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Books of the Week - Saturday, 28th January, 2023

A History of India Through 75 Objects
by - Sudeshna Guha

About the Book 
 

A Mughal knife made from a meteorite. A precious necklace split between two nations at partition. A butter advert that achieves iconic status.
Through a curatorial selection of objects from the prehistoric ages through twenty-first century India, Sudeshna Guha provides a panoramic view of the rich histories of the subcontinent. The incisive essays in this collection detail not just objects but the histories of their reception: examining how changing times and attitudes cast their presence on the ways in which the past is interpreted and recalled. In doing so, A History of India through 75 Objects inspires us to interrogate our own notions of a knowable past and fixed national history. Teeming with thought-provoking insights and surprising anecdotes, the essays instil a sense of wonder about the continuous processes by which histories are constructed.
About the Author
Sudeshna Guha is currently a professor in the department of History and Archaeology at Shiv Nadar University, India. She holds a Ph.D. in archaeology and has a long curatorial and teaching career at the University of Cambridge. She has built upon the scholarship of visual anthropology and ethnographies of material studies for analysing histories of archaeology and is at present developing research on histories of museums, collections and curatorial practices within South Asia. She has published widely, also on histories of heritage, and is the editor and contributor of The Marshall Albums: Photography and Archaeology (Mapin/Alkazi Collection of Photography, 2011), and author of Artefacts of History: Archaeology, Historiography and Indian Pasts (Sage 2015).
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 21St January, 2023

Spare by Prince Harry 

About the Book  

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother's coffin as the world watched in sorrow-and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling-and how their lives would play out from that point on.For Harry, this is that story at last.Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness-and, because he blamed the press for his mother's death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight. At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn't find true love.Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple's cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief. 

About the Author
Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, is a husband, father, humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist. He resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his family and three dogs. 
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 14th January, 2023

Revolutionaries: The Other Story of How India Won Its Freedom
By - Sanjeev Sanyal

About the Book:
The history of India's struggle for freedom is usually told from the perspective of the non-violent movement. Yet, the story of armed resistance to colonial occupation is just as important. Names such as Vinayak Savarkar, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rashbehari Bose, Bagha Jatin, Sachindra Nath Sanyal, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad and Subhas Chandra Bose are still widely remembered. Their story is almost always presented as acts of individual heroism and not as part of a wider movement that had any overarching strategy or significant impact on the overall struggle for Independence. In reality, the revolutionaries were part of a large network that sustained armed resistance against the British Empire for half a century. They not only created a wide network inside India but also established nodes in Britain, France, Thailand, Germany, Persia, Russia, Italy, Ireland, the United States, Japan and Singapore. At various points, they received official support and recognition from the governments of some of these countries. Even the internal dynamics of the Indian National Congress of the time cannot be understood without the revolutionaries, who enjoyed widespread support within the organization. This was no small-scale movement of naive individual heroism but one that involved a large number of extraordinary young men and women who were connected in multiple ways to each other and to the evolving events of their times.
Revolutionaries tells their story, one that is replete with swashbuckling adventure, intrigue, espionage, incredible bravery, diabolical treachery and shockingly unpredictable twists of fate.

About the Author
Sanjeev Sanyal is a writer, economist and urbanist. He grew up in Kolkata and attended Delhi University before going on to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He then spent two decades in international financial markets, where he became the managing director and global strategist of Europe's largest bank. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. While living in Singapore, he also took up the study of cities and was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship for his work on urban dynamics. In 2017, he joined the Indian government as the principal economic adviser. He became a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic advisory council in 2022. He has represented India in many international forums, including as co-chair of the Framework Working Group of G20 for five years.
His bestselling books include Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India's Geography, The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History and Life over Two Beers.
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Books of the Week - Saturday, 07th January, 2022

Elizabeth by - Gyles Brandreth

About the Book

This intimate, personal biography of Queen Elizabeth II tells the story of her remarkable life, reign and times, from a perspective unlike any other. Gyles Brandreth writes the Queen's tale candidly with grace and sensitivity from the view of someone who met her, talked with her and kept a record of those conversations. Brandreth knew the Queen's husband well and knows the new King and Queen Consort.Told with authority, a refreshing dose of humour and moving honesty from a totally unique viewpoint, Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait is the must-have biography of the longest-serving monarch in English history, of a woman who represented not only her people but stood as an emblem of fortitude and resilience worldwide throughout her long life. Elizabeth II - what was she really like? What made her the person she was? 

About the Author 
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, broadcaster, veteran of Just A Minute, QI and The One Show, former MP and Government Whip, now Chancellor of the University of Chester and founder of the 'Poetry Together' project bringing schoolchildren and older people together to learn poetry by heart. His many books include the best-selling poetry anthology, Dancing by the Light of the Moon, and the international best-seller about spelling and punctuation, Have You Eaten Grandma? With Susie Dent, the lexicographer from Countdown, he co-hosts the award-winning podcast, Something Rhymes With Purple. With Dame Sheila Hancock he presents Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4. With Dame Maureen Lipman he is a regular on Celebrity Gogglebox.Gyles is married to writer and publisher Michèle Brown and has three children, seven grandchildren, and lives in London with his wife, his jumpers, and Nala, the neighbour's cat. 
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