BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 12 JUNE, 2021

A Ridge Too Far :  War in the Kargil Heights, 1999 
by - Amarinder Singh

About the Book
In 1999, fifty-two years after Independence, Pakistani forces once again intruded into Indian territory across the Line of Control (LoC), initiating what has come to be known as the ‘Kargil Border War’. A Ridge Too Far is the story of this war, narrated from a military point of view. It was the first and remains the most successful attempt to tell the military story with close attention to facts, and after a detailed study of all the battles that were fought in the Kargil heights.
The book is divided into four parts. Part I is an overview of the situation that gave rise to the war, covering the history of conflict between India and Pakistan. Part II describes the harsh terrain that exists on both sides of the LoC—the theatre of the war—in adapting to which the Indian soldier displayed exceptional valour and discipline, and great qualities of leadership. Part III details the build-up by the Indian Army before conducting offensive operations, and the actual conduct of battle from Corps to Brigade. And Part IV gives a stirring account of the heroic battles fought by ten infantry battalions.
Meticulously researched and skilfully narrated, this book also seeks to record for posterity the thoroughly professional response and gallant performance of all those who fought the war for India or were concerned with its direction, from the Chief of Army Staff to the youngest soldier.
About the Author :
Amarinder Singh was educated at the Doon School, and after graduating from the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned into the Sikh Regiment. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, he was ADC to the GOC-in-C, Western Command, in whose theatre of operations the entire war was fought. Later, as Member of Parliament, he was a member of the Parliamentary Defence Committee. An acclaimed military historian, he has also written books on war and Sikh history which include (besides A Ridge Too Far) Lest We Forget; The Last Sunset: Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar; Honour and Fidelity: India’s Military Contribution to the Great War, 1914– 1918; and Saragarhi and the Defence of the Samana Forts. Amarinder Singh served as Chief Minister, Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and was elected Chief Minister again in 2017 .
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Books of the week - Saturday, 05th June 2021

The World Beneath Their Feet
The British, the Americans, the Nazis and the Mountaineering Race to Summit the Himalayas
By - Scott Ellsworth

About the Book
One of the most compelling international dramas of the 20th century and an unforgettable saga of survival, technological innovation, and breathtaking human physical achievement-all set against the backdrop of a world headed toward war.
While tension steadily rose between European powers in the 1930s, a different kind of battle was raging across the Himalayas. Contingents from Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and the United States had set up rival camps at the base of the mountains, all hoping to become recognized as the fastest, strongest, and bravest climbers in the world.
Carried on across nearly the entire sweep of the Himalayas, this contest involved not only the greatest mountain climbers of the era, but statesmen and millionaires, world-class athletes and bona fide eccentrics, scientists and generals, obscure villagers and national heroes.
Centered in the 1930s, with one brief, shining postwar coda, the contest was a struggle between hidebound traditionalists and unknown innovators, one that featured new techniques and equipment, unbelievable courage and physical achievement, and unparalleled valor. And death. One Himalayan peak alone, Nanga Parbat in Kashmir, claimed twenty-five lives in less than three years.
Climbing the Himalayas was the Greatest Generation's moonshot--one shrouded in the onset of war, interrupted by it, and then fully accomplished. A gritty, fascinating history that promises to enrapture fans of Hampton Side, Jon Krakauer, and Laura Hillenbrand, The World Beneath Their Feet brings this forgotten story back to life.
About the Author :
Scott Ellsworth is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Game, which was the winner of the 2016 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing. He has written about American history for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Formerly a historian at the Smithsonian Institution, he is the author of Death in a Promised Land, his groundbreaking account of the 1921 Tulsa race riot. He lives with his wife and twin sons in Ann Arbor, where he teaches at the University of Michigan. 
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 24Th April, 2021

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty 
by - Patrick Radden Keefe
 
About the Book
This book will make your blood boil . . . Keefe . . . paints a devastating portrait of a family consumed by greed and unwilling to take the slightest responsibility or show the least sympathy for what it wrought.' John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood, in the New York Times
The gripping and shocking story of three generations of the Sackler family and their roles in the stories of Valium and Oxycontin, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of Say Nothing.
The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions – Harvard; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Oxford; the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations in the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis-an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people.
In this masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, Patrick Radden Keefe exhaustively documents the jaw-dropping and ferociously compelling reality. Empire of Pain is the story of a dynasty: a parable of 21st century greed.

About the Author
Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, as well as two previous critically-acclaimed books, The Snakehead, and Chatter. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016, and also received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He grew up in Boston and now lives in New York.
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