Author: Sankarshan Thakur
Publisher: Picador India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0330447300
A brilliant account seen through the sharp and unsparing eye of a journalist. This is neither a hatchet job nor a hagiography, but a plain tale of a complex populist and what his brand of politics does to people.
India has perhaps not seen a politician quite like Laloo Yadav, a mesmerizing bundle of odds - hero to some, villain to others, self-fashioned champion of the underdog and yet more imperious than the most well-heeled feudal, charming and ruthless by turns, a simpleton when he wants to be one, a manipulator when he needs to be. A leader who has repeatedly defied predictions of doom, and who is not finished yet with the business of leaving his imprint on politics and society.
Here, for the first time, is the fascinating story of the rise of Laloo Yadav and the fall of Bihar, a state different from any other in the abject acceptance of its wretchedness, in its fracture of will to change.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
This book is one of the few good results of Laloo's betrayal of Bihar. It is first-rate journalism. A clear-eyed and dispassionate description of the structure and dynamics of Bihar. A frightening book in many ways. What I admire most about the book is its economy. Worth reading just for the Laloo Yadav stories. - Vijay Nambisan, Indian Review of Books
Blazing prose. Thakur's book is a saga of despair. His story is not funny. In its sheer ordinariness, it is terrifying. - Prem Shankar Jha, India Today