Thursday, 30 September 2010
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
One consequence, or cause, depending on which way one looks at it (and depending on which way time flows in your frame of reference) is that there are few books affordable by and available to the Indian student. Most books on astrophysics, even by Indian scientists, tend to be published by presses outside India, and while they (the presses, that is) do make a local edition available, again, its not the same thing.
Rai Choudhuri, who is at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore has written Astrophysics for Physicists (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge) to teach "astrophysics to physics students at advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level. This textbook also provides an overview of astrophysics for astrophysics graduate students, before they delve into more specialized volumes. Assuming background knowledge at the level of a physics major, the textbook develops astrophysics from the basics without requiring any previous study in astronomy or astrophysics. Physical concepts, mathematical derivations and observational data are combined in a balanced way to provide a unified treatment. Topics such as general relativity and plasma physics, which are not usually covered in physics courses but used extensively in astrophysics, are developed from first principles. While the emphasis is on developing the fundamentals thoroughly, recent important discoveries are highlighted at every stage.
In our Physics section, in paperback, 490 pages, Rs 495. ISBN: 9780521176934
Sunday, 26 September 2010
The Enchantment of Democracy and India: Politics and Ideas is his new book of collected essays and is brought out by Permanent Black who have also published two earlier collections of his work.
The essays in this volume, the third in a linked trilogy, try to approach Indian democracy from different angles. Kaviraj argues that it is wrong to believe that with the rise of modernity human societies suffer complete disenchantment: modernity creates new forms of enchantment, and democracy is, in fact, part of the political enchantment of modernity.
Focusing on Indian democracy, Kaviraj shows the limits of marxist and liberal political analyses. In its Indian incarnation, he says, liberal democracy has had to inhabit an unfamiliar cultural and historical world whose peculiarities are very different from the peculiarities of European societies.Viewed by conventional political theory, Indian democracy appears inexplicable. It defies all the preconditions that theory lays down for the success of democratic government—namely, a strong bureaucratic state, capitalist production, industrialization, the secularization of society, and relative economic prosperity. The durability of Indian democracy shows that instead of asking how Indian democracy has survived, we need to ask if those are in fact preconditions for democracy.
These and many other fascinating issues of democracy’s relationship with religion, identity, development, inequality, and culture comprise the themes that link the essays in this brilliant and insightful collection.
In Politics, in hardcover, 352 pages, Rs. 695. ISBN 9788178242965
Friday, 24 September 2010
This fully updated edition of Kashmir in Conflict offers a highly readable, carefully documented account of the origins, development and implications of this contentious issue. Beginning with the early history of the independent kingdom of Kashmir, Victoria Schofield traces the origins of the modern state in the nineteenth century, including the controversial ‘sale’ by the British of predominantly Muslim Kashmir to a Hindu ruler. She examines the implications for the people when in 1947 the Maharaja chose secular, yet majority Hindu, India over Muslim Pakistan and shows why the neighbouring countries continue to argue over the status of Jammu and Kashmir which, according to recommendations passed by the UN, was to be determined by the will of the people.
Drawing upon research in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India, Pakistan, and a range of historical sources, Schofield analyses critically the actions of the key players who, throughout its history, have contributed to the current militarization of the valley. And with the help of numerous interviews she takes into account the hopes and fears of all the interested parties — Pakistan, India and the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are themselves divided, not only by their linguistic and cultural traditions, but also in their objectives.
In our Strategic Affairs section, in paperback, Rs 425, ISBN: 9781848851054
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Monday, 20 September 2010
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
A poet who came to his calling relatively late in life- at the age of thirty eight by popular account- Mahapatra has been prolific, and has earned considerable popular recognition.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
There are few who are as qualified as Prafull Goradia to write the story of tea in India. Chairman of the Contemporary Group, he has had a long career in tea. Indeed, in 1979 he wrote a 99 page tract titled Profiles of Tea that was published by Oxford + IBH.
Although he has written extensively in the intervening years- mainly on a range of political topics- he returns now to The Saga of Indian Tea with Kalyan Sircar, a two volume compilation of the history and economics of the tea trade in India. Volume 1 is out now, and Volume 2 is in preparation and together, these will provide a comprehensive view of this very important subject.
The book is published by Contemporary Targett, a part of the Contemporary Group of Companies. While their primary interests are in tea brokerage, they also publish books, make dental products, and run the Indian School in New Delhi. Another of their publications is the magazine Contemporary Tea Time. This started as a black & white 24 page pamphlet, which evolved into the magazine it is today, tacklingi ssues that are relevant to the tea trade, the estates, and to planters. This is also an area of considerable interest to those who study our colonial past. Tea was very much once "the white man’s preserve".
Goradia has been in tea since 1959 and has experience that ranges from auctioning, to producing, to the marketing of tea. He has twice been a member of the Tea Board and chairman of the Calcutta Tea Traders Association in 1975. Apart from tea, his interests have ranged from jute, tobacco, cigarettes to the manufacture of oral care products. In 1976, he innovated the Boeing bag, layered with hessian and polythene for bulk packing of tea. The saving in wood as a result has been enormous; today 80% of Indian tea is packed in jute and polythene.
Sircar studied at London School of Economics and held senior teaching positions in a number of institutions of higher education in UK. He has published articles in academic journals of Europe and India on subjects of Indian indentured labour, migration and economic development, tea plantation labour and early management problems of tea companies in India.
The Saga of Indian Tea gives a panoramic and comprehensive view of the industry, including chapters on the different regions where tea is produced, details of how the plant is tended and cared for, how tea is manufactured... There are reproductions of some classic photographs in the book that give a glimpse of how things were (and sometimes continue to be) done- see the photo on the left, for instance, where two workers are sifting tea. Other chapters deal with Trade and Commerce, Development, the conditions of labour on the estates, the role of Government and the state of the Industry. A final chapter in Volume 1 deals with the changes brought about by indigenization.
Find it on Scholars in our General Books section, at Rs 1800, 688 pages, in hardcover, ISBN: 9788190649414
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Volume I is A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production, translated from the third German edition by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling and edited by Frederick Engels.
Volume II is A Critique of Political Economy: The Process of Circulation of Capital edited by Frederick Engels, and Volume III is A Critique of Political Economy: The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole also edited by Frederick Engels.
A related forthcoming title from Leftword is Marx's Capital: An Introductory Reader, with essays by Venkatesh Athreya, Vijay Prashad, Jayati Ghosh, R. Ramakumar, and Prabhat Patnaik.
The three volume set is priced at Rs. 2000/$60(per set), shipping extra. The individual volumes are not sold separately, although if you write directly to Leftword, there is a discounted price until end November.
Vol. 1 is 768 pages, ISBN: 9788187496953, Vol. 2 is 564 pages, ISBN: 9788187496960, and Vol. 3 is 960 pages, ISBN: 9788187496977.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Lang, who was born in Calcutta was Professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and earlier Director of the Urban Design Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1970 to 1990.
Lang examines the early influences on Indian architecture both of movements like the Bauhaus as well as prominent individuals like Habib Rehman, Jawaharlal Nehru, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. He looks at monuments, museums, resettlement colonies, housing, offices and movie halls all over India in his wide-ranging survey. Over 150 photographs and line drawings explain and illustrate concepts outlined in the text.
In our Architecture section, in paperback 214 pages, Rs 695. ISBN 9788178243054