Politics Books

The Audacity of Hope

The Audacity Of Hope outlines Obama’s vision for America, a vision that not only charts a path for the future of the country, but could also change the way America is perceived by the world.

Summary Of The Book

In the 2004 Democratic Convention in the US, a senatorial candidate delivered a keynote address titled 'The Audacity of Hope’ that caught the attention of the nation. Little known up to that time, the man was soon being talked of as a future presidential candidate.

In that speech, the man, Barack Obama, brought in a breath of fresh air as he spoke of returning to the values that formed the roots of the country’s democracy. People who listened to it were charmed by its deviation from the usual partisanship and cut-throat campaigns that defined election trails.

Two years later, Obama published a book, The Audacity Of Hope, that expanded on the topics he addressed in that hallmark speech. He addresses the insecurities and fears faced by the country in the current situation. He talks of the need for Democrats and Republicans to work together and keep their political and ideological differences aside in the common interest of the country.

The Audacity Of Hope blends a penetrating analysis of the political and social situation prevalent at that time with the story of his own life. Coming from a racially mixed background enables Obama to maintain a broader perspective and have deeper insights into many of the issues facing the country.

He discusses every issue, from defence forces to abortion, and from the ever increasing role of big money in political campaigns to the pervasive power of the media. He stresses on the need to find a balance between reactionary conservatism and overzealous liberalism.

Most of all, The Audacity of Hope talks of hope. Not the blind hope of ignorance that simply believes every problem will disappear over time, but the constructive hope of defining new policies that will orient the future of the country in the right direction.

About Barack Obama

Barack Obama is the current President of the United States of America.Other books by Obama are Dreams From My Father: A Story Of Race And Inheritance, Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama's Plan to Renew America's Promise, and Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.

His writings deal with his family, his bi-racial background, and his political vision. Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1961. His father was from Kenya, while his mother was a white American. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School and also worked as a civil rights attorney. After his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention, Obama gained prominence and was soon chosen as the Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate for the 2008 election. He won that election, and was recently elected for a second consecutive term in office.

RISE UP WOMEN

Between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the First World War, while the patriarchs of the Liberal and Tory parties vied for supremacy in parliament, the campaign for women's suffrage was fought with great flair and imagination in the public arena

Summary Of The Book

Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, the suffragettes and their actions would come to define protest movements for generations to come. From their marches on Parliament and 10 Downing Street, to the selling of their paper, Votes for Women, through to the more militant activities of the Women's Social and Political Union, whose slogan 'Deeds Not Words!' resided over bombed pillar-boxes, acts of arson and the slashing of great works of art, the women who participated in the movement endured police brutality, assault, imprisonment and force-feeding, all in the relentless pursuit of one goal: the right to vote. A hundred years on, Diane Atkinson celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to 'Rise Up'; a richly diverse group that spanned the divides of class and country, women of all ages who were determined to fight for what had been so long denied. Actresses to mill-workers, teachers to doctors, seamstresses to scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English; a wealth of women's lives are brought together for the first time, in this meticulously researched, vividly rendered and truly defining biography of a movement.

Kautilya

Kautilya: The First Great Political Realist is a succinct and penetrating analysis of one of the ancient world's foremost political thinkers. Kautilya's treatise, Arthashastra, stands as one of the great political books of the ancient world, its ideas on the science of politics strikingly similar to those of Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Clausewitz and Sun Tsu.

Summary Of The Book

Roger Boesche was a renowned political theorist and longstanding professor at Occidental College in California. His excellent commentary on Kautilya's text draws out the essential realist arguments for modern political analysis. He demonstrates the continued relevance of Kautilya's work to modern Indian strategic thinking and our understanding of the relationship between politics and economics.

Striking a balance between textual analysis and secondary scholarship, Kautilya and His Arthashastra is an enduring contribution to the study of ancient Indian history, political thought and international relations.

About the Author

Roger Boesche received his PhD in Political Science from Stanford University. From 1977, he taught the History of Political Thought at Occidental College, Los Angeles, where he was Professor of Politics and Arthur G. Coon Professor of the History of Ideas.

Accidental Prime Minister, The (PB) : The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh

When The Accidental Prime Minister was published in 2014, it created a storm and became the publishing sensation of the year.

Summary Of The Book

The Prime Ministers Office called the book a work of fiction, the press hailed it as a revelatory account of Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs first term in UPA. Written by Singhs media adviser and trusted aide, the book describes Singhs often troubled relations with his ministers, his cautious equation with Sonia Gandhi and how he handled the big crises from managing the Left to pushing through the nuclear deal. Insightful, acute and packed with political anecdotes, The Accidental Prime Minister is one of the great insider accounts of Indian political life.

About the Author

Sanjaya Baru is director for geo-economics and strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies and honorary senior fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He has been chief editor, the Financial Express and Business Standard. His other books include The Strategic Consequences of Indias Economic Performance (2007).

1991: HOW P. V. NARASIMHA RAO MADE HISTORY

P. V. Narasimha Rao (or PV as he was popularly known) has been widely praised for enabling the economic reforms that transformed the country in 1991.

Summary Of The Book

From the vantage point of his long personal and professional association with the former prime minister, bestselling author Sanjaya Baru shows how PV’s impact on the nation’s fortunes went way beyond the economy. This book is an insider’s account of the politics, economics and geopolitics that combined to make 1991 a turning point for India.

The period preceding that year was a difficult one for India: economically, due to the balance of payments crisis; politically, with Rajiv Gandhi’s politics of opportunism and cynicism taking the country to the brink; and globally, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, its ally.It was in this period that the unheralded PV assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress, took charge of the central government, restored political stability, pushed through significant economic reforms and steered India through the uncharted waters of a post-Cold War world. He also revolutionized national politics, and his own Congress party, by charting a new political course, thereby proving that there could be life beyond the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. 1991 marked the end of an era and the beginning of another. It was the year that made PV. And it was the year PV made history.

About the Author

Sanjaya Baru is Consulting Fellow for India, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; and Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. He was Media Adviser to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2004-08). He is a senior journalist and has been editor of the Financial Express, Business Standard, Economic Times and Times of India. He has the bestselling author of The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh.

Aap & Down : An Insider's Story of India's Most Controversial Party

'In the first NC meeting after AAP's creation, Arvind had said: "This party is not the property of 300 founding members but of the lakhs and crores of people in this country." This refreshing stance shifted over time, got corrupted by power . . . till, one day, Arvind told me: I do not want intellectuals in the party, just people who say "Bharat Mata ki Jai".'

Summary Of The Book

Authored by a former member of the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) National Executive, AAP & Down is an in-depth account of the emergence and sudden unspooling of one of India's most closely watched parties.

The story of AAP is one of troughs and crests. After capturing the imagination of over a billion Indians, and winning a landslide victory in the 2015 Delhi elections, a seemingly indestructible party began to dangerously teeter. What just happened? How did a party- born of the idealistic India Against Corruption (IAC) movement- get ravaged by in-fighting and accusations of wrongdoing? What provoked the abrupt ouster of two party veterans, Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan? What accounted for the wave of ignoble defeats across not just Punjab and Goa but also AAP's own home, Delhi?

Here is a book that reveals all- from the clashes and intrigues that beset the IAC movement to the goings-on during the closed-door meetings of AAP. But beyond chronicling events, thus far undisclosed, AAP & Down analyzes the dispositions of the leaders who had once promised a better India- from a volatile Anna Hazare to an autocratic Arvind Kejriwal- to highlight how the party's undoing was linked to the flaws of its leading men.

Even while recounting the true story of a party, here is a book that presents the story of India- of how a country, plagued by scams and scandals, dared to unite under IAC and overthrow the corrupt. In this, there is a lesson for AAP- the book emphatically reminds the party that its best chance of revival lies in reinvesting faith in this nation's citizens.

About the Author

Mayank Gandhi is an activist from India, leading the initiative Global Parli- a nation-building mission through rural transformation. He was previously a member of the core committee in the India Against Corruption movement and a National Executive member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

During his time in AAP, Mayank was responsible for consolidating the party's position in Maharashtra and was also a state observer in Gujarat. In 2015, he resigned from the party's National Executive. Mayank lives in Mumbai with his wife and children.

*Twenty-three-year-old Shrey Shah has been a part of his mentor Mayank Gandhi's journey right from the IAC days. He is also a budding lawyer who aspires to be an IAS officer in order to serve the nation.

Public Institutions in India : Performance and Design

This volume analytically assesses the design, performance, and adaptability of the principal institutions of governance in India and their critical role in a democratic polity.

Summary Of The Book

It is axiomatic that societies are well governed and well organized to the extent that their public institutions can adequately manage the demands imposed on them. In India, it is commonly held that a modest record in development and governance is explained by the somewhat limited utility of many public institutions. The volume looks at the Parliament, Presidency, institutions of internal accountability, the Judiciary, Police, and the Civil Service in addition to economic institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, as also several regulatory bodies, paying special attention to the variables like autonomy, accountability, and information-sharing that have affected the performance of different institutions across time.

Also included are essays that explore the critical role played by institutions in enhancing economic performance, strengthening federalism, and deepening the democratic impulse in India.

About the Author

In addition, they look at how electoral uncertainty has given a new lease of life to 'referee institutions' like the Election Commission and the Supreme Court. Further, the volume looks at the variations in institutional performance of the Indian state across time, and evaluates if the state has the capacity to adapt to a changing environment.

The Republic

One of the foremost philosophers known to western thought, Plato wrote The Republic and put into fruition the seeds of a new order of thinking that devised and expounded the theories of politics and philosophy.

Summary Of The Book

The Republic is an exposition on the theory of justice that seeks to define and characterize the qualities of justice and the vehicle of people and politics on which it operates. Is it a merely an existing premise of law, that through fear of retribution propels people into following it or is it for the sake of altruistic aspirations?

The book expounds the primary notion of societal justice or political justice, as it may be known. It then goes on to explicate a parallel concept of individual justice. He states the roles and responsibilities of justice in an ideal society and inversely, in a corrupt society. Through his formulations of division, in the structure and function of justice in different mediums, he conceptualizes a clear stratification of the same across different classes of society.

His partitions ply to the concept of the state government machinery that was the order of the day then and appropriates the different warriors, guardians, and producers their respective places in his theoretical premise of justice. Any deviation that occurs in the premises that he has devised for the classes is a possible lead to deriding the ideal society. According to Plato, when rationality is impinged upon by the inclinations to lust it results in a sacrosanct violation of the principle of an ideal society plaguing its machinery into likely corruption.

According to The Republic the connection that runs through society and individuals is not a slight one but indeed both share a deep-rooted bond. His arguments extend further across varied and intricate subject matter like the theory of forms and of government and its avatars all through to the positions of the philosopher and poet in society.

The most well known work of Plato, it was written in the Socratic dialogue reminiscent of the Greek intellect and dramatic prose of that time and age. The Republic has become a point of origin for several other philosophical theories and is touted to be one of the most influential works on the theories of politics and philosophy.

About The Authors

One of the most renowned philosophers that practiced treatise and mathematics in the same breath, Plato holds a special place in the propagation of western thought and philosophy.Some of the books he has written are Symposium, The Last Days of Socrates, Great Dialogues of Plato, and Republic.

Plato has written over thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters most of them in distinct fashions that had made it cumbersome for scholars to reference the texts. He immersed his texts in concrete investigations into the subjects of philosophy, ethics, logic, mathematics, and rhetoric.

A classical Greek philosopher, he was greatly influenced by Socrates, his teacher and philosopher who guided Plato into formulating his own theories that commanded the attention of thinkers everywhere, even now. Studying under the tutelage of Socrates, Plato was greatly influenced by the teachings and life of his teacher. Plato, his teacher, Socrates, and student, Aristotle, are the founding fathers of western thought and science. He also set up the first university of higher learning in the world in Athens.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a controversial book about John Perkins and his career with the Chas. T. Main consulting firm in Boston. In it, Perkins writes about his claim that his job was a cover-up for a covert operation by the NSA.

Summary Of The Book

In this book, John Perkins presents a controversial claim that he was recruited by the National Security Agency (NSA) to convince the political and financial leaders of developing countries to draw on huge development loans from the World Bank and the USAID. The loans were so enormous that they couldn’t be easily paid back, handing US the reins to the countries’ decisions on several foreign policies.

The United States, he claims, has been misusing this power to cripple these nations politically and made the wealth gap wider, driving the economy of these countries lower. He explains that economic hit men have been used by the US to funnel money from the World Bank, the USAID and other foreign aid companies into the pockets of a few wealthy families. These families, he professes, control most of the world’s natural resources, and they spare no risks in rigging elections, making up fraudulent financial reports, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder. This is a controversial book by Perkins, and its authority has been challenged by journalists from around the world.

About The Author

John Perkins is an American writer. He is best known for claiming to have played a role in an alleged process of economic colonization of Third World countries, on behalf of what he portrays as a cabal of corporations, banks, and the United States government.

A graduate of Boston University, Perkins worked for the Boston strategic-consulting firm Chas. T. Main. He has also written: Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded – and What We Need to Do to Remake Them, The Secret History of the American Empire and A Game as Old as Empire: the Secret World of Economic Hit Men and the Web of Global Corruption.

The Monk Who Became Chief Minister

On 19 March 2017, Yogi Adityanath took an oath as the twenty first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. The book takes you through the journey of a shy and introvert boy from the hills of Uttarakhand, who had a modern education in the faculties of science from Kotdwar, later took sanyas and went through rigorous training in vedic education.

Summary Of The Book

From being a rebel politician inside and outside the party, he now has become a man of consensus. This book explores how a nathpanthi monk, learnt the nuances of politics from his guru, Mahant Awaidnath, and rose to take the highest position in Uttar Pradesh's politics.Through extensive research I have accumulated unseen pictures, unheard instances, first-time interviews, with people close to Yogi, in this biography. A state with 22 crore people and 80 Lok Sabha seats, is one of the very crucial political pieces in India's electoral puzzle.

With a history of producing many Prime Ministers for the country, the State has given yet another prospect for the Prime Minister's office, in the post-Modi era in the form of Yogi Adityanath. You have in your hands the first definitive biography of a monk who has become the Chief Minister of the most populous state of India.

About The Authors

Shantanu Gupta is the founder of a leading youth based organisation, Yuva Foundation, which works with youth and spreads awareness among them, on policy, politics and social issues. In the past he has worked for a renowned think tank, Center for Civil Society (CCS). Shantanu has worked long in the hinterlands of Bundelkhand with UNICEF in Uttar Pradesh. He has also lead large-scale remedial education interventions with Naandi Foundation in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and New Delhi.

Shantanu has worked for a decade as a process and management consultant in many cities in India, Switzerland, Cyprus, Hungry and Israel. He has represented India in many international conferences on economy and policy, in Germany, Malaysia and Srilanka. Shantanu has an engineering degree from GB Pant University, Management education from XLRI, Jamshedpur and did his masters in policy and politics from Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex (United Kingdom). Before this, Shantanu has authored three more books Education Policy in India Voice, Choice and Incentives (CCS), Compilation of Prime Minister's Mann Ki Baat (Kapot Books) and Uttar Pradesh, Vikas Ki Pratiksha Mein (Bloomsbury).