5 Books to give away…

Posted: January 22, 2010 in Books
Tags: , , , , , ,

Update (08 Feb 2010): All gone. ‘Century of the city’ & Gandhi’s autobiography to Manish, and ‘The Fountainhead’, ‘Napoleon’ and ‘The Arthashastra’ to the Step-In library near Mount Mary steps.


Well, I’ve got double copies of these 5 books so giving one away. Will offer them to friends first, then on the blog & twitter. If any still remains, will give them to the ‘Step-In’ library at Mount Mary Steps, Bandra. Do let me know if you want any of them.

Yes, they’re free of cost. No, I won’t deliver them, so I prefer if you’re in Bombay and can pick up from somewhere in Bandra.

Cheers!

1. Fountainhead (by Ayn Rand)

The Ayn Rand classic. Many of us grew up with it. Though many around me may not agree with her ideology, it remains a must read in my list. Do read it, if just to get a view of how the extremes look like, and maybe dream up your own heroes and ideal scenarios.

Brief from wikipedia:

The Fountainhead’s protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book follows his battle to practice what the public sees as modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centered on tradition-worship. How others in the novel relate to Roark demonstrates Rand’s various archetypes of human character, all of which are variants between Roark, the author’s ideal man of independent-mindedness and integrity, and what she described as the “second-handers.” The complex relationships between Roark and the various kinds of individuals who assist or hinder his progress, or both, allow the novel to be at once a romantic drama and a philosophical work. By Rand’s own admission, Roark is the embodiment of the human spirit and his struggle represents the triumph of individualism over collectivism.

Note: This one’s a street copy.

2. Napoleon (by Emil Ludwig)

Another classic, specially if you want to read about the huge force that Napoleon was. I’ve been a student of the great man and have read half a dozen books on him (apart from almost all wikipedia articles around him :). If you want to read just one book on the man, I’ll suggest you read one of these two – Napoleon (by Emil Ludwig) or, preferably, The History of Napoleon Buonaparte (by John Gibson Lockhart). One’s by a Brit, another by a German, both are contemporaries (almost) yet both not too biased against the man.

3. The Arthashastra (by Kautilya)


I won’t say much as wikipedia gives a good summary:

The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and Vishnugupta, who are traditionally identified with Chānakya, who was a professor at Takshashila University and later the prime minister of the Maurya Empire.

4. The Story of my experiments with truth OR An Autobiography (by M. K. Gandhi) Taken by @manish_g3

Another must read, even if you do not believe in the man’s ideas, or even hate him outright. It can only help you to read what the greatest Indian of last century thought of his own life – compare his many personal struggles to our own, his thought processes, his ideology, his extremism and, at rare times, his soft side as well. I’m his fan and will insist, a must read.

5. Century of the city (by Neal Price & Curtis Johnson) Taken by @manish_g3

Again, summary as provided by the publishers:

One in every ten people lived in urban areas a century ago. Now, for the first time ever, most people live in cities. By 2050, the United Nations projects, almost three-quarters of the world’s population will call urban areas home. The majority of this growth is centered in struggling, developing countries of the Global South, but cities in developed (or Global North) countries face increasingly complex challenges as well.
Around the world, unplanned urban expansion is multiplying slums, overburdening housing, transportation and infrastructure systems, stifling economic growth, and leaving millions vulnerable to new environmental and health threats.
To help manage and plan for this accelerating urbanization, the Rockefeller Foundation convened an exceptional group of urbanists–leading policy makers and government officials, finance experts, urban researchers, members of civil society organizations, and other innovators–for a Global Urban Summit at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. This book shares their diverse perspectives, creative approaches, and urgent agenda for harnessing the vast opportunities of urbanization for a better world.
One in every ten people lived in urban areas a century ago. Now, for the first time ever, most people live in cities. By 2050, the United Nations projects, almost three-quarters of the world’s population will call urban areas home. The majority of this growth is centered in struggling, developing countries of the Global South, but cities in developed (or Global North) countries face increasingly complex challenges as well.
Around the world, unplanned urban expansion is multiplying slums, overburdening housing, transportation and infrastructure systems, stifling economic growth, and leaving millions vulnerable to new environmental and health threats.
To help manage and plan for this accelerating urbanization, the Rockefeller Foundation convened an exceptional group of urbanists–leading policy makers and government officials, finance experts, urban researchers, members of civil society organizations, and other innovators–for a Global Urban Summit at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. This book shares their diverse perspectives, creative approaches, and urgent agenda for harnessing the vast opportunities of urbanization for a better world.

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