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MEMOIRS & BIOGRAPHIES

Gandhi Before India (Allen Lane) By Ramachandra Guha

A book rich in detail and insight on a neglected but formative period of Gandhi’s life. Guha unearths new material and weaves a masterly narrative. But the picture of Gandhi does not leave out the warts.

ON WARNE (Hamish Hamilton) By Gideon Haigh

This book captures the magic of the greatest spin bowler cricket has seen. It also depicts the man. Warne once said, “Part of the art of bowling spin is to make the batsman think something special is happening, when it isn't.” This then is the Zen of Warne.

Isaac and Isaiah: The Covert Punishment of a Cold War Heretic (Yale) By David Caute

The story of two individuals — Isaac Deutscher and Isaiah Berlin — who were contemporaries and major intellectual figures in the Cold War landscape. Caute delves into the intellectual engagements of both individuals. The writing is lucid with some lovely anecdotes.

MARGARET THATCHER: THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY VOLUME ONE: NOT FOR TURNING (Allen Lane) By Charles Moore

Based on unique access to previously unseen material, including private papers and interviews with the subject, her family, friends and colleagues. The result is a rounded and nuanced portrait of Margaret Thatcher which will stand the test of time.

MICHELANGELO: HIS EPIC LIFE (Fig Tree) By Martin Gayford

A new biography of the man who was arguably the greatest artist the world has known. Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo and how he transformed the worlds of art and of artists.

INSIDE THE CENTRE: THE LIFE OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER (Cape) By Ray Monk

From the pen of the biographer of Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, the life of the 20th century’s most controversial physicist. A poignant portrayal of Oppenheimer’s unhappy life — the man who saw death as he saw the flames of the first atomic bomb.

MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY (Hodder) By Alex Ferguson

The life story of the man who transformed the way football was played by Manchester United, one of England’s leading clubs. Ferguson tells his story in his characteristic raw and bare-knuckled way.

MUSIC IN THE CASTLE OF HEAVEN: A PORTRAIT OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (Allen Lane) By John Eliot Gardiner

One of the great contemporary conductors offers a vivid account of one of the greatest composers in the canon of western classical music. A compulsory read for all who derive joy from Bach’s sublime music.