Books of the Week - Saturday, 02nd July, 2022

Caste: The Lies That Divide Us: The International Bestseller
by - Isabel Wilkerson 

About the Book

THE TIME NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Required reading for all of humanity' Oprah Winfrey'It could not have come at a more urgent time' Fatima Bhutto, Guardian'An instant American classic' Dwight Garner, The New York Times'The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power - which groups have it and which do not'Beyond race or class, our lives are defined by a powerful, unspoken system of divisions. In Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson gives an astounding portrait of this hidden phenomenon. Linking America, India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson reveals how our world has been shaped by caste - and how its rigid, arbitrary hierarchies still divide us today. With clear-sighted rigour, Wilkerson unearths the eight pillars that connect caste systems across civilizations, and demonstrates how our own era of intensifying conflict and upheaval has arisen as a consequence of caste. Weaving in stories of real people, she shows how its insidious undertow emerges every day; she documents its surprising health costs; and she explores its effects on culture and politics. Finally, Wilkerson points forward to the ways we can - and must - move beyond its artificial divisions, towards our common humanity.Beautifully written and deeply original, Caste is an eye-opening examination of what lies beneath the surface of ordinary lives. No one can afford to ignore the moral clarity of its insights, or its urgent call for a freer, fairer world.

About the Author
Isabel Wilkerson is the author of the acclaimed bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Her debut work won multiple awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Cited as a best book of the year by thirty news organizations, Warmth was named to Time's list of the Ten Best Books of the Decade, and The New York Times's list of the Best Nonfiction of All Time. Her second book, Caste, was a No.1 bestseller and heralded in The New York Times as 'an instant American Classic.' It appeared on forty best of the year lists, more than any other work of nonfiction, and was honored by Time as the No.1 nonfiction book of the year. In choosing Caste for her Fall 2020 book club, Oprah Winfrey declared it 'the most important book I have ever selected.'
Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer and the first African-American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Humanities Medal for 'championing the stories of an unsung history.' She has taught at Princeton, Emory, and Boston Universities and has lectured at more than two hundred other colleges and universities across the United States and in Europe and Asia.
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Books of the Week Saturday, 25th June, 2022

Turmoil in Punjab :
 An Insider's Account: Before and After Blue Star
by - Ramesh Inder Singh 

About the Book
Punjab went through a politically turbulent period between 1978 and 1994, triggered by the rift between Sikhs and Nirankaris, and fuelled by the operations Blue Star, Woodrose and Black Thunder I and II. Narrated as an eyewitness account by Ramesh Inder Singh, then the district magistrate of Amritsar, and later the chief secretary of Punjab, this book affords an insider's view of the events that ignited the strife and created the socio-political fault lines that divided Punjab in those years. It also describes the terrorist violence in Punjab, the state response to the military operations, the death of thousands of innocent citizens, the shocking assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the subsequent lynching of close to 3,000 Sikhs in the national capital of Delhi, which set in motion a devastating ethno-national movement in Punjab.
Based on extensive research and first-hand accounts of those who lived through those volcanic years, Turmoil in Punjab: Before and After Blue Star is an eye-opening narrative of the genesis of the Punjab conflict, the rise of radicalism and the Khalistanis, and the elimination of militancy from the state. 

About the Author
Ramesh Inder Singh is a distinguished civil servant of the Punjab cadre and a recipient of the Padma Shri (1986) for his contributions to public administration. 
He was the district magistrate of Amritsar from 1984 to 1987, and dealt with the tumultuous situation in Punjab in those years. The various army operations against militancy, including Operation Blue Star, Operation Woodrose and Operation Black Thunder-1, were conducted during this period. 
In his forty-year career, he has held many crucial appointments. He was principal secretary to the chief minister of Punjab for five years, the chief secretary of Punjab for more than two years and from that position he took premature retirement from the IAS in 2009 to serve for five years as the chief information commissioner of Punjab. He has also worked with the World Bank as a consultant. Currently, he leads a retired life.
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 18th June, 2022

After Steve
How Apple became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul
by - Tripp Mickle

About the Book
From the Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle, the dramatic, untold story inside Apple after the passing of Steve Jobs by following his top lieutenants―Jony Ive, the Chief Design Officer, and Tim Cook, the COO-turned-CEO―and how the fading of the former and the rise of the latter led to Apple losing its soul.

Steve Jobs called Jony Ive his “spiritual partner at Apple.” The London-born genius was the second-most powerful person at Apple and the creative force who most embodies Jobs’s spirit, the man who designed the products adopted by hundreds of millions the world over: the iPod, iPad, MacBook Air, the iMac G3, and the iPhone. In the wake of his close collaborator’s death, the chief designer wrestled with grief and initially threw himself into his work designing the new Apple headquarters and the Watch before losing his motivation in a company increasingly devoted more to margins than to inspiration.

In many ways, Cook was Ive’s opposite. The product of a small Alabama town, he had risen through the ranks from the supply side of the company. His gift was not the creation of new products. Instead, he had invented countless ways to maximize a margin, squeezing some suppliers, persuading others to build factories the size of cities to churn out more units. He considered inventory evil. He knew how to make subordinates sweat with withering questions.

Jobs selected Cook as his successor, and Cook oversaw a period of tremendous revenue growth that has lifted Apple’s valuation to $3 trillion. He built a commanding business in China and rapidly distinguished himself as a master politician who could forge global alliances and send the world’s stock market into freefall with a single sentence.

Author Tripp Mickle spoke with more than 200 current and former Apple executives, as well as figures key to this period of Apple’s history, including Trump administration officials and fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour while writing After Steve. His research shows the company’s success came at a cost. Apple lost its innovative spirit and has not designed a new category of device in years. Ive’s departure in 2019 marked a culmination in Apple’s shift from a company of innovation to one of operational excellence, and the price is a company that has lost its soul.

About the Author
Tripp Mickle is a technology and business reporter for the Wall Street Journal. In addition to  writing about Apple for five years, he has written extensively about Google and other Silicon  Valley giants. He has appeared on CNBC and NPR and previously worked as a sportswriter. He  lives with his wife and German shorthaired pointer in San Francisco, California. 
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