As an individual deeply interested in the religion and culture of early India, I have consistently admired the writings of Wendy Doniger, enjoying every bit of what I have been able to read of her several works, ranging from lengthy monographs to crisp prefatory remarks and editorial interventions.
What is special about the autobiography of an ordinary man? Not much perhaps, except that it may well be an accurate
documentation of life on average. This element of the prosaic is precisely why Tubten Khetsun’s book is pertinent. Presenting the
views and circumstances of an ordinary Tibetan from the time of the Tibetan People’s Uprising in 1959 to the early 1980s, this book documents the changes wrought by expanding Chinese control over the region.
Gordon T. Stewart’s book is fascinating, for being English he has Stewart has had an advantage in easily accessing the old British agents’ diaries, letters and political dispatches. The book contains every feature of what the empire stood for: enlightenment, imperialism and interest.
It can be inferred from the author’s profile on the dust jacket that he is bassador in Lebanon, he has earlier been the Saudi kingdom’s ambassador to Pakistan between 2001 and 2009. His earlier career was in the police prior to his moving to appointments in which he looked after the security of Saudi diplomatic assets.
The search for a final theory of everything is an enduring, if not always endearing, part of human endeavour. If that search is successful it should yield explanations for all that we see around us, natural phenomena of course, but also human behaviour, the way societies function, national and international events and developments.
Fakirs with their puppet shows exhibit military conflicts which end with the flight of the English. Songs resound the praises of our enemies and reports are industriously spread to rouse thenative troops and inferior classes of inhabitants in action . . . The very salt we manufacture is said to be mixed with the blood of cows or swine, Hindus and the Musulmans’.