The Great Ones (The Great Ones of India – Volume Five)

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Author: VK Subramanian
Publisher: Abhinav Publications, New Delhi
(Pp 237, ISBN 978-81-7017-498-8, Rs 350)

Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time; said Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person’s life. Biographies analyze and interpret the events in a person’s life. They try to find connections, explain the meaning of unexpected actions or mysteries, and make arguments about the significance of the person’s accomplishments or life activities. They are often about historical figures, but they can also be about people still living.

The Great Ones by VK Subramanian is a collection of biographical essays providing brief description of lives of great persons. In this book the author presents the history of India through the short biographies of the immensely important personalities of India who have affected the Indian life and thought in ways more than one.

The author has selected the idols who have contributed in various fields from history to literature to entertainment. The heritage and the present society of Indian are so rich that the author had to restrict the number of The Great Ones of India to one hundred. The book is divided into ten parts, each devoted to various aspects of Indian consciousness starting from history to patriotism to economy to creative art to literature and entertainment.

All the characters revered have been illustrated by the author himself. Some of the sketches are very lively and speak of the mastery of the author not only as a writer of good biographical essays but also as a painter.

– GS Jolly

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