A blend of history, reality on bookshelf

New Delhi: Go through the book cart this week with a mix of history, contemporary drama and reality checks...

Book: ‘The March of the Aryans’; Written by Bhagwan S. Gidwani; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.599

The writer takes us back to the dawn of civilization (8000 BC) to vividly recreate the world of the Aryans. He tells us why the Aryans left India - their native land - for foreign shores and shows us their triumphant return to their homeland. Here are characters like the gentle god, Sindhu Putra, spreading his message of love; the hermit Bharat, who inspired the dream of unity, equality, human rights and dignity for all; the physician-sage Dhanawantar and his wife Dhanawantari; peace-loving Kashi after whom the holy city of Varanasi is named; and Nila who gave his name to the river Nile. Vast and absorbing, with a cast of thousands, "The March of the Aryans" is a gripping tale of kings and poets, seers and gods, battles and romance and the rise and fall of civilizations.

Book: ‘The Angel`s Share’, Written by Satyajit Sarna; Published by Harper Collins-India; Price: Rs.250

Zorawar Chauhan lives two lives. In one, he has the big-money corporate law job he used to dream of. To the young lawyer, the world tenders an endless promise of wealth and privilege. In the other life - the one in his head - he is haunted by the ghosts of a past from which he is not yet free. He relives his life on the colourful campus of the National Law School, Bangalore, playing football, getting stoned, getting into trouble and falling in and out of love. And above all, he remembers the loss of his friend, the charismatic Sasha Kapur. "The Angel`s Share" is a story of loss and wisdom - dark, funny and relentlessly honest about youth and ambition.

Book: ‘The Magic of Bollywood: At Home & Abroad’; Written by Anjali Gera Roy; Publsihed by Sage Publications; Price: 39.99 pounds (Rs.3,472.50)

Few would deny that the most significant weapon in India`s cultural and artistic armory is its avowedly commercial cinema, now known as Bollywood. This anthology aims to portray the "soft" power of Bollywood, which makes it a unique and powerful disseminator of Indian culture and values abroad. The essays in the book examine Bollywood`s popularity within and outside South Asia, focussing on its role in international relations and diplomacy. In addition to contributions that directly engage with the notion of soft power, a number of essays in the volume testify to the attractiveness of Bollywood cinema for ethnically diverse groups across the world, probe the reasons for its appeal, and explore its audiences` identification with cinematic narratives.

Book: ‘Swaraj’; Written by Arvind Kejriwal; Published by Harper Collins-India; Price: Rs.99

The year 2011 was defined by the Anna Hazare-led agitation against corruption. Even the middle class and the elite, who normally confine themselves to drawing room discussions on politics, joined the movement and took to the streets. The writer played a key role in this agitation. The main demand of the group was the promulgation of a Jan Lokpal Bill. Many promises were made by the political class, but nothing actually happened. The bill has still not been passed by parliament. This book shows the way forward, what the people and what the opinion makers and political establishment in India can do to achieve true Swaraj - Lokpal is only one facet of this true devolution of power to the people.

Book: ‘The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln’; Written by Stephen L. Carter; Published by Random House Inc; Price: $26.95 (Rs.1,488.61)

President Abraham Lincoln survives an assassination attempt at Ford`s Theatre on April 14, 1865. Two years later he is charged with overstepping his constitutional authority and faces an impeachment trial. Twenty-one-year-old Abigail Canner is a young black woman with a degree from Oberlin, a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln`s defense, and an iron-strong conviction. Abigail embarks on a life that defies the norms of Washington society. When Lincoln`s counsel is found murdered on the eve of the trial, Abigail is plunged into a web of intrigue and conspiracy reaching the highest levels of government.



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