|Politicians & Literature|
Jaswant Singh | 74 | Rajasthan
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE reading and have devoted a significant part of my life to it. Bookworms will know what I mean when I say that it is difficult to choose a single book that sits above the rest. From a personal perspective, I enjoy variety. I like switching between different kinds of books at will, moving from poetry to biographies to world affairs.
If I were forced to pick a particular title or an author, I’d single out the Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm. He is magisterial, and every single one of his books from The Age of Revolution to The Age of Extremes is a revelation. No other historian has presented modern history the way Hobsbawm does. I don’t know if he has influenced me, but I do know that every time I read and re-read something by Hobsbawm, I see it afresh, derive a new meaning, and am struck again by the quality of his thought.
A recent book that I feel I’m going to keep coming back to over the years is Jinnah vs Gandhi by Roderick Matthews. I recommend this book to every person who wants to gain an insight into the minds of these two men who shaped the histories of two nations. Of late, I’ve been reading A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire by David Fromkin. In addition, I’m especially attached to a book given to me by my good friend Madeleine Albright. It is her latest, titled Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War.