pippala leaf

December 23, 2005

Bookshelf ….Non-Fiction…2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — MBN @ 11:54 pm

An odyssey of an orphaned Vietnamese boy, Quang Van Nguyen, set during the time of French and American war that ravaged Vietnam. Quang was adopted by a Vietnamese monk who practiced an ancient form of Chinese medicine and manages to raise him against all odds. He became his father and mentor. He imparts in Quang the esoteric wisdom and knowledge of the ancient world. Through the eyes of young Quang the reader could see life in it’s innocence and simplicity, also in it’s arrogance and tragedy. In the book reader could witness the end of an old civilization and it’s transition to the new world. One would see the simplicity of the former and the complexity of the latter. This is also a story of magic, sorcery and spirituality – a real life Harry Potter story. In this book the reader would meet a fascinating world of magic, sorcery, spirits, ghosts and spiritual giants. Some of the readers might reject them as superstitious. But as I see it, the possibilities of mind, it’s potential and capacity are endless. It had been studied and mastered by ancient Buddhist and Hindu yogis and sages, and yet to discover by modern science. The life of Sri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda and Paramahamsa Yogananda are ample proof for this. This story is also about Vietnam, it’s culture, it’s people, the war, their pain and longing. This extraordinary journey starts from a remote village in Vietnam and ends at New Hampshire in United States. FOURTH UNCLE in the MOUNTAIN is a simple but extraordinary story of a boy, of a nation and of a way of life that became extinct.

Based on a series of discussions and debates that took place between five leading physicists and the Dalai Lama. The subject of the debate varies from Quantum Physics, Relativity, Time and space, the relation between scientific knowledge and human experience, Buddhist view of those and to many more.

In his comment to one of my post Sunil wrote :”you’ll find a remarkable openness to new ideas (including complete acceptance of evolution) when you hear eastern religious leaders (like the Dalai Lama) speak….”. I think this remarkable openness comes from the fact that unlike semitic religions Buddhism is not tied down to a set of theology. Here experience supersedes any kind of scriptural authority. And a seeker could reject any authority or scripture or argument that contradict reason. In his reply to one of the physicists in the discussion Dalai Lama says:
“It has nothing to do with God. The Buddhist position is not a theological argument at all. It’s purely philosophical and logical argument….”

With regard to the current popularity of Buddhism in west, probably this could be one of the factors of Buddhism that appealed the western mind

This book tells the international diplomatic drama that unveiled between the Clinton administration and Indian Government under Vajpayee. The highlight of this book is Jaswant Singh. His personality, his diplomatic skills and the way he represented India, had made a lasting impression on the author of this book – Strobe Talbott, secretary of state under Bill Clinton. It also tells the missionary kind of zeal with which American administration pursue India to sign CTBT and NPT and the skills employed by India to avoid it. Author shows, without much bias, the US perspective and Indian perspective on this issue. Reader gets a detailed look at the behind-the scene actions that happened among India, Pakistan and US during the Pokhran Nuclear test and Kargil crisis, especially the part played by former President Bill Clinton. The book also highlights the fact how mutual friendship between diplomats could reward positively to the relation of two countries without compromising the objectives of their mission.



  1. Hi,

    I’d like to invite you to be a Desicritic – please e-mail me so we can discuss this further


    Comment by Aaman — February 9, 2006 @ 4:15 am

  2. Hi Talbott:
    maybe you can give me some information. I am in search of names of titles with author and publication details of some important American nonfiction on India. Can you help me? Please, if you can. Thanks.

    Comment by ihshihan — May 17, 2006 @ 6:54 pm

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