An Ordinary Man’s Guide to Radicalism

I heard many people saying that one of the terrorists had studied in Jamia School, in my batch. If ‘they’ were to say I was friends with him, how would I deny it? I had very few friends in school, but who would believe that? You can alter your future, but how do you change your past?

19 September 2008, the Batla House encounter. That one day changed the life of a young man from Inderwan Bairam in Bihar’s Gopalganj district. An over-protected childhood in the village, an ambitious migration to Delhi as a young boy for better education, an undisciplined and shiftless adolescence – all of this history is flattened out into one tiny slice of Neyaz Farooquee’s identity: Muslim. From Jamia Nagar. Who lived practically next door to the Terrorists who had been killed in the encounter. A Potential Terrorist himself? How, after all, does a man prove that he is (and not merely pretending to be) a Normal Human Being?

Sardonic and wise, Farooquee scrapes out the unvarnished truth about identity and stereotypes, about life in a ghetto, and the small and big disappointments that make up an ordinary life. 

A necessary book for our troubled times.

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The Post-Truth Media’s Survival Sutra:: A Footsoldier’s Version


The book provides valuable information about the way journalism has evolved in India since Independence, the idealism and missionary zeal of the early pioneers and ‘foot-soldiers,’ the changing technology and mores of reportage, the joint resistance by owners and journalists to the government’s moves to tame the media, and the shift from the primacy of the editor to that of the owner, and eventually into the inexorable logic of the market paradigm of the news media… The thumbnail sketches of the editors, owners and journalists, and the insights into the pulls and pressures at work in newsrooms are truly invaluable. – SASHI KUMAR, Chairman, Asian College of Journalism, and author P. Raman’s memoirs is a wonderful history of Indian print journalism over the past six decades. I found it a fascinating read and his description of newspapers and magazines of the sixties and seventies will be valuable source material to scholars as well. I used to follow Raman’s stories in the different dailies he worked for and always found them well-informed and reliable. This book distils his varied experiences in the course of a long and noted career. They don’t make them like him anymore. – JAIRAM RAMESH, author and former minister of Environment & Forests and Rural Development
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The Desert and the Sea: 977 Days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast

The Desert and the Sea: 977 Days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast

Michael Scott Moore, a journalist and the author of Sweetness and Blood, incorporates personal narrative and rigorous investigative journalism in this profound and revelatory memoir of his three-year captivity by Somali pirates—a riveting,thoughtful, and emotionally resonant exploration of foreign policy, religious extremism, and the costs of survival.

In January 2012, having covered a Somali pirate trial in Hamburg for Spiegel Online International—and funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting—Michael Scott Moore traveled to the Horn of Africa to write about piracy and ways to end it. In a terrible twist of fate, Moore himself was kidnapped and subsequently held captive by Somali pirates. Subjected to conditions that break even the strongest spirits—physical injury, starvation, isolation, terror—Moore’s survival is a testament to his indomitable strength of mind. In September 2014, after 977 days, he walked free when his ransom was put together by the help of several US and German institutions, friends, colleagues, and his strong-willed mother. 

Yet Moore’s own struggle is only part of the story: The Desert and the Sea falls at the intersection of reportage, memoir, and history. Caught between Muslim pirates, the looming threat of Al-Shabaab, and the rise of ISIS, Moore observes the worlds that surrounded him—the economics and history of piracy; the effects of post-colonialism; the politics of hostage negotiation and ransom; while also conjuring the various faces of Islam—and places his ordeal in the context of the larger political and historical issues.           

A sort of Catch-22 meets Black Hawk Down, The Desert and the Sea is written with dark humor, candor, and a journalist’s clinical distance and eye for detail. Moore offers an intimate and otherwise inaccessible view of life as we cannot fathom it, brilliantly weaving his own experience as a hostage with the social, economic, religious, and political factors creating it. The Desert and the Sea is wildly compelling and a book that will take its place next to titles like Den of Lions and Even Silence Has an End.

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Lenin the Dictator

Lenin the Dictator
Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography Victor Sebestyen’s intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world. Lenin believed that the ‘the political is the personal’ and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen focuses on Lenin the man – a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend. Told through the prism of Lenin’s key relationships, Sebestyen’s lively biography casts a new light on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.
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Bruce Lee: A Life

Bruce Lee: A Life
‘At last, Bruce Lee has the powerful biography he deserves… It will thrill Lee’s fans and fascinate the unfamiliar’ – Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig ‘Meticulously researched’ – Jimmy McDonough, author of Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography and Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green ‘You won’t find a better match for a biographer with his subject than Matthew Polly and Bruce Lee… A definitive biography, told with passion and punch’ – Brian Jay Jones, author George Lucas: A Life and Jim Henson: The Biography. More than forty years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at age 32, journalist and author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. It’s also one of the only accounts; incredibly, there has never been an authoritative biography of Lee. Following a decade of research that included conducting more than one hundred interviews with Lee’s family, friends, business associates and even the mistress in whose bed Lee died, Polly has constructed a complex, humane portrait of the icon. There are his early years as a child star in Hong Kong cinema; his actor father’s struggles with opium addiction and how that turned Bruce into a troublemaking teenager who was kicked out of high school and eventually sent to America to shape up; his beginnings as a martial arts teacher, eventually becoming personal instructor to movie stars like Steve McQueen; his struggles as an Asian-American actor in Hollywood and frustration seeing role after role he auditioned for go to a white actors in eye makeup; his eventual triumph as a leading man; his challenges juggling a sky-rocketing career with his duties as a father and husband; and his shocking end that to this day is still shrouded in mystery. Polly breaks down the myth of Bruce Lee and argues that, contrary to popular belief, he was an ambitious actor who was obsessed with martial arts-not a great kung-fu master who just so happened to make a couple of movies. The book offers an honest look at an impressive yet flawed man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played on-screen. Praise for Matthew Polly ‘Hypnotic…Tapped Out manages to humanize a sport once demonized as “human cockfighting” by deconstructing the stereotype of the martial-arts tough guy.’ – The New York Times ‘Tapped Out is a knockout for MMA fans, who will laugh at the intimate portraits Polly sketches of some of the sport’s most famous personalities. But it also works for those not familiar with the sport…You won’t be disappointed.’ – OpposingViews.com ‘A delight to read.’ – TheFightNerd.com ‘Polly’s self-deprecation in the painful learning process stands out as much as the witty prose. His delivery is Plimpton-esque.’ – ESPN.com ‘Smoothly written . . . Polly has a good eye for characters.’ – Publishers Weekly
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Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never To Play Football

Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never To Play Football
1980s Rio de Janeiro.

There’s only one king in this city and he’s got the mullet, swagger and fake ID to prove it.

Introducing Carlos Henrique Raposo, known to all as KAISER.

This guy’s got more front than Copacabana beach. He’s the most loveable of rogues with the most common of dreams: to become a professional footballer. And he isn’t about to let trivial details like talent and achievement stand in his way. . . not when he has so many other ways to get what he wants.

In one of the most remarkable football stories ever told, Kaiser graduates from abandoned slumdog to star striker, dressing-room fixer, superstar party host and inexhaustible lover.

And all without kicking a ball.

He’s not just the king… he’s the Kaiser.
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