Thursday, March 5, 2009


When it was first published in 1967, this now classic book was something of a bomb-shell. A companion volume to the earlier, equally ground-breaking How Children Fail, this illuminating survey gives central place to what Enistein called the 'holy curiosity of inquiry', suggesting that teachers stand back from their pupils in order to allow the learning process to operate more successfully. It sets out to demonstrate to parents and teachers that learning is as natural as breathing. The ways we learn to talk, to read, to count and to reason, even before we start school, should make the adult trust the child's innate ability. How children Learn also features an eloquent critique of methods of learning about children, and a chapter of 'Learning and love' that brings the reader close to the heart of John Holt's philosophy.

Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window

This engaging series of childhood recollections tells about an ideal school in Tokyo during World War II that combined learning with fun, freedom, and love. This unusual school had old railroad cars for classrooms, and it was run by an extraordinary man-its founder and headmaster, Sosaku Kobayashi-who was a firm believer in freedom of expression and activity.
In real life, the Totto-chan of the book has become one of Japan's most popular television personalities-Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. She attributes her success in life to this wonderful school and its headmaster.
The charm of this account has won the hearts of millions of people of all ages and made this book a runaway bestseller in Japan, with sales hitting the 4.5 million mark in its first year.

How Much Should a Person Consume?: Thinking Through the Environment

This book presents a provocative comparative history of environmentalism through a study of two large, ecologically and culturally diverse democracies—India and the United States। Guha takes as his point of departure the dominant environmental philosophies in these two countries, identified here as ‘agrarianism’ in India and ‘wilderness thinking’ in the USA. He then proposes an inclusive theoretical framework, ‘social ecology’, which goes beyond these partisan and partial ideologies. This ‘social ecology’ framework is deployed in Guha’s analysis of environmental thought as well as in arriving at a richer understanding of controversies over large dams, state forests, and wildlife reserves. Profiles of three remarkable environmental thinkers and activists—Lewis Mumford, Chandi Prasad Bhatt, and Madhav Gadgil—follow. The concluding chapter poses what the author regards as the fundamental environmental question—how much should a person or country consume?—and explores various answers. Based on research done over two decades, and written with the author's characteristic verve and flair, this book ranges widely over a vast intellectual terrain. It brims with ideas and information on environmental histories, environmental philosophies, environmental scholars, and environmental activists. Guha offers trenchant critiques of privileged and isolationist proponents of conservation, persuasively arguing the case for biospheres that care as much for humans as for other species with which humans must share the earth. How Much Should a Person Consume? is an accessible and deeply felt summation of one pioneering and influential scholar’s views on environmentalism. Like everything else by Ramachandra Guha, this book wears its immense learning lightly. It will be ‘necessary reading’ within the academy even while attracting a large general readership by its lucidity and elegance.
Price : 295
Pages : 276
Year : 2007

GOOD WOMEN DO NOT INHERIT LAND’: Politics of Land and Gender in India

‘GOOD WOMEN should not claim a share in the inheritance, even if they have no brothers….’ Notions such as this have, in their own way and over time, given the women in the Santal Parganas the resolve to wrest what is rightfully theirs.This is a powerful book in the way in which it unfolds the lives and anxieties of Santal women in the two villages of Dumka district, Jharkhand. From the very beginning, adivasi women come alive through separate life histories. They span different situations and social patterns but all of them relate to rights in landed property, and their own troubled identities in the backdrop of harsh living conditions, social discrimination and lack of state support. Land for the Santal women is not a mere economic resource. It stands for security, social position and identity, and in this men have a distinct advantage. Soon after, writing in a personal vein, the author unfolds how these anxieties of the Santal women resonate her own.The author traces the relationship between Santals and their land from historic times to the modern era when they have access to both the modern legal system and their own customary laws. She also examines the role of external agencies in this struggle – government administrative bodies, non-governmental organizations and political leaders. As modern influences crowd out traditional mores the author asserts that development is not always a benign process of social advancement but a highly political struggle for re-negotiating power relations between men and women, and among social groups. The use of a ‘community’ identity as adivasis has also been responsible for denying women rights to land in the context of the movement for political autonomy of Jharkhand.Based on rich ethnographic material, this sensitive book lays bare the reality of being an adivasi and an adivasi woman, in all its nuances, in the modern globalized world.

Nitya Rao
Price : Rs. 750

Pages : 368 (10 b/w Photos)
Year : 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009


The Global Water Crisis & the Coming Battle for the Right to WaterAuthor: Maude Barlow
BLUE COVENANT, The Sequel to Blue Gold, the earlier international bestseller, describes a powerful response to this trend: the emergence of an international, grassroots-led movement to have water declared a basic human right, something that can’t be bought or sold for profit.
World renowned activist Maude Barlow is at the centre of this movement, which is gaining popular and political support across the gobe, encompassing protests in India against US bottling giant Coca-Cola etc.
With great passion and clarity, Barlow traces the history of these international battles, documents the life & death stakes involved in the fight for the right to water, and lays out the actions that we as global citizens must take to secure a water-just world – a “blue covenant” – for all
Published 2007. Reprinted in India by BfC in 2008. Paperback. RS 250.00 Net after Discount: RS 200.००

Important Ordering InformationPostage waived off on all orders, To order book/s, please call/fax/email at:
S Rajan Iyer, Books for Change(Dedicated to Development), 139, Richmond RoadBangalore – 560 025, Tel # 080-25580346/25321747. Fax # 080-25586284Cell # 09379268545.