Author: Biz India

Book Review: Southeast Asia in the New International Era

Authors: Robert Dayley and Clark D. Neher Publisher:  Westview Press (A Member of the Perseus Book Group) – 330 pages Book Review by:  Sonu Chandiram Southeast Asia, a region with about 590 million people (2011 UN population estimate) is defined by the authors of this book as consisting of these eleven countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. I asked myself why Hong Kong and Taiwan were not included in this group and I could not find the answer. I have visited and lived in seven of these thirteen countries and one major characteristic is ironically predominant – their diversity. The authors make this point very clear at the outset of this book. These nations of Southeast Asia are about as diverse as they can be in terms of arts, beliefs, customs, dress, economics, food, gross domestic product, human capital, income, languages, mores, natural resources, organized institutions, politics, religions, social behavior, traditions, and just about any other type of comparison. The authors point out that these nations have different cultures, histories, political systems and resource bases, both human and natural. Most people from the West however, are not able to discern these differences. (It’s funny that almost all Asians are termed “Orientals” in Western print news media. So, should all people from Europe and the Americas be termed “Occidentals”?)  That is understandable, just...

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Book Review: Once Upon a Car: The Fall and resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers – GM., Ford and Chrysler

Author: Bill Vlasic Publisher: William Morrow (An Imprint of HarperCollins  – 394 pages Book Review by:  Sonu Chandiram Bill Vlasic is an award-winning reporter alright but what first struck me as I started to read this book is his ability to hold the reader’s attention. So, add narrative-writing skills to his reporting prowess. I wholeheartedly agree with USA Today’s description of his previous book Taken for a Ride as “a fascinating page-turning read.” In my opinion, that description applies to Once Upon a Car as well. This book relates the historic true story of how two of America’s largest automakers – General Motors and Chrysler – nearly went out of business but were rescued with billions of dollars of taxpayer “bailout” money, and how the third largest U.S. car company Ford was saved from asking for a bailout with thoughtful and clever management by a newly-hired executive, Alan Mulally. This engaging chronicle of events covers the period from 2005 to the recent past and it is rich in descriptions of the scenes, the people and their remarks in corporate offices, factory floors, labor union halls and places in Washington D.C., including the U.S. Capitol and the Oval Office in the White House. It includes key decisions that helped the companies stay in business and saved millions of jobs. Among them were Rick Wagoner’s forced resignation as a condition for...

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Book Review: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance

Author: John Haywood Publisher: Princeton University Press – 252 pages Book Review by: Paiso Jamakar This large, colorful book provides the reader with a wondrous text-and-pictorial voyage through not just history but of pre-historic times as well. It takes you through the most significant events in our past while enabling you to actually look at people and things that symbolized them. The quality of production of this gorgeous tome amazed me at first glance and handling. To say that it is professionally designed and manufactured would be an understatement. The thick, strong cover, the exquisite coated paper, the beautiful graphics inside – of the maps, the photos of artifacts, objects, people – are so incredibly stunning. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and with the hundreds of photos in this book, not much has to be written for the reader to learn a lot just by turning the pages and looking at numerous images on the right side. But the author John Haywood also provides you the accompanying stories and descriptions on the left pages as you delight yourself with the illustrations on the right. And, he answers questions that pop up in your mind as you look at the graphics. For example right after his Introduction, John Haywood starts with the pre-historic period of six million to 100,000 years ago with the topic:...

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Rohit Gupta’s “Life, Camera, Action” Wins 9 Awards At 28th Goldie Film Awards

Life, Camera, Action, a drama-feature film, won nine awards at the 28th Goldie Film Awards held in Palatka City near Daytona Beach in Florida on April 27th. The awards were: the Grand Goldie Award for Best Innovative Feature Film; Best Director; Best Actress (Dipti Mehta); Best Cinematography; Best Supporting Actor (Shaheed Woods); Best Song (Chalte Jaana Hain or Have to Keep Walking, sung by “KK” and written by Rohit Gupta, music by Manoj Singh); Best Production Design (Ravi Kumar) ; Best Editing,; and Best Screenplay (Amanda Sodhi and Rohit Gupta). Additionally, Rohit Gupta’s four-minute film Another Day, Another Life got the Grand Goldie Best Short Film award at the ceremony. “We enjoyed Life, Camera Action thoroughly. The filmmaking setting of the characters is fascinating and memorable! Really nice story.” commented Steve Postal, executive director of the Goldie Film Awards. Film director Rohit Gupta is ecstatic. “I am happy that these movies continue to find their audiences. Winning ten awards at the Goldie Film Awards took me completely by surprise not because I think any less of these films, but because all of the others are much larger in scope. This is also a testament to the adage “Belief is where it all begins,” said the director in a phone interview. The plot of both films is filled with pivotal moments, which affect the outcome of the characters’ actions and at each one...

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BJP Rules Out Mukherjee and Ansari As Presidential Candidates

[sam id=”4″][sam_ad id=”” codes=”true”] NEW DELHI, April 30 – Giving a new turn to the Presidential race, the Bharatiya Janata Party today ruled out supporting Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President Hamid Ansari or any other candidate who may be put up by the Congress Party but is open to supporting anyone chosen by the non-Congress parties. “We will not accept any Congress candidate, including Pranab Mukherjee, for the President’s post,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj she told reporters here today. The names of Mukherjee and Ansari have been doing the round as being among the probables in the Presidential election. Asked about Ansari, Swaraj said he does not have the stature to be President and hence BJP will not support him. She also categorically said there will be no understanding with the Congress under which NDA would support UPA’s Presidential candidate and get their support in return for the vice-president’s post. “We are looking at the 2014 elections and do not want to give the impression that we have any truck with the Congress,” Swaraj said. She said BJP was gauging the mood of the UPA allies on the Presidential elections. On whether a non-Congress candidate like A P J Abdul Kalam, Swaraj said the BJP is open to the idea. “We can have an understanding with non-Congress parties where we support their Presidential candidate and they support our vice-presidential...

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