How Mumbai Fables Becomes Bombay Velvet, a Journey of Gyan Prakash

Gyan Prakash has written a fascinating cultural history of Mumbai that Princeton is pleased to be publishing this month. Called MUMBAI FABLES, the book has a novelistic feel and leads readers through the tumultuous history of the global metropolis. Interestingly–at least for a book published by a university press–the book is also the basis for a movie to be produced in India and released internationally called Bombay Velvet. Check out this story in IBN Movies to see what the director Anurag Kashyap says about the movie.

The book, perhaps not surprisingly, has received many reviews in India. In the Daily News & Analysis, Anita Vachharajani writes, “Most people who live in Mumbai feel a peculiar sort of love for it. Many things are wrong with this dystopian, poorly-planned city, but most of us probably couldn’t bear to live elsewhere. If, like me, you feel this mix of emotions, then you’re going to love Gyan Prakash’s Mumbai Fables.”
And Professor Prakash was quoted in a recent New York Times article by Jim Yardley about the amazing new home (soaring palace may be more apt) of Mukesh Ambani.

Gyan Prakash and Eduardo Cadava Talk Mumbai at Labyrinth tonight

Gyan Prakash, author of the recently published MUMBAI FABLES, will discuss the new book with fellow Princeton professor Eduardo Cadava at the Labyrinth Bookstore in Princeton tonight at 5:30 pm. The new book is a fascinating cultural history of the ever-changing metropolis of Bombay, and the basis of a new movie being produced in India called “Bombay Velvet.” Hope to see you there!

Naimark’s New Book Argues that Stalin’s War Crimes Were Genocides

Norman M. Naimark‘s provocative new book STALIN’S GENOCIDES argues for a reassessment of Stalin’s brutal war crimes. Naimark, one of the most respected authorities of the Soviet era, provides details of Stalin’s chilling crimes, and challenges the widely held notion that the crimes do not constitute genocide, as defined by the United Nations. Cynthia Haven posted a terrific profile of Naimark and his new book on the Stanford University News site, and on her her own blog, The Book Haven. And Marshall Poe just posted a podcast with Professor Naimark and a short discussion of the book on New Books in History site.

Woody Allen Hearts Helen Vendler

Nothing says summer reading like a book about the last poems of some of the greatest American poets. That is, if you are Woody Allen. No Stieg Larsson for Mr. Allen this summer, as he was snapped staring intently into the pages of Helen Vendler’s latest, LAST LOOKS, LAST BOOKS. England’s Daily Mail featured pictures of all kinds of celebrities from Kim Cattrall (enjoying The Secret) to Keanu Reeves (nearly rivaling Mr. Allen with a copy of Gogol’s Government Inspector).

See the whole story here.

Martha Nussbaum in Globe and Mail and The New Republic

Martha Nussbaum’s latest book, NOT FOR PROFIT, a short polemic defending the need for humanities in education, is reviewed by Paul Russell in today’s Globe and Mail.

Nussbaum also discusses whether we should view China and Singapore as education models in an article in The New Republic.

Martha Nussbaum’s Defense of the Humanities Discussed in New York Times and Globe and Mail

Are the humanities an important component of education? Stanley Fish believes so… Martha Nussbaum’s NOT FOR PROFIT was discussed in his recent post on the New York Times Opinionator blog. In Canada’s Globe and Mail, John Allemang interviewed Professor Nussbaum about vital importance of humanities. On the other side of the fence, Edward T. Oakes discusses the new book, and Gary Saul Morson’s recent review in The New Criterion, on the First Things blog.

Be a part of the conversation, and pick up your copy of NOT FOR PROFIT.

Samuel Heilman and THE REBBE in The New York Times

Patricia Cohen interviewed Samuel Heilman, co-author with Menachem Friedman of THE REBBE, in today’s New York Times. Today is the sixteenth anniversary of the death of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and his life and legacy are still the source of much inspiration and conversation. Gary Rosenblatt wrote an article in New York Jewish Week about the life and work of the Rebbe, and discusses the book, as well. Finally, Tablet Magazine posted a brief review of the book as part of their “On the Bookshelf” feature.

Check out the authors’ website here.

THE REBBE Reviewed by Allan Nadler in The Forward

Allan Nadler, professor at Drew University and regular contributor to The Forward, has written an engaging review of THE REBBE: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson by Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman. Read the entire review here.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Discusses New Book THE REBBE

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has some strong opinions on the new biography of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, one of the most compelling religious figures of the twentieth century. Also known as the Rebbe, Schneerson was the charismatic leader of the Lubavitcher movement, once a relatively small sect within the Hasidic Judaism, and now a powerful force in Jewish life.  Samuel Heilman and Menachem Friedman have penned a new biography titled THE REBBE: The Life and Afterlife of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, which Rabbi Boteach reviewed first in New York Jewish Week, and then recently in The Jerusalem Post. Today, Rabbi Boteach pens another article, an opinion piece, which further discussed his thoughts on the Rebbe and the new biography on the Jerusalem Post site and on Beliefnet. Check out the new book and join the conversation!

And if you are in the New York area, don’t miss Samuel Heilman discussing THE REBBE tomorrow, June 2, at the Manhattan JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St., at 7:30 pm.

Martha Nussbaum’s New Book NOT FOR PROFIT Stirring Up Conversation Online

Martha Nussbaum’s new book NOT FOR PROFIT is a short and powerful polemic about the crucial importance the humanities in our education system. As liberal arts programs are continually being cut in favor of more “economically” important math and science programs, Nussbaum points out that we lose touch with the real value of being an educated citizen of the world.

Troy Jollimore, a professor at a large state university, writes an enlightening “in-the-trenches” review of the book on Truthdig.

Thomas Farrell writes the second article about the book today on Op Ed News. In his first article, earlier in April, he discussed the book’s title…

And finally, at the Commonweal blog, a portion of Nussbaum’s recent piece in the TLS is reprinted.

Professor Nussbaum will be on C-Span’s Book TV show “In Depth” in June. Stay tuned for the continuing conversation!

Mark Kleiman in Seattle to Talk About Less Crime and Punishment As City Searches for New Police Chief

Mark A. R. Kleiman, author of WHEN BRUTE FORCE FAILS: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment is in Seattle for a power tour of the city’s criminal justice system, and to weigh in on the most important qualifications for King County’s new police chief. As the Seattle Times reported yesterday, Kleiman advises: “Ask every candidate his goals as police chief. If reducing crime is not number one, go to the next candidate.” Kleiman was invited to Seattle at the request of City Council Member Tim Burgess to speak at a Town Hall Event on Thursday, April 22, on his provocative views on reducing crime and punishment. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Kleiman told the crowd at Town Hall last night: “If the criminal justice system were a parent, we’d regard it as both neglectful and abusive.”

Mark Kleiman’s “When Brute Force Fails” Continues the Discussion on Crime and Punishment

Though originally published in October of last year, Mark A.R. Kleiman’s book WHEN BRUTE FORCE FAILS: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment continues to be an integral part of the ongoing discussion of how best to deal with crime in America. The book was recently reviewed in Forbes by Sudhir Venkatesh, along with Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow,” with an emphasis on race relations in criminal justice policy. David von Drehle at TIME Magazine discussed Kleiman’s book with regard to America’s falling crime rates, and the reason for them. The conversation continues… and hopefully policy makers will use Kleiman’s methods, which propose that we can, in fact, reduce crime and the prison population by half in ten years.