The Maratha Confederacy is a chapter in Indian history that guarantees great conversation if you are objective and very heated arguments if you are no...moreThe Maratha Confederacy is a chapter in Indian history that guarantees great conversation if you are objective and very heated arguments if you are not. Being a Maharashtrian, my interest in the Maratha Confederacy in general and Maratha history in particular, is often considered to be a matter of blind regional pride. And while I have attempted several times to explain that my interest is curiously academic, I often fail to convince.
And my curious academic interest is why I have been slowly reading this book for a while and finally have a slightly better sense of the Confederacy. Prof. Kadam's book, while a stellar research on the confederacy, fell short of making an impact in a better understanding of its "origin and the development."
In recent times I have been seeking books of Indian origin about Indian history to better understand local and cultural perspectives, which may have been absent in the chronicles by foreign writers. Thankfully, many Indian writers, especially academic, have risen to the task and are now re-documenting Indian history. And perhaps there lies the problem: for one, the books read more like research papers than books. Almost every book is a derivative of a Ph.D. thesis, slightly enhanced.
Consider this book: it has in-depth research, micro-level facts (often irrelevant) across the various aspects that contributed to the rise and decline of the confederacy. Yet, because of its structure, it is unable to make a lucid explanation of the "history" of the confederacy. This is not to say that all the research is useless, on the contrary, it provides pointers into the makings of, the coming together and the breaking apart of the, Maratha power. The facts are all there, the analysis is irregular and often missing. It is left to the reader, to laboriously piece together all contributing issues and make sense of the "origin and the development (and the signifiers of the decline)."
It is not very clear whether this books was written as a reference book, a research paper or a history book. If it was the later, it fails, else, if you have an (objective) interest in the study of the Maratha Confederacy, this book is for you.(less)
I chose this book because of a post I read, while surfing for something about psychology and photography. (Don't ask me why, I now, don't remember). B...moreI chose this book because of a post I read, while surfing for something about psychology and photography. (Don't ask me why, I now, don't remember). But I am glad, I did. It is good book, and probably deserves more than the three stars I have given it.
The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing is a book that may get easily misinterpreted as a book about photography technique. It does talk of camera work, method, and techniques. But it is not a book that teaches you photography. At all; if you ask me. The book provides a context to being a photographer in a Taoistic framework, if you will. The book is replete with references and quotes from famous photographers who have found the zen-like state as they took their photographs.
It is essentially a philosophy book, in the context of photography. And an important one, I would think, as more and more of photographic work becomes slave to micro and meta definition. While understanding the science and the technology of photograph is important (and the book makes a small case for it), photographers have an urgent need to get out of the rut of classification and belonging - as more and more photographs start looking the same, there are few that pierce your heart and ooze out emotion, the way they should. Of course, with so many photographs being clicked in the world - finding such photos has become very difficult indeed. But if you do understand this philosophy and are able to import it in your 'act of photography', you may find your self discovering things about your art - especially, if you feel stagnated in your work.
The book itself has a very interesting and varying showcase of work from some of the greats, which makes it an interesting read as visual context to the words is woven well. Some of the sections are repetitive - and I have now resigned to this form of writing by most contemporary writers of the non-fiction genre. It seems that constant reminders of the theme of the book is the new template and technique of the modern non-fiction.
If you would like to understand the mind and state of a good photographer, this is a very good book. If you expect tips and techniques to take good photographs, this is not a very good book. If you are willing to keep an open mind and be with the book and yourself, you might discover some interesting secrets about the art you love so much.(less)
For a long time, we have all been besotted by intelligence and intelligent people. "I didn't understand a word he said, he must be very intelligent,"...moreFor a long time, we have all been besotted by intelligence and intelligent people. "I didn't understand a word he said, he must be very intelligent," is an oft heard statement.
De Bono makes the distinction between intelligence and thinking-skill.
He uses an example of the power of eyesight and the ability to look in the right direction. Without the ability to look in the right direction, your power of eyesight is pretty useless.
From somewhere in the middle of the book, however, it all seemed to become an advertisement of all his processes and models that he has invented. It was almost a brochure.
It's a small book, and only the first half is relevant to the title.(less)
Nothing that makes you bite your nails or keep you on the dge of the seat (or the bed; depends where you read it).
I bought in a sale and didn't pay mu...moreNothing that makes you bite your nails or keep you on the dge of the seat (or the bed; depends where you read it).
I bought in a sale and didn't pay much for it, and for that I am thankful. Perhaps if I was hooked on to the series (I believe there is), then perhaps I would have appreciated the lead character and such.
As a single read, didn't quite feel the excitement that it was supposedly inherent.(less)
The Matrix meets Reiki meets Law of Attraction meets The Secret. Or something like that. I was expecting a Richard Bach-ish book, but this one isn't s...moreThe Matrix meets Reiki meets Law of Attraction meets The Secret. Or something like that. I was expecting a Richard Bach-ish book, but this one isn't so. The language is very different, the construction is often weird, and the punctuation is sparse; almost unlike Richard Bach. Perhaps he was trying something new; it didn't work for me. There's fair warning that it is a "teaching fable"(less)
While the subject matter of the book is quite interesting, the presentation and the format of the philosophies, leave much to be desired. For one, the...moreWhile the subject matter of the book is quite interesting, the presentation and the format of the philosophies, leave much to be desired. For one, the book has apparently not been copy-edited. Spelling mistakes and bad sentence construction abound. Most sections are toxic repetitions, for no apparent purpose.
Since this is a comparative study, you would expect some level of academic and analytical exposition of various attributes of the the philosophies of these two great thinkers of education. The last section, where the comparison is done, is done at a very objective, almost binary level. To someone, who may have an objective-type question paper to answer, this may serve as a good textbook, but for someone trying to understand, internalise and look for a critique of these two thinkers, there's nothing in the book.
It is doubly unfortunate that while there is a significant body of content that can come from Indian academia it is lacking, and; that whatever literature we may find in these subjects is way below quality in content as well as presentation. I do not recommend this book to any serious reader -- you are better off reading their biographies and philosophies separately and comparing them yourselves.(less)