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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

George VI A Life from Beginning to End by Hourly History

George VI by Hourly History

The book George VI by Hourly History has turned out to be a lecture for me on the personal level. It has made me realize that there are big gaps in my study of Indian History, which I claim to know well.

I definitely have this awareness that my study of History of India is not complete. It is not because of my fault. The contours of the study of history were framed by the syllabus which I had studied at University level. It remained truncated because I was made to teach the History of India as per the syllabus framed by the university.

Presently, as per my understanding, the situation has aggravated further to a worst scenario. In case of Punjab University Chandigarh, at Undergraduate Level, the syllabus for History is covered in six semesters to be completed in three years. The first three semesters cover History of India from Ancient times starting from 3000 B. C. (BCE) to around 700 A. D. (CE). The second paper is called Medieval India starting from 1206 to 1707. The third paper is about Modern India which begins from 1757 and ends with 1964. Then there are two papers on Punjab History. There is only one paper on World History without any game plan. The History of Punjab is also taught to the student upto plus 2 level. Even there, they begin with the year 1469 and Guru Nanak. You ask the students to recollect the names of the ten gurus, well I will not tell about the response which you would get. The folklores are repleted with the stories of ear pierced Yogis. The books do not tell that there was Nath tradition of Gorkhnath that had dominated this region. (The same tradition from which Yogi Adityanath comes, the present Chief Minister of Uttar Pardesh. He is also an ear pierced Yogi. Can you see it?)


When India got Independence, from the rule of George VI, there were three major problems before India. The first problem was of refugees who were in a range of one crore approximately (figures vary from documents to documents. I have never cared to check the parliamentary reports.) The second problem was the unification of India with the Princely States. The third problem was to adopt the right Economic policy of India. It is believed that when the government of Nehru tried to seek the information from the historians, they did not have any information on the Economic History of India. The nationalist historians had started writing on the economic history of India from 1920 but they did not have enough data to provide to the government. The Nehru government took the help of a statistician Prasnta Chandra Mahalanobis and established the Planning Commission. This event had also brought in forefront the need of writing the history of India for the "We the People" who had adopted their constitution on November 26, 1949. By that time, The History of British India by V. A. Smith was one of the most respected work on History to be used for the country. The chapters in that book were framed as the rule of Clive, Warren Hasting, Cornwallis, etc. That was the time, when the country was imbued with the heightened feeling of nationalism and even Marxist had formed their group in form of Nationalist Marxist. A feeling was floated that it was a mark of servitude that the History of Modern India was based on the chapters framed on the working of the Governor Generals of Bengal, then the Governor Generals of India and finally the Viceroy of India. By 1960, the country or rather Congress found a historian in Tara Chand to write the history which changed the history of Modern India into the Freedom of Struggle of Indians. The Marxist contributed in writing to Freedom Struggle of India which is still popular in the titles written by Bipin Chandra and S. S. Sen. The history which was then written tried to remove the British names out of the books of History. But, after that, the definition and the chapter forming of the history of India was dominated by the intellectual, historians and scholars with strong Marxist mindset.

Now the trend is about writing and popularizing the regional history. Every state is telling more and more about their state to their young people as I have already tried to show in case of the syllabus of Punjab University Chandigarh. No where, there is a history of India for the "We the People".

All through this period, that is for the last 70 years till now in 2017, Indians have not written the History of India and definitely do not have any clear idea of history. If you have to learn history of India, you may like it or not, you have to talk about the English names and their working. It is only in case of selection tests for various selection examinations, they try to ask unexpected MCQs, and then, there they would ask, who was the Queen of England in 1858? or Who was the Prime Minister of Britain in 1945? Why are you asking such questions? Are you studying the History of Britain?

In case of American Historians, I have found, that they are very clear about their European Heritage. Whenever, there is a need, or whenever, they talk about the history of USA, they try to delve deeper into their European heritage. They are not adverse to invoke this aspect of history in making of United States and do not adopt any double standards there.

Anyhow, this is my ranting. I write what I want to write. In short, I always find it a shortcoming in my study of History of Modern India, that I know that I do not have full understanding of the British Politics and History when I try to explain the STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM of INDIA in equally louder sound.

It is here in the case of this book that I had just enjoyed reading this small biography of Prince Albert, who became George VI in 1936.

I have already talked about two titles which are published by Hourly History and have posted it on this blog itself. I have pointed out two major flaws in their work. They do not tell about the actual writer of the title. Dear Friends, Hourly History is no Author. Kindly reveal your identity. The publication must reveal the identity of the individual author. The second objection is that they do not give any bibliography or references and called their work as work of History. The same objection is raised here for this title also. But this title is somewhat different and I have enjoyed reading it.

I had completed the reading of this title on April 24, 2017. This time I had discontinued the reading of W. W. Atkinson and just picked up this title. I actually downloaded it on April 24, 2017 and just read it. I did not google much. I did not try to see the Wikipedia entry. I definitely searched for some terms and names. But I did not go for a further search on the internet. I read it from chapter to chapter while attending to my other primary duties. But, I returned back to read the next line or chapter, the moment I got the time. It is a book meant to be read in an hour. I read it and probably devoted only an hour on all counts.

The very first chapter attracts your attention to learn about Albert. It was written by a person who knew that he was writing about an elite person but he also knew how to create a profile of a person from the time angle and also from psychological, social and political angles even if he was portraying a profile of a member of a royal family. This tile of the chapter is "Introduction".

The Introduction is followed by following ten chapters.
Early Years
Prince Albert in the Navy
The Great War
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
The Reign and Abdication of King Edward VIII
Becoming King Geoge VI
The Second World War
Post-Wars Years
Final Years
Conclusion.


Wikipedia Connection:
It was only after completing the reading of the whole book, that I tried to check into Wikipedia. There I found that the portrait which was displayed on the title of this book was similar to the one, that appeared on Wikipedia. I reproduce it here and it displayed to your right hand side with the acknowledgement.
King George VI (Source: Wikipedia)

I also found that in case of the conclusion, there was an apparent similarity in the conclusion written in this book and lines written under the paragraph titled the Illness and Death.


Wikipedia Book.

As I have already mentioned that while reading this title I did not explore the interenet contrary to what I claim that it is a practice with me that I explore the Internet extensively while reading the book. It is a practice with me. However, now I feel, that a Wikipedia Book must be compiled to substantiate this book. King George VI definitely lived an eventful period in the history and had left a great mark on the history of his own country. I will soon produce that compilation.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

27 Stars, 27 Gods, The Astrological Mythology of Ancient India by Vic DiCara (Vraja Kishore).

I find pleasure in introducing the book written by Vic DiCara. Kishore is the name adopted by the author after receiving initiation from his Guru Sri Srimad Dhanurdhara Swami.

He owns two websites namely vicdicara.com and vrajakishor.com. Both the sites are substantiated with WordPress blogs.

I bought the book when I was reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda. It was at Chapter 16, "Outwitting the Stars" that I read the views of Swami Yukteshwar on astrology as told by his disciple Paramahansa Yogananda. I leave it to the readers to experience what is written there.

As for me, I have a vacillating and wavering faith in astrology. I know little bit of astrology. I have improved my understanding of the chart reading by going through Parashar Hora and Brihad Samihta by Vara Mahir as explained by some scholar from a university in Rajasthan. I have also taken help from pulp literature which is readily available in the market. Now, I generally look into Devidayal Jantri, published from Jalandhar, Punjab, India. I religiously buy the fresh edition every year for the last seven years now. But, I was never convinced by this science. I developed numerous questions about their algorithms.

One another tradition, Lal Kitab, was an important influential factor in my formative years. I do not have a book on it. But, since my childhood, I had listened so much about different combinations and Upayas that I had some glimpse of this science. No doubt, later I bought some general books on the so-called Lal Kitab. But, Lal Kitab made me more confused. One utterance of my father had virtually turned me away from it. He had said that it was wrong to perform the Upayas of Lal Kitab as they were of some doubtful origin. Thus, it was the cause of my wavering faith in this science.

But after reading the chapter 16, I remember, that I had browsed the web and without knowing and understanding much I bought this book in Kindle format. It is the most costliest book which I had bought online. The paperback edition is more costlier. I bought it because somewhere, I had concluded that whatsoever I had tried to learn from self-study on astrology, was not any organised study. I found that many of the conclusions and rationales, given by different writers were not sustainable. I learned that stars were taken as fixed points. Sun is fixed. The twelve houses are assumed geometrical construct. Everything was being based on nine planets, their location in relation to each other and multiple charts combination was required to answer different queries. But there was no sequence. I do not know that how I have reached the conclusion that in order to fully understand the reasons and logic behind this astrological talks, one must have a full understanding of 27 Nakshatras. But I never came across any account on Nakshatras. As I was not much impressed by astrology, I did not pursue my quest for clearing my doubts. But, when I read the chapter 16, I browsed and because Nakshatra query was at that the back of my mind, I had a question about the actual natures of the Nakshatras, so I picked this title and bought it.

The book begins with two major assertions. They were the arguments which attracted me and had driven me to punch the 'buy it' button. The first argument was that you had to unlearn some of the prevalent perceptions and laws of the astrology.

Vid Dicara suggests that first, you have to unlearn that the Nakshatras are associated with Zodiac Signs. You have to drop the perception or suspend the perception that House dominates the stars or Nakshatra.

The second notion which you have to suspend is that the Nakshatras are associated with the Planet. I believe that you have not to follow the sequence of Ketu, Shukra, Surya, Chandra, Mangal, Rahu, Guru, Shani and Budhha in order to interpret the result of each Nakshatra.

Then, he emphasises that you have to learn the nature of each Nakshatra and its god. The book then tries to explain the nature of each Nakshatra and its God.

In order to explain the each Nakshatra, he had written 27 chapters. It is followed by three more chapters.

While undertaking the task of building his chapters, he had taken references from Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and Mahabharata. He has given references to the hymns and authorities while explaining the nature. How far they are true, I can not authenticate at present.

Apart from that, he had given his own interpretation as per the understanding which he had developed on the basis of his learning of the Sanskrit literature that he had mentioned. One may like it or reject it but for me, it is allowed. This is why you write a book. You give your view and understanding. You are not there to assert. Let the readers and the world of scholars comment on your inferences and conclusions. He has done it boldly and without any complex or bias.


I have found his work a well researched, scholarly work, guided and directed by objectivity and scientific temper. He had not given details of any experiment or collection of data. The experiment is not the only criteria of being scientific. It is the interpretation which you do while using the data which you refer to, that decide the scientific temper. He has demonstrated it well.

He has not gone into any wild explanation. He has not gone in elaborate theories. He has not gone into any philosophy. He created a premise. He created the limits. He dismantled some of the preconceived perceptions He picked his topic and substantiated it with proof from the scriptures. In between, he gave his own interpretation based on his own understanding developed on his study of the contents which he had used.

Those who believe that they would learn astrology from this book, kindly, do not buy it. Those who want to undertake a mature and serious study of Indian Culture and Astrology, they should definitely consult this book in order to refine their questions and queries.

However, the paperback is too costly. I have read it on Kindle version. It costs ₹400. Kindly keep in mind 


Thus I read this book.  

Later Edit
My review of this book appears at Quora. Check Here.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Thomas Jefferson A Life from Beginning to End by Hourly History

The book, Thomas Jefferson, is published by Hourly History Limited with a website at www.hourlyhistory.com

The copyright is with the Hourly History in the year 2016.

It was made available free of cost. I subscribed to the website when I bought a book titled The Last Mughal by William Darlymple about which I had read a lot but did not care to buy. It was available on Kindly collection for less than ₹100 and being in digital form, I bought it. It was in that book, I found the reference to this subscription and availed it. Every week they send you two free books. As per the site, they had published 60 titles by now and it is accessed and confirmed on April 14, 2017, an auspicious day in Indian calendar and I accessed it to check the content. But who are they at Hourly History? I do not get any answer. Who is the author of different titles? No answer. But they call you friend in every letter and also on the site. Is a friend expected to say goody goody thing? Is a friend a true one if he calls a spade a spade on the face of the friend?

There is no doubt that you can read the books provided by the publication within one hour. They are spread over near about 40 pages. They are nicely written. Well, I am going to point out some flaws. Just another question which I may ask. Should we call it a book or a pamphlet or a long essay? What is an acceptable length of a book? Yes, there are some books which are called books but hardly contains more than 24 pages.

By now I have read two books of this publication. I have started a number of titles simultaneously. It is only in the case of two books, that I have read them fully. It is not that they are not written nicely. It is because I do a lot of internet searching when I come across any word or term about which I am doubtful. Therefore, I sometimes take longer time. Secondly, I am hooked to W. W. Atkinson titles. I generally move to that collection even when I am doing my own job.

I am highly infatuated by the History of USA. As it is a task given to me in my job, I teach American History. My starting book was Henry Bamford Parkes. It was long back that I had read that book. At that time, there was no internet to explore. I visited the library and checked different titles. America otherwise holds a great attraction for the Indians. Any policy on H1B visa is always a national news in India. It affects the software companies of India which contribute to the service sector of India and the service sector contributes around 50% to GDP of India. For me, as a student of History, it holds a different attraction because, for us, the working of history is well reflected in the birth and growth of America. From that perspective, the father of America as a nation, a book on Thomas Jefferson was a prized gift from the publication. Parkes did not discuss the personal life of Jefferson. I learned about it from this book. Lousiana Purchase was definitely an important point which I knew about Jefferson as I have to teach the expansion of America and that definitely makes an important point to discuss before explaining the Monroe Doctrine. In this book, I found some names which helped me to explore further. But as I have remarked that I google a lot while reading a book, as a result, I reached wikipedia. From there, I also make a search for an entry on Thomas Jefferson. I would like to give a link to that entry. I read that posting in one go before I completed the reading of this book with a number of breaks in between. I leave it to the readers to decide that which source is more useful, this title or the Wikipedia entry. No apologies for this comment to my friends in Hourly History. The link from Wikipedia is HERE.

The book is divided into seven chapters. They are as follows.
His life, His Love, His legacy.
In this chapter, "His Legacy" is described in forthcoming chapters.
The Son of Virginia
Jefferson the Patriot
Jefferson in Paris
The three chapters discuss American history and Europe more than the life of Jefferson. It is my experience that if you read about History of America by American Authors and English Authors, they discuss much Europe than America. An American Historian may talk about America itself but in his elaboration, they invariably try to describe their European legacy. They are not able to avoid European heritage. It is another thing, that the publisher has provided two titles on African Americans. One title is about Frederick Douglass. The other title is about Harriet Tubman. The American scholarship fights this dilemma that what actually is the colour of their nation. Does she have two heads, one European and other African? Well, even if they settle that, they will not able to face some more difficult questions which were created by Louis and Clark expeditions. Those questions were not the issues of colonial America as some American historians would like to present.


The next three chapters are as follows.
Jefferson the Politician
Jefferson the President
Jefferson at Home.

This set is more about Jefferson.

It is true that you can read it one hour. But, it is difficult to say that it is a balanced work. It is another thing that if one tries to answer the question that how will you arrange your material within a limit of 40 pages and you have to describe a Father of Nation like Thomas Jefferson, then, the writer has done a commendable job. The chapters making is definitely quite impressive. It requires understanding and imagination to achieve a task like this.

I will like to make one more point. These books are definitely small. They have published the titles like The Middle Ages. They have published titles on the personalities from Europe. But they have not revealed the name of the author. As per the craft of history, the profile of the author of the document is essential before saying anything about history. Otherwise, it can be a good literature but it does not qualify for the title of a history. 

On the same premises, I will strongly recommend to the publisher that one or two pages should be used to give a bibliography or the references to the book or documents which are related to the contents of the title. It is not my suggestion. If you have to call it a history work, then you must refer to the sources. You have every right and freedom to present your material in which you wish to present. History is also an art. But somewhere, you have to follow the demands of the craft of history. Alfred Tennyson was declared a historian. But he was basically a person from the literature background. He knew only this much that a successful writer is one who raises the curiosity in the reader to ask a question, "what happened next"? That is one of the features of the writing of history but not the soul of history.

As I have said in my previous review on Hitler by the same publisher, that the book is good in helping you to remember what you have read at school level. It can be substantiated further, that it helps to fill in some gaps in your memory if you are not aware of that earlier.

I definitely googled a lot while reading this title. At one time, I even thought of developing a Wikipedia Book on it as I have done in the case of W. W. Atkinson. But, when I read the article on Jefferson, on Wikipedia, I did not find much need to substantiate this reading any further.

Thus I read this book.

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

Telepathy: Its Theory, Facts and Proof by W. W. Atkinson

I had completed the reading of this book on April 4, 2017. There is nothing much to say about this book. The contents of this book can be summarised in the following paragraph.

Atkinson believes that the Telepathy is true. It can be proved by scientific methods. A major experiment was carried out in America during 1907 to 1908. The name of the experiment is The Weltmer Experiment.

The survey of the chapters of the book reveals and approves what is written above. They are as follows.

Chapter I: What is Telepathy
Chapter II: The Nature of the Problem
Chapter III: Experimental Telepathy
Chapter IV: The English Experiments
Chapter V: More English Experiments
Chapter VI: The Weltmer Experiment
Chapter VII: Results of The Weltmer Experiment
Chapter VIII: Results of The Weltmer Experiment (Continued)
Chapter IX: The Theories.

The chapterization in itself tells the actual content of the book. It is English Experiments and Weltmer Experiment.

I have developed the Wikipedia Book for it. The entries on Wikipedia also reveals some more features about the actual facts about the theory of the writer itself. Many of the scholars whom he had mentioned for substantiating his argument were not approved by the scientific world. The Wikipedia Book as developed by the blogger can be accessed HERE. It will take you to Wikipedia server. 

Another feature which emerges is that you can not fully depend upon the statements and elaboration of Atkinson. One of his strong argument was that it was first known to the Hindus. They had used it during the revolt of 1857. He claimed that at that the Telegraph was not available in India. As a result, the British administration suffered because of that. The rebels had extensively used this medium to communicate with each other and gave a tough fight because of the exchange of information through telepathy. He had made this claim in the first chapter titled What is Telepathy. It is all wrong. The Telegraph services were available in India. It is another thing that by May 13, 1857, it was disrupted by the revolutionaries. The revolution started on May 11, 1857. For two days, it was working and the British officer in Amery, Jalandhar, Phillaur and Ludhiana had received the information from the telegraph. Secondly, it was again restored by September1857, when the British army recovered Delhi. Hence, the writer himself had not verified his facts.

I do not have any opinion on this parapsychological phenomenon of Telepathy. However, now these days, we have the internet, twitter, facebook, instagram etc. We have smartphones. Do we need such a phenomena? Even if, it exists, then do we need it. We may research it to decide the actual issue. I do not know, how does psychologist deal with it? What do the neurologists tell about it? But, for all these matters, the reading of this book does not provide much material to work upon. It has rather revealed the weaker side of the writings and contents of the book of W. W. Atkinson.

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Suggestion and Auto Suggestion by W. W. Atkinson

I had completed the reading of the book titled "Suggestion and Autosuggestion" by W. W. Atkinson on April 2, 2017. Before writing the preview immediately, I started another title named Telepathy by W. W. Atkinson. In between, I posted the review on Your Mind. I did not complete even that preview. I had completed the reading of the book titled Telepathy. These acts are not as per the motive this book. However, Time is a big constraint. While writing you have to observe some methods. I have faulted in that.

As far as the book is concerned, it is one of the simplest books by Atkinson. The suggestions or contents as based on personal views of the author. They are very pragmatic suggestions. One can pick this book out his numerous titles for the joy of reading. When you read it, you comprehend what he says. He is a good writer. The issues which he picks relates to you. You accept what he says. Rather you develop clarity in your own thoughts for the understanding which you believe you know. What do you know? You may not be able to answer. But, after reading it, you may be in a position to give  word to your thoughts on it.

First of all, I will reproduce what I have noted during the course of the reading of this book.


A NEW FEATURE: WIKIPEDIA BOOKS on W. W. ATKINSON Contents:

Well before that, I introduce to you a new feature of the contents of the review. It is a supplementary feature of the review but it relates to the reading as well the comments in the review. I have called it Free Wikipedia Books with the title W. W. Atkinson References. You may observe the list of such free books on the right hand sidebar of this blog. Presently it is on the top of the right hand sidebar. Those who are reading it on mobile version may pull down to the lower side of the displayed page and switch to website version. You will locate it through the link View web version.

As I have commented again and again on the writing style of W. W. Atkinson, he gives too many testimonies and references in support of his propositions, statements and conclusions. While doing this he refers to too many authorities and most of them are from the field of philosophy and science. In order to make a full picture of the knowledge which he may be able to introduce to you, you need an understanding of the views of those authorities. There are not one or two of them. They are many. From this paradigm, I have developed this paradigm. While reading, in order to make full sense of what he is saying, I keep on doing the web search. During that activity, I find that the articles on Wikipedia provide good support. It is out of that experience and realisation, this model has developed. I used the Bookmaking features on Wikipedia and developed such books. Those books are now shared with the readers. There are some of the technical problems also. But they are because of the Wikipedia Management issues itself. However, it is not the place to take up that issue. It has restricted me from giving a better result. Even then, the product which I have been able to develop, I have shared it here.

For this book, I have developed the book W. W. Atkinson Bibliography (Suggestion and Auto Suggestion). Click it. This will provide you with a PDF format book on the references used by Atkinson which he has used in different chapters. The book is formatted as per the chapters developed by Atkinson. 

In the case of other links, you click on the desired book in the right Sidebar. You will be guided to the side of the wikipedia books. You may locate an instruction "Download" and followed by two links PDF (A4) and PDF (Letter). Click any of them. The software on Wikipedia will compile the book for you with the message that you can download the book. Download it and go through the result. I believe that you may enjoy the product. There may be some technical glitches because of the issues related to the Wikipedia management. In any case, by merely clicking the link, you may be able to check the contents of the book.
(To be Concluded)


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Sunday, April 2, 2017

Your Mind and How to Use it by W. W. Atkinson

My last review on the book written by W. W. Atkinson was on the book titled Subconsciousness and Superconsciousness. It was suggested in the book that the readers should also read Suggestion and Auto-Suggestion. But I picked this book titled Your Mind and How to Use it and completed its reading today, that is March 30, 2017. I have started the reading of the Suggestion and Auto-Suggestion. The writer is good at his art of writing on difficult subjects. You may develop your views and opinion on it but you can read his next title.

As far as the book on the Manual of using the Mind is concerned, I would like to ask a question. Is the mind a topic meant for Psychology? When I was reading this book, I felt as if I am reading a book on Psychology. Presently Psychology has progressed much and established its status as a full fledged subject which is adding to the knowledge of humanity. There are many people in the field of Medical science who give different views but as a subject it has been fully recognized and utilized field. I had read the books on psychology during my college days. At that time also, there was a debate about the actual scope of the psychology. The chapters which formed the part of such books were not appreciated much. When I read this book, I was reminded of my older reading. I remember, that was a book written by Knight and Knight. I sought some more information on it. But, I did not find the right person. I happened to meet pseudo intellectuals who knew a little but had strong opinions on everything. Here, I was just wondering what actually I was reading. Some of the chapters were really interesting. In the case of some chapters I just glided over it. In the case on the topics of logic, Deductive logic, and Inductive logic, I became unconcerned. But, still, I want to read the next title by Atkinson. That is the beauty of the writing of the work of this writer.

Now let me share one of my response, which I wrote during the course of the of writing. That is as per the motive of this blog. You may call it a review. But, I call it Reading, contemplating, reflecting, pondering and response writing even if it reveals my lack of comprehension and inabilities.

(to be concluded)


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