Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cut and paste bequest

It is common to have books coming out on an event just after it has taken place. Authors have fallen over one another to have theirs out on the global financial crisis, the Ambani brothers’ feud, the Indian Premier League, the Satyam financial scandal, and so on.

Rare is the book that comes out before an event. And rarer is the one that comes out at a time when fresh news — a beehive of controversy at that — is tumbling out every day about the subject of the book. That is why we have sensational portions of a book selectively leaked around its launch. The idea is to keep it in currency. In that sense, the authors of this book have been singularly lucky. Or maybe not.

There is much that is good in this book, in addition to the timing. It is full of research. It has several useful tables flaunting interesting numbers. The opening sections can stagger you with their account of the costs, which have ballooned from the original estimate of about $1.3 billion to $15 billion — a 10-fold jump. That will make this Commonwealth Games seven times more expensive than Melbourne in 2006 and clearly the most expensive Games in history. The authors have kept the scale of the book wide. And, of course, it is as topical as can be. That last bit is also a problem.

Full report here Business Standard

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