Welcome to my blog. I may write copy here that I would not present elsewhere. This blog allows me to comment while reporting for clients which can include subscription-only platforms. I use it to take a sideways look at running stories, and all views presented here are my own.

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Monday, 21 November 2011

Hard News Review

A fairly balanced review from India's Hard News magazine that doesn't hold back from saying what the critic would have liked to see in my book. As I have said in several interviews, there was so much material I gathered that the editors and I had to make stringent decisions about what to leave in and what to leave out. The material that is left in drives the narrative forward and any background history is there to provide some hinterland to the action. Also, given that the book was written for the American market in the first instance, it could not afford to go into the kind of detail that Indian critics may wish for -though as I have also stated, I can't see why certain armchair reviewers don't write their own biographies of Mrs Sonia Gandhi rather than the 1,000 words or so they are paid to scribble after receiving their free copy.

I was also keen to only put in what could be substantiated or had been told to me by a primary source - rumour and inuendo just would not wash in a book which has to stand the test of time and which is already appearing in libraries round the world.

As for the quality of my interviewees, and whether they are "people who matter," the people who mattered to me were those who have been and are up close and personal with my subject -who have interacted or worked with her and who are qualified to make intimate observations. That was the only criteria in my choice of interviewee. Many of my interviewees had not spoken at all on my subject before so I am pleased that they did.

I haven't revealed who spoke to me off the record so no-one will ever know which important names are in that part of my extensive audio archive on Sonia Gandhi -that information remains between those anonymous people and myself.

And the book is still in the top ten list of IANS non-fiction titles this week!

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