Saturday, January 1, 2011

Books of Power

The Discovery of IndiaMen in power have always thought it wise to share their ideas and thoughts for the posterity. Their books help the public in making sense of their policies, clearing away controversies and so on. We have Indian leader Nehru charting the course of Indian History in his The Discovery of India, or showing us the Glimpses of World History.
Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth

From Pakistan Benazir Bhutto's autobiography Daughter of Destiny: An Autobiography provides a very important guidepost to Pakistan's complicated politics, while a defferent perspective comes from Musharaf's In the Line of Fire: A Memoir.

But the sampling of such books from the Indian sub-continent will not be complete if we do not include Gandhi An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth, the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, that has been a huge success with the readers since its publication.

Living HistoryDecision PointsLet's move to the wider political platform, the USA and Europe. The recent political memoir to hit the stands is Decision Points by George Bush, which covers the highpoints of presidential decision-making in the turbulent years of Bush the Junior's presidency.  Bush also candidly discusses the harder decision he had to take regarding his drinking habits.
A Journey: My Political Life
Before Bus,h Bill Clinton also made it big with his exhaustive, soul-searching memoir My Life. It provides a refreshingly candid look at the former president as a son, brother, teacher, father, husband, and public figure. Hillary Clinton's Living History has enough inside scoop to appeal to those looking for a bit of gossip, but there are no bombshells here.

Former English Premier Tony Blair engages his readers with his autobiography A Journey: My Political Life, which came out in September 2010. The book delves on subjects like Blair's New Labor platform, The Iraq war, late Lady Diana, his successor Gordon Brown and so on. The Iraq War him is similar "battle between modernizers and reactionaries," according to Blair's high-minded justification, a battle which would have gone well but for the meddling of Al Qaeda and Iran.

The Essential Writings of Machiavelli (Modern Library Classics)Chanakya (Amar Chitra Katha) Before leaving these power writers let us look at the ancient times both in the east and the west. From the east the great Chanakya's name comes to mind. Maxims of Chanakya, known as Chanakya niti provide the earliest guidelines of statecraft, which have stood the test of time till today.  And from the west Machiavelli's The Art of War & the Prince comes easily to mind. It was Niccolò Machiavelli who essentially removed ethics from government. He did it with The Prince, when he asserted that The Prince (president, dictator, prime minister, etc.) does not have to be concerned with ethics, as long as their motivation is to protect the state. 

No comments:

Post a Comment