BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 24TH OCTOBER, 2020

Princestan: How Nehru, Patel and Mountbatten Made India
Written by : Sandeep Bamzai 
About the Book :
In the run-up to independence, a vile plan was devised by a handful of powerful princes to not join either India or Pakistan. The plan was led by the Chancellor of the chamber of princes, Nawab of Bhopal, who was operating under the patronage of Mohd. Ali Jinnah, Lord wavell and British prime Minister Winston Churchill. The idea was to create a third dominion called princestan where the 565 princely states would stay outside the ambit of the two free states and retain paramountcy under the aegis of the departing British. The success of such a malevolent plan would have made the newly independent nation unstable and vulnerable. However, three persons stood in the way of the nefarious British plan to balkanize India. This is the hitherto untold story of how Jawaharlal Nehru, Lord Mountbatten and Sardar Patel battled the rulers of the princely states at every twist and turn to foil that cunning plan, even as the process of decolonization had begun.
About the Author :
SANDEEP BAMZAI is a news junkie, having worked across all major news platforms in positions of eminence for the last thirty-seven years. He began his career as a cricket writer with The Statesman in Kolkata. He has worked in Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi with the biggest media houses. The last decade has seen him on the news frontline as Executive Editor at TV Today, Editor at Mail Today, Editor-in-Chief and COO at Financial Chronicle and, currently, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of independent newswire IANS. He has also worked at The Indian Express, Illustrated Weekly, Business India, and Hindustan Times—a life he describes as a ‘fulfilling journey’. An alumnus of the prestigious St Columba’s in Delhi, he graduated in Economics from the University of Calcutta. He has written four books, including Guts & Glory: The Bombay Cricket Story and Deconstructing the Accession: Bonfire of Kashmiriyat. Over the last 20 years, he has been focusing on the space where politics and economy merge.
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BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 17TH OCTOBER, 2020

Full Spectrum: India's Wars, 1972-2020
Written by : Arjun Subramaniam 

About the Book :
The armed forces have played a key role in protecting India's sovereignty and raising its stature as a stable democracy and responsible regional power. Though the nation's soldiers, sailors and airmen occupy a special place in people's hearts, standard narratives of contemporary Indian history rarely cover the military dimension. In his first book, India's Wars: A Military History, 1947-1971, Arjun Subramaniam attempted to set this right by taking readers on a journey until the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. Full Spectrum: India's Wars, 1972-2020 takes the story forward. It is a sweeping account of war and conflict in contemporary India over the past five decades. Covering every major operation that the armed forces have participated in - including insurgencies in the north-east, terrorism and proxy wars in Jammu and Kashmir, separatist violence in Punjab, the IPKF intervention in Sri Lanka, and the continued stress along the LoC and LAC - it fuses the strategic, operational, tactical and human dimensions of war and conflict into a racy narrative that reflects their changing character in modern times.
About the Author :
Arjun Subramaniam is a retired Air Vice Marshal from the Indian Air Force and an accomplished fighter pilot. Embarking on a second career as a military historian, academic and strategic analyst, he has taught at several universities. He is also the author of India's Wars: A Military History, 1947-1971. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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BOOKS OF THE WEEK - SATURDAY, 10TH OCTOBER, 2020

The Ultimate Goal
How Nations and Intelligence Agencies Construct Narratives  

By - Vikram Sood 
About the Book :
n The Ultimate Goal, Vikram Sood, former chief of India's external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), explains 'the narrative' and how a country's ability to construct, sustain and control narratives, at home and abroad, enhances its strength and position. Intelligence agencies invariably play a critical role in this, an often-indispensable tool of statecraft.
A 'narrative' may not necessarily be based on truth, but it does need to be plausible, have a meaning and create a desired perception. During most of the twentieth century, intelligence agencies helped shape narratives favourable to their countries' agendas through literature, history, drama, art, music and cinema. Today, social media has become crucial to manipulating, countering or disrupting narratives, with its ability to spread fake news disinformation, and provoke reactions.
About the Author :
Vikram Sood, a career intelligence officer for thirty-one years who retired in March 2003 after heading the R&AW, is currently adviser at the Observer Research Foundation, an independent public-policy think tank based in New Delhi. He writes regularly on security, foreign relations and strategic issues in journals and newspapers and has contributed chapters related to security, China, intelligence and India's neighbourhood to books published in the last few years. His book, The Unending Game: A Former R&AW Chief's Insights into Espionage, was published in 2018. 
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