New Delhi [India], November 20: Charaiveti is more than just a memoir--it is a sharp-eyed look at where we have been and where we may be headed, as seen through the lens of a remarkable life.
Published by HarperCollins
Paperback | Non-Fiction | Biography | 376 pp | INR 699
Available wherever books are sold | Releasing on 29th November 2023
"Pranab Bardhan is one of the pioneers of modern development economics. He has also had a ringside view of sixty tumultuous years and more, both for India and the field of economics. This is the story of those years, told in a voice gentle and yet incisive--like the author, always amusing and yet deeply humane."
- ABHIJIT V. BANERJEE, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ABOUT THE BOOK
The word 'charaiveti', from an ancient Sanskrit hymn, means 'keep moving', in search of self-realization. The leading Indian economist and public intellectual Pranab Bardhan invokes this in his moving narrative of a personal and professional journey.
From his beginnings in a poor neighbourhood in Kolkata and the idyllic days in Santiniketan, from being home-schooled by his father followed by a vigorous student life at Presidency College, Kolkata and in Cambridge University, England, Bardhan rose to become one of the foremost development economists in the world. After serving on the faculty of MIT, Indian Statistical Institute and Delhi School of Economics, he finally settled at the University of California, Berkeley. In the process, he interacted closely with the likes of James Meade, Joan Robinson, Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow, James Mirrlees, Joseph Stiglitz, George Akerlof, Jerry Cohen, Jon Elster, Amartya Sen, T.N. Srinivasan, K.N. Raj, Ashok Rudra, Mrinal Datta Chaudhuri, Sukhamoy Chakravarty, Ashis Nandy and Romila Thapar.
In his memoir, he provides a fascinating account of his richly varied and widely travelled life, interwoven with thoughtful comments on politics and society both in India and abroad and on some major strands of international intellectual debates. These accounts are enlivened by a profusion of stories, anecdotes, and amusing incidents, and draw copiously from his interests in literature and films.
Witty, wise, and perceptive, Charaiveti is more than just a memoir-it is a sharp-eyed look at where we have been and where we may be headed, as seen through the lens of a remarkable life.
Pranab Bardhan says, "The conceit of writing a memoir for others' attention is hopefully somewhat relieved in this book by the stress on observations on the politics and society in India and abroad and a discussion of more systemic issues than personal ones, along with a profusion of stories and anecdotes and amusing incidents more for the readers' entertainment than for enlightenment."
Udayan Mitra, Executive Publisher, HarperCollins says "Charaiveti, Pranab Bardhan's memoir, makes for a delightful read. As we travel with Prof Bardhan from his childhood and youth in Kolkata and Santiniketan to his subsequent years of renown in Cambridge and then Berkeley, we encounter a series of interesting personalities and are regaled with one memorable anecdote after another. Charaiveti will bring hours of joy to everyone who travels with Prof Bardhan on his journey; we at HarperCollins are delighted to be able to bring this wonderful book to readers."
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
"Pranab Bardhan is a man of exceptionally wide scholarship, of a fiercely independent turn of mind and one who has always been deeply immersed in literature and cinema. His observations of his times, in different parts of the world, and of the many people whom he has known, are always entertaining, his insights often profound. This memoir is a joy to read."
- JOHN HARRISS, Professor Emeritus, International Studies, Simon Fraser University
"Economist Pranab Bardhan recounts, in engaging prose, his remarkable journey from childhood in a rough Kolkata neighbourhood to the high tables of the intellectual world in the West. The persistence of inequality in the world has remained for him an abiding concern."
- INDIRA RAJARAMAN, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research
"Charaiveti is written with Pranab Bardhan's customary charm and wit. In documenting his journey, he weaves together reflections on the world with recognizable themes from his academic writings and offers us insights into why he has been such an important figure in humanizing and broadening the discipline of economics."
- TIM BESLEY, Professor of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics
"Pranab Bardhan proves that he is not only an exceptional scholar but also an expert raconteur. He has written a fascinating memoir that is highly entertaining and full of insights about academia, economics, India--and indeed, the world at large."
- DANI RODRIK, Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University
"In his "travels"--for that is how he describes his memoir-- through fast-changing times, continents, cultures, economies and the portals of academe, or in his interactions with almost all the major economists of the time, Pranab Bardhan remains passionately engaged with the political-economic problems of India and other such "extremely unequal" developing countries: relentlessly seeking ways of redressal, and lovingly reliving and objectively unfolding his Kolkata of the 1950s."
- SAMIK BANDYOPADHYAY, Editor, Translator and Film, Theatre and Art Critic
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pranab Bardhan is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics at University of California, Berkeley. Educated at Presidency College, Kolkata, and Cambridge University, England, he had been a part of the faculty of MIT, Indian Statistical Institute and Delhi School of Economics before joining the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of seventeen books, including Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India (Princeton University Press, 2011) and A World of Insecurity: Democratic Disenchantment in Rich and Poor Countries (Harvard University Press, 2022). A collection of his Bengali essays has been published by Ananda Publishers in Kolkata in 2020.
ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS INDIA
HarperCollins is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having begun publishing in India in 1992. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India has won the Publisher of the Year Award four times at Tata Literature Live! in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2016, and at Publishing Next in 2021 & 2015. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.
30 YEARS OF PUBLISHING IN INDIA
At HarperCollins, we believe in telling the best stories and in finding the widest possible readership for our books in every format possible. We started publishing 30 years ago in India and a great deal has changed since then, but what has remained constant is the passion with which our authors write their books, the love with which readers receive them, and the sheer joy and excitement that we as publishers feel in being a part of the publishing process.
Over the years, we've had the pleasure of publishing some of the finest writing from the subcontinent and from around the world, and some of the biggest bestsellers in Indian publishing history. Our books and authors have won a phenomenal range of awards, and we ourselves have been named Publisher of the Year several times. But nothing has meant more to us than the fact that millions of people read the books we publish, and somewhere, a book of ours might be making a difference to someone.
As we step into our fourth decade, we go back to that one word - a word which has been a driving force for us all these years:
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