Description : From modest beginnings in Fiji, a dot in the Pacific Ocean, to the dining tables of queens and prime ministers, Bhaichand Patel's journey shows him to be the quintessential self-made man. Journalist, author, lawyer, diplomat, film critic, with a gift for mixing a potent cocktail-he has dived into every avocation with aplomb, and emerged with some great insights and plenty of stories. In I Am a Stranger Here Myself, he puts these together in a narrative that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride all over the world-from Fiji, Bombay, London to New York, Cairo, Manila-coming to rest in the leafy environs of New Delhi's Sujan Singh Park. Traipsing through the book's pages are distinguished lawyers, judges, diplomats, journalists, politicians, authors, actors and directors-some down on their luck, others on the rise. An early practitioner of the work hard, party harder philosophy, Patel shows that life can be as difficult as we want to make it, or as much fun. As Henry Miller put it, 'Do anything, but let it produce joy'.
Description : Historians have dismissed the pageantry of the Vienna Congress as window dressing when compared with the serious maneuverings of sovereigns and statesmen. By seeing these two dimensions as interconnected, Brian Vick reveals how one of the most important diplomatic summits in history managed to redraw the map of Europe and the international system.
Description : Including Clive James's most memorable pieces – his ‘Postcard from Rome’, his observations on Margaret Thatcher, his insights into Heaney, Larkin and Orwell – this book also contains brilliantly funny examinations of characters like Barry Humphries, as well as showcasing James’s more thoughtful, analytical side. From Germaine Greer to Marilyn Monroe, from the nature of celebrity to German culpability for the Holocaust, Reliable Essays is an unmissable collection from one of the best writers of our time.
Description : On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood. At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own “Golden Bible”—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He'd led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women. In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride. Mormonism is America's largest and most enduring native religion, and the “martyrdom” of Joseph Smith is one of its transformational events. Smith's brutal assassination propelled the Mormons to colonize the American West and claim their place in the mainstream of American history. American Crucifixion is a gripping story of scandal and violence, with deep roots in our national identity.
Description : "A fascinating book and a pleasure to read.... Full of interesting details and insights." --Gideon Rachman, Financial Times As the twenty-first century dawns, China stands at a crossroads. The largest and most populous country on earth and currently the world's second biggest economy, China has recently reclaimed its historic place at the center of global affairs after decades of internal chaos and disastrous foreign relations. But even as China tentatively reengages with the outside world, the contradictions of its development risks pushing it back into an era of insularity and instability--a regression that, as China's recent history shows, would have serious implications for all other nations. In Restless Empire, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces China's complex foreign affairs over the past 250 years, identifying the forces that will determine the country's path in the decades to come. Since the height of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century, China's interactions--and confrontations--with foreign powers have caused its worldview to fluctuate wildly between extremes of dominance and subjugation, emulation and defiance. From the invasion of Burma in the 1760s to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 20th century to the 2001 standoff over a downed U.S. spy plane, many of these encounters have left Chinese with a lingering sense of humiliation and resentment, and inflamed their notions of justice, hierarchy, and Chinese centrality in world affairs. Recently, China's rising influence on the world stage has shown what the country stands to gain from international cooperation and openness. But as Westad shows, the nation's success will ultimately hinge on its ability to engage with potential international partners while simultaneously safeguarding its own strength and stability. An in-depth study by one of our most respected authorities on international relations and contemporary East Asian history, Restless Empire is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the recent past and probable future of this dynamic and complex nation.
Description : Who is She, this Sister from Below? She's certainly not about the ordinary business of life: work, shopping, making dinner. She speaks from other realms. If you'll allow, She'll whisper in your ear, lead your thoughts astray, fill you with strange yearnings, get you hot and bothered, send you off on some wild goose chase of a daydream, eat up hours of your time. She's a siren, a seductress, a shapeshifter . . . Why listen to such a troublemaker? Because She is essential to the creative process: She holds the keys to the doors of our imaginations and deeper life the evolution of Soul.
Description : THE STORY: The lines between truth and fiction blur with hilarious and moving results in David Henry Hwang's unreliable memoir. Asian-American playwright DHH, fresh off his Tony Award win for M. Butterfly , leads a protest against the casting
Description : Explores why minor slights to certain kinds of gentlemen led to duels in order for honour to be satisfied, and how such ideas about honour changed over time.
Description : Though history and autobiography both claim to tell true stories about the past, historians have traditionally rejected first-person accounts as subjective and therefore unreliable. What then, asks Jeremy D. Popkin in History, Historians, and Autobiography, are we to make of the ever-increasing number of professional historians who are publishing stories of their own lives? And how is this recent development changing the nature of history-writing, the historical profession, and the genre of autobiography? Drawing on the theoretical work of contemporary critics of autobiography and the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur, Popkin reads the autobiographical classics of Edward Gibbon and Henry Adams and the memoirs of contemporary historians such as Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Peter Gay, Jill Ker Conway, and many others, he reveals the contributions historians' life stories make to our understanding of the human experience. Historians' autobiographies, he shows, reveal how scholars arrive at their vocations, the difficulties of writing about modern professional life, and the ways in which personal stories can add to our understanding of historical events such as war, political movements, and the traumas of the Holocaust. An engrossing overview of the way historians view themselves and their profession, this work will be of interest to readers concerned with the ways in which we understand the past, as well as anyone interested in the art of life-writing.
Description : More than one hundred essays organized by quotations from A-Z discuss some of the great thinkers, artists, humanists, and philosophers of the twentieth century.