1. The Spy and the Kingdom

    The Spy and the Kingdom

    More often than not the more well-known spies are the ones notorious for having betrayed the country they ostensibly serve, i.e. double agents, primarily those that betrayed the countries of the ‘free’ world, like Great Britain. While few stones are left unturned to expose these traitors so long after the fact, the counterspies of the Crown lay respectably buried in the historical record. This short note by historian Suchetana Chattopadhyay is about one such anti-Soviet British spy of the in[...]
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  2. Will the pandemic enable us to imagine our cities with more bookstores?

    Will the pandemic enable us to imagine our cities with more bookstores?

    How many bookstores does Delhi have? Sadly, no one knows, and it is hard to even hazard a guess. In any case, it would again depend on definition. For example, do you include all the shops that sell school textbooks, or other specialised books such as law books? That number would run into hundreds, if not thousands. Do you include the pavement sellers who spread out their wares in major markets? Again, the number would be in the hundreds or thousands. Do you include shops that sell books by the [...]
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  3. Operation PBSUCCESS: CIA’s ‘Glorious Victory’

    Operation PBSUCCESS: CIA’s ‘Glorious Victory’

    In March 1951, Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán took office as the President of Guatemala. The landless movement and the Left had fought to elect a president who decided to push through a moderate land reform agenda. Such a project threatened to undercut the land holding of the United Fruit Company, a US conglomerate that strangled this American nation. The CIA got to work. To ‘remove covertly, and without bloodshed if possible, the menace of the present Communist-controlled government in Guatemala’, [...]
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  4. The Novel Morona Virus

    The Novel Morona Virus

    Long before our lives were disrupted by the novel Coronavirus, there appeared on the scene a much deadlier virus. One that couldn’t be seen with a microscope. Eve Ensler writes in detail about the appearance and spread of this virus. To learn about other strains of this virus, check out Strongmen (LeftWord, 2017). This is the story of what happened in the late time, right before the end time, that later got interrupted and became the new time. In those days there arrived in the land of viol[...]
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  5. Empire and the Overpass

    Empire and the Overpass

    Today’s extract, from Will the Flower Slip Through the Asphalt: Writers Respond to Capitalist Climate Change (LeftWord, 2017), takes a look at how the imperatives of capital and empire can ruin ecosystems. Rafia Zakaria, author and columnist for Dawn (Pakistan), talks about the case of Karachi. The sea has been on the move in Karachi. Over the decades, as the city has burst its seams, it has moved farther and farther away into the distance. If you arrive very early in the morning at the bea[...]
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