(SATURDAY) Cycle of commerce and debt on weekend book pile (IANS Books this Week)

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 13:20 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The bookshelf this week is pragmatic with matters of business, money and battle against corruption winning over lighter reads... Browse with IANS.

1.Book: "Corporation 2020: Transforming Business for Tomorrow's World"; Written by Pavan Sukhdev; Published by Penguin India Books; Price: Rs.699

There is an emerging consensus that all is not well with today's market centric economic model. Although it has delivered wealth over the last half century and pulled millions out of poverty. It is recession prone, leaves too many unemployed, creates ecological sacrifices and environmental risks - and widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

The writer lays out a sweeping a new vision for tomorrow's corporation, one that will increase human well-being, social equity and decrease environmental risks.

2.Book: "Debt: The First 5,000 Years"; Written by David Graeber; Published by Penguin India; Price: Rs.799

Must we always repay our debts? Wasn't money invented to replace ancient barter systems? In a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom, Graeber radically challenges our understanding of debt.

He illustrates how, for more than 5,000 years-long before the invention of coins or bills-there existed debtors and creditors who used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods. He argues that Madagascar was held to be indebted to France because France invaded it, reminds us that texts from Vedic India included God in credit systems and shows how the dollar changed European society forever in the 16th century.

He also brilliantly demonstrates how words like "guilt", "sin" and "redemption" derive in large part from ancient debates about debt, and shape even our most basic ideas of right and wrong.

The book is a fascinating chronicle of this little known history - of how it has defined the evolution of human society, and what it means for the credit crisis of the present day and the future of our economy.

3.Book: "Conversations with Mani Ratnam"; Written by Bharadwaj Rangam; Published by Penguin India, Price: Rs.799

His "Nayakan" is among Time's "100 Best Movies Ever"; and "Roja " launched A.R. Rahman. This book, unique for Indian cinema, illuminates the genius of the man behind these and 18 other masterly films.

For the first time ever, Mani Ratnam opens up about his art as well as his life before films. In these freewheeling conversations, candid, witty, pensive, and sometimes combative, many aspects of his films are explored.

Mani elaborates in a personal vein on his choice of themes, from the knottiness in urban relationships (Agni Natchatiram) to the rents in the national fabric (Bombay); his directing of children (Anjali); his artful use of songs; his innovative use of lighting, as also his making films in Hindi and other languages.

4.Book: "Swaraj"; Written by Arvind Kejriwal; Published by Harper Collins India; Price: Rs.99

The year 2011 was defined by the Anna Hazare-led agitation against corruption. The activist from Ralegaon Siddhi shook the bastions of power in Delhi to their foundations. Even the middle class and the elite, who normally confine themselves to drawing room discussions on politics, joined the movement and took to the streets.

Arvind Kejriwal played a key role in this agitation. The main demand of the group was the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Many promises were made by the political class, but nothing much actually happened - the bill has still not been passed by the Parliament.

This book shows us the way forward, what we the people and what the opinion makers and political establishment in India can do to achieve true Swaraj - Lokpal is only one facet of this true devolution of power to the people.

Kejriwal's vision deserves consideration by anyone who wants power to rest with the people, not with "netas".

5.Book: "The Third Reich"; Written by Roberto Bolano; Published by Picador; Price: Rs. 350

War-games champion Udo Berger and his girlfriend Ingeborg are on a holiday. They meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, and a band of shady local people. They have fun, see the sights, relax. Then, late one night, Charly disappears without a trace.

Desperate to solve the mystery, Udo refuses to leave, even after Ingeborg returns home. Increasingly frightened, the situation slips beyond his grasp and he suddenly realizes that the consequences of this "game" are much more serious than he ever imagined.

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