chennai) in 1990, this is a darkly comic story involving the relentless pursuit of a failed writer who has found a purpose, an adolescent cartoonist’s interpretation of truth, the plots of a brilliant housewife and the pure love of a 12-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.
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Tags: bookshelf, chinese history, dark comedy, economic output, foreign relations, gb2, global bank, greater boston, influence china, ivory towers, killings, murders, neighbours, price rs, qing dynasty, random house, strange happenings, stranger than fiction, subramaniam, uneasy calm