Spanning the end of the cold war up through the present day, this book covers figures from around the globe, including at least one entry from each of the 190 countries of the world as well as many leaders of states or peoples that are only nominally independent. Political leaders of every stripe—from Kofi Annan to Vladimir Zhirinovsky—are found in this comprehensive and accessible A-to-Z dictionary. ISBN: 8176499595 Publisher: VIVA BOOKS
Badr-ud-Din Tyabji’s first volume of memoirs is a personal record encompassing half a century of India’s recent history. The momentous changes this period witnessed are chronicled by Tyabji from a unique position of vantage. Diverse cultural and intellectual influences – an enlightened Islamic and strongly nationalist family tradition, tempered by a liberal Western education – shaped his forceful personality and distinguished career. This volume traces the author’s childhood and youth under the Raj, his experience as a civil service officer, the rough crossing over into Independence under the shadow of Partition, the shaping of the new sovereign republic, and his experiences of the Indian Foreign Service in its infancy.
The Tyabji family rose from a background of entrepreneurial prosperity to social prominence in an age when emerging nationalism was propelling the country swiftly towards a final confrontation with its colonial identity. These memoirs bring to life personalities and events of this vibrant period, not too distant but already sadly fading from national memory. The value of the book as a historical documentation is greatly enhanced by the author’s robust wisdom, eye for detail and wry sense of humour. But his sharp observation, unflinching candour and cutting wit are always mellowed by a lively curiosity and instinctive generosity of heart. A self confessed egoist, Tyabji counter – balances his nostalgia for the past with pragmatic evaluation without detracting from its essential period charm. ISBN: 9694020174 Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS
The seventeenth century saw a revolution in man’s thought, as Isaac Newton and others began the scientific study of the universe around them. At the same time a shrewd young civil servant in London began to observe, with something of the same dispassionate curiosity, the strange object around which, for him, the universe revolved–himself. For ten years, beginning in 1660, Samuel Pepys secretly kept one of the most remarkable records ever made of a human life. With astounding candor and perceptiveness he described his ambitions and speculations, his professional successes and failures, his pettinesses and meannesses, his tenderness toward his wife and the irritations and jealousies she provoked, his extramarital longings and fumblings, his coolly critical attitude toward the king he served and his watchful adaptation to the corrupt and treacherous life of the court. Pepys’s diary is a magnificent creation. But there is more to Samuel Pepys than his diary, as Claire Tomalin makes clear in this profoundly original biography. Buttressing it with less familiar sources and other contemporary material, she is able to illuminate his entire life–as a poor London tailor’s son, as a schoolboy rejoicing at the execution of Charles I, as an aspiring clerk with good connections who transforms himself into a royalist, escorting Charles II to England for the Restoration. Then there is the bureaucrat heroically working against the odds to create a modern navy, finding his way through the dangerous years of political and religious conflict (even, at one point, being charged with treason and jailed), peacefully retiring at last with his books and his music and his friends. It is Claire Tomalin’s unique skill as a biographer to achieve extraordinary intimacy with her subject, and Pepys is no exception. To the endlessly fascinating question of his relations with women, for example, she brings the same insight and freshness of approach that distinguished such highly praised books as Jane Austen and The Invisible Woman. At the same time, the historical context is never less than brilliantly evoked. The result is exemplary, by far the most revealing–and readable–portrait of the greatest diarist in the English language, a man of unmatched interest and importance. ISBN: 0375411437 Publisher: ALFRED A. KNOPF