From the blurbs

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2011

C V Raman: A Biography by Uma Parameswaran, Penguin Books India, Rs 350

While C V Raman’s achievements as a scientist are well-documented, his personal story is generally not known. In this well-researched, comprehensive volume, the biographer sheds light on Raman’s personal vision, idiosyncrasies and struggles.

Higher speculations: grand theories and failed revolutions in physics and cosmology by Helge Kragh, OUP, US $46.9

Throughout history, people have tried to construct theories of everything: highly ambitious attempts to understand nature in its totality. This account presents these theories in their historical contexts, from little known hypotheses from the past to modern developments such as the theory of superstrings, the anthropic principle and ideas of many universes, and uses them to problematise the limits of scientific knowledge.

Forest history of India, Richard P Tucker, Sage, Rs 750

This collection of articles by noted environmental historian Richard P Tucker traces Indian forest history from the colonial era to its post-Independence legacy. The book highlights the two main strains of conflict that characterise the evolution of professional forestry in India. It describes the tension between the subsistence needs of the local population and the commercial needs of the colonial state. It also looks at the clash between the forest department, which sought to preserve and manage forests, and the revenue department, which was driven by the need to expand agriculture and industry.

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