April 2012

Machiavelli's The Prince

A guide to managing power

What are the most influential books of all time? I’m sure that the Bible, the Koran, and other religious tomes would top out the list. A case could be made for the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engles, Darwin’s Origin of the Species, and more prosaic texts like How to Win Friends and Influence People.

One of the exploited millions

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Journalist Aravind Adiga wanted to discover why India doesn't have the violence that plagues much of the developing world, such as Latin America or Africa. Rapid development and the disparity between wealth and poverty seems to go along with a breakdown of law and order, but India lacks the rampant crime of other developing nations.

His book The White Tiger explains the reasons for this far better than any academic paper could. The story is given through a series of letters written to the Chinese Premier before an upcoming trip to India. Balram writes his story because he wants Wen Jiabao to understand the real India.

Balram is born in a small town in the “darkness” of rural India. The first part of the book is his journey into the “light” – to Dehli, the big city, where he works as a servant for India’s growing class of men made wealthy by globalization.