ivory throne chronicles of the house of travancore

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Ivory Throne Chronicles Of The House Of Travancore

Author : Manu S. Pillai
ISBN : 9789351776437
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 40 MB
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In 1498, when Vasco da Gama set foot in Kerala looking for Christians and spices, he unleashed a wave of political fury that would topple local powers like a house of cards. The cosmopolitan fabric of a vibrant trading society - with its Jewish and Arab merchants, Chinese pirate heroes and masterful Hindu Zamorins - was ripped apart, heralding an age of violence and bloodshed. One prince, however, emerged triumphant from this descent into chaos. Shrewdly marrying Western arms to Eastern strategy, Martanda Varma consecrated the dominion of Travancore, destined to become one of the most dutiful pillars of the British Raj. What followed was two centuries of internecine conflict in one of India's premier princely states, culminating in a dynastic feud between two sisters battling to steer the fortunes of their house on the eve of Independence. Manu S. Pillai's retelling of this sprawling saga focuses on the remarkable life and work of Sethu Lakshmi Bayi, the last - and forgotten - queen of the House of Travancore. The supporting cast includes the flamboyant painter Raja Ravi Varma and his wrathful wife, scheming matriarchs of 'violent, profligate and sordid' character, wife-swapping court favourites, vigilant English agents, quarrelling consorts and lustful kings. Extensively researched and vividly rendered, The Ivory Throne conjures up a dramatic world of political intrigues and factions, black magic and conspiracies, crafty ceremonies and splendorous temple treasures, all harnessed in a tragic contest for power and authority in the age of empire.

The Eighth Ring

Author : K M Mathew
ISBN : 9789352140442
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 29. 7 MB
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This deeply felt memoir, translated from the acclaimed original in Malayalam, chronicles the endeavours of four generations of the Kandathil Varughese Mappillai family that set up the Malayala Manorama, the Travancore National and Quilon Bank and other enterprises. With great candour, K.M. Mathew describes how their fortunes changed when their support to the nationalist State Congress brought upon them the wrath of the Travancore dewan, leading to the bank's collapse; and how through sheer persistence and diligence they could rebuild the paper and go on to establish huge companies. Mathew also shows that throughout the paper upheld the values of liberalism, credibility and democracy, which it continues to do until today. Featuring some of Kerala's tallest figures over almost a century, The Eighth Ring is a rich portrait of a remarkable man, his family-clan and their stirring times.

Dereliction Of Duty

Author : H. R. McMaster
ISBN : 0060929081
Genre : History
File Size : 69. 50 MB
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"The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C." - H. R. McMaster (from the Conclusion) Dereliction Of Duty is a stunning new analysis of how and why the United States became involved in an all-out and disastrous war in Southeast Asia. Fully and convincingly researched, based on recently released transcripts and personal accounts of crucial meetings, confrontations and decisions, it is the only book that fully re-creates what happened and why. It also pinpoints the policies and decisions that got the United States into the morass and reveals who made these decisions and the motives behind them, disproving the published theories of other historians and excuses of the participants. Dereliction Of Duty covers the story in strong narrative fashion, focusing on a fascinating cast of characters: President Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, General Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy and other top aides who deliberately deceived the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Congress and the American public. Sure to generate controversy, Dereliction Of Duty is an explosive and authoritative new look at the controversy concerning the United States involvement in Vietnam.


Author : Steven Solomon
ISBN : 9780061994784
Genre : History
File Size : 78. 66 MB
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“I read this wide-ranging and thoughtful book while sitting on the banks of the Ganges near Varanasi—it's a river already badly polluted, and now threatened by the melting of the loss of the glaciers at its source to global warming. Four hundred million people depend on it, and there's no backup plan. As Steven Solomon makes clear, the same is true the world over; this volume will give you the background to understand the forces that will drive much of 21st century history.” —Bill McKibben In Water, esteemed journalist Steven Solomon describes a terrifying—and all too real—world in which access to fresh water has replaced oil as the primary cause of global conflicts that increasingly emanate from drought-ridden, overpopulated areas of the world. Meticulously researched and undeniably prescient, Water is a stunningly clear-eyed action statement on what Robert F Kennedy, Jr. calls “the biggest environmental and political challenge of our time.”

Savage Harvest

Author : Carl Hoffman
ISBN : 9780062116185
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 75 MB
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The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story. Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he'd been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael's death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now. Retracing Rockefeller's steps, award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publically after fifty years. In Savage Harvest he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit, and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America's richest and most powerful scions.

To Explain The World

Author : Steven Weinberg
ISBN : 9780241196656
Genre : Science
File Size : 32. 30 MB
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In To Explain the World, pre-eminent theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg offers a rich and irreverent history of science from a unique perspective - that of a scientist. Moving from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad to Oxford, and from the Museum of Alexandria to the Royal Society of London, he shows that the scientists of the past not only did not understand what we understand about the world - they did not understand what there is to understand. Yet eventually, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of tides, the modern discipline of science emerged.


Author : James L. Swanson
ISBN : 9780061803970
Genre : History
File Size : 34. 37 MB
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The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, led Union cavalry and detectives on a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia, while the nation, still reeling from the just-ended Civil War, watched in horror and sadness. James L. Swanson's Manhunt is a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you've never read it before.

High Steel

Author : Jim Rasenberger
ISBN : 0061746754
Genre : History
File Size : 25. 7 MB
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A powerful first-hand account of the many generations and ethnic groups of men who have built America's skyscrapers. From the early days of steel construction in Chicago, through the great boom years of New York city ironwork, and up through the present, High Steel follows the trajectory of careers inextricably linked to both great accomplishment and catastrophic disaster. The personal stories reveal the lives of ironworkers and the dangers they face as they walk across the windswept, swaying summits of tomorrow's skyscrapers, balanced on steel girders sometimes only six inches wide. Rasenberger explores both the greatest accomplishments of ironwork—the vaulting bridges and towers that define America's skyline—and the deadliest disasters, such as the Quebec Bridge Collapse of 1907, when 75 ironworkers, including 33 Mohawk Indians, fell to their deaths. High Steel is an accessible, thrilling, and vertiginous portrait of the lives of some of our most brave yet unrecognized men.

The Decline Of Nair Dominance

Author : Robin Jeffrey
ISBN : 8173040656
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29. 64 MB
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Out Of Print For More Than 15 Years, This Book Still Represents The Most Systematic Attempt To Trace The Profound Social Change That Over Took Kerala From The Middle Of The Nineteenth Century. It Is Not A Study Of Nairs Alone But A Social And Political History Of One Of India`S Most Fascinatig Areas During A Time Of Rapid Change. It Is Essential Reading For Any One Interested In The Fate Of Matrilineal Societies In The Modern World Or The Background Of Kerala`S Flourishing Communist Party In The 1940S And 1950S.

No Elephants For The Maharaja

Author : Louise Ouwerkerk
ISBN : UOM:39015034423874
Genre : Travancore
File Size : 51. 16 MB
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In commemoration of the old hunting parties of the Maharaja of Travancore used to lead a silent procession adorned by gorgeously caparisoned elephants from the temple in Trivandrum to the sea beach. Blood had been shed in the hunt and the gods must be purified by a bath in the sea. After Independence the former Maharaja still made regular visits to the same temple in his ancient Rolls-Royce. But the pomp and ceremony of the Princely rule were gone and there were no elephants for the Maharaja. This change symbolizes the larger transformations in Travancore documented in this book. In 1921 Travancore was still ruled by an all-powerful Dewan. Local Hindus, Muslims and Christians pressed for greater participation in the state administration by appealing to loyalties of caste and religion. The result was a strong communalism which clever Dewans could make use of as part of a policy of divide-and-rule. Louise Ouwerkerk dwells extensively on these developments which led to the formation of the Travancore State Congress in which she was personally involved. From 1929-1939 Louise Ouwekerk was Professor at the Maharajas Womens College and Travancore University. Although a Government servant, she threw herself into politics and tried to unite the communal leaders on a common platform for more responsible government. As these attempts brought her into conflict with the Dewan, she was dismissed from service. In the early 1970s she wrote the text for this book, largely based on her own files and recollections, supplemented by interviews. She died in 1989. Dick Kooiman, who found the unpublished manuscript among her personal papers, edited the text for publication and wrote an introduction. In spite of Louises own active involvement, she has succeeded in keeping that critical distance which makes reading her history both entertaining and rewarding. Her work still stands as a major piece of research by a keen, contemporary eye-witness and makes excellent reading as narrative history, rich in its description of local personalities and developments.

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