ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Towards an Anthropology of Power

Harsh Sethi All These Years by Raj Thapar; Seminar Publications, Delhi, 1991; pp 490, THE writing of a memoir is invariably a hazardous undertaking. Tied inextricably to the personality of the author, more often than not well known, the narrative tends to suffer from all the hang-ups associated with the self-consciously important. Overwhelmingly imbued with a sense of 'I, memoirs normally reflect the centrality of the author to his or her times. Thus, either we are served with a history reconstructed around the persona of the author, as for instance is more than evident in the recent memoirs of P C Alexander, or we have a smutty account of the private lives of the powerful, best exemplified in the book by Nehru's one-time secretary, M O MathaL Rarely, but rarely, are memoirs able to transcend the barriers of an inflated ego, outright falsehood, or an,. overwhelming desire towards self-justification and redemption in the eyes of future generations.

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