Posts Tagged ‘India’

What One Book Should Obama Read?

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2009 at 12:45 am

What a great question to ask twenty-five public intellectuals–and the Washington Monthly has published the responses for us!

The entries seem to fall into a few different lines of reasoning. There’s the My-Case-for-the-Most-Important-Thing-Going-on-in-the-World-Today-and-the-Thing-We-Most-Need-to-Know-About-It entries, which I like because the authors proceed to give you their recommendation for the best, most concise resource for getting caught up to speed!

There’s also a few entries from the Leadership-Lessons-from-Books-that-Avoid-Using-the-Word-“Leadership”-in-the-Title category, and the similar Historical-Moments-that-Might-be-Good-for-Someone-to-Recall-Right-Now category. Throw in Macro-Trends-in-American-Culture and Surviving-the-Great-Depression-v.20.09, and you’ve got a pretty interesting mix.

To justify sharing this on this blog, which I am trying to keep strictly on-topic, here’s the three books that caught my eye that speak to international issues and global citizenship.

The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS by Helen Epstein

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran by Hooman Majd

India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha (“India will have to concern the president on occasion; China will undoubtedly concern him more often, but in view of its closed political system no equivalent book could be written on China.”  Darn, I want to read that China book!)


Reminder: All books available for order from my friends at Splintered Light Bookstore.


Slumdog Millionaire

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm


Last night I saw “Slumdog Millionaire” with a few friends at the independent movie theater downtown. There are two reasons to see Slumdog Millionaire–and you must see it; when it shines, this movie is incandescent. Neither reason is the plot, the story of Jamal, who serves chai to employees at an international call center in Mumbai and wins a spot on India’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Jamal is one question away from winning it all when he’s arrested and interrogated under suspicion that the product of Mumbai’s slums must be cheating to have answered all the questions correctly. But each question reveals a part of Jamal’s story, an answer he only knows because his life has been so uniquely terrible. In the end, of course, his story is a search for The Girl, the resolution of which I think was a little weak. Thus you get a good-enough plot, but one that’s probably been done better elsewhere honestly. Read the rest of this entry »