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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Reads + Saturday Late Edition Infographic


  • ISIS recruit Majeed returns home: Should India buy his story? (FirstPost)
  • The Shahi Imams of India. Read this piece for the dripping sarcasm and subtle humour that peppers the article. (Outlook)
  • The secret life of passwords. (NYT Magazine)
  • India will be left with few genuine sportspersons if mafia is not kept off the field. (New Indian Express)
Saturday infographic is here, on Sunday! An ET infographic on the new RBI bank licenses.




Friday, November 28, 2014

Book Excerpt: The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan

The birth of Bangladesh is one of the most defining moments in modern South Asian history. Pakistan, at the time of its creation in 1947, comprised two wings - West Pakistan and East Pakistan; it was East Pakistan that broke away to form a separate country in 1971.

The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan brilliantly captures the chaos, despondence and violence that permeated the air in the run-up to the formation of Bangladesh. This is easily the best work on the 1971 India-Pakistan war and the creation of Bangladesh.

The book dwells on the finer nuances of international diplomacy, especially the anti-India Nixon administration in the U.S., the Chinese machinations against India, and the seminal role played by Indira Gandhi in the birth of the new country of Bangladesh.

Title: The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan
Author: Gary J. Bass
Publisher: Random House
Pages featured here: 21-27

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.








Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Things You Should Know - Episode XIV

Source: World Atlas
  • Which is the only country in the world to be established as a result of a successful slave revolt? Haiti. Gaining its independence in 1804, Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, and the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. Its successful revolution by slaves and free people of colour lasted nearly a decade; all the first leaders of government were former slaves.
  • Honduras literally means ‘depths’ in Spanish. 
  • Indonesia’s national motto, ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ (‘Unity in Diversity’ literally, ‘many, yet one’), articulates the diversity that shapes the country.
  • The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’.
  • The parliament of Finland is called Eduskunta.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Reads + Infographic - Hidden History of the Owaisis


  • Hidden history of the Owaisis: what the AIMIM doesn't want you to know. (FirstPost)
  • Google's Larry Page: The most ambitious CEO in the universe. (Fortune)
  • The Hummingbird Effect: How Galileo invented time and gave rise to the modern tyranny of the clock. (Brain Pickings)
  • Uber co-founder is always on the warpath. (Vanity Fair)
Check out the below infographic, from Reuters, on women's land rights.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Excerpt: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Today was the second and final day of the CAT. I was told by a student that there was an RC on Genghis Khan. I am pretty sure it must have come from the brilliant work titled Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

I have often recommended this work in my classes; its sweep is wide and Weatherford's storytelling is riveting. I think this is a book everyone should read, just to understand the way Genghis Khan shaped and in fact, continues to shape, our world.

Title: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
Author: Jack Weatherford
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Pages featured here: 3-9

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.








Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Reads - Toplessness, a Victorian taboo

Today was the CAT day; hectic day. Two interesting reads.
  • Toplessness - the one Victorian taboo that won't go away (BBC Magazine)
  • How well does China control its military? (Diplomat)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Infographic - Fall of the Berlin Wall

From today, all the four regular features - Tuesday Quiz, Book Excerpt on Friday, Saturday Infographic, and Sunday Reads - will appear as per schedule.

Sourced from Reuters blog. Double click on the graphic for a ginormous view.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Excerpt: Land of the Seven Rivers

History and geography have always fascinated me. It is my firm belief that geography is the greatest determinant of history. 

Land of the Seven Rivers - A Brief History of India's Geography is one of the best history (and geography) books I have read in the last two decades. I strongly urge you to read this brilliant work by Sanjeev Sanyal, the chief global strategist for Deutsche Bank. The book offers great insight into the Indians' sense of history and civilizational continuities in almost walks of life. 

Title: Land of the Seven Rivers - A Brief History of India's Geography
Author: Sanjeev Sanyal
Publisher: Penguin
Pages featured here: 44-51

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.












Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Reads - Confident Idiots + MBA Education


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book Excerpt: Ghost Wars


There are scores of books written about the CIA (and its dubious activities), the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the rise of Islamist terrorism, the birth and growth of Al-Qaeda, and 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States. Of several such books that I have read, Ghost Wars, by Steve Coll, is, by far, easily the best work.

Coll takes us into the dark world of false friends, true enemies, and permanent national interests, all of which signify the mad, bad, chaotic world of international politics and diplomacy.

Ghost Wars won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

In the pages featured in the below space, you can read the story behind the story of the Kargil episode and how former Pakistani military chief and dictator, Pervez Musharraf, blinded by his extreme hatred of India, manipulated the military and political machinery to harm India and wrest Kashmir.
 

Title: Ghost Wars
Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
Pages featured here: 479-484

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.