'Buy The Book'
This was also the year of celebrity/novel book launches and promotions. First, Jaswant Singh's Call to Honour made waves for its references to an American mole in the PMO. Then, come September, and the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, began his address to the UN General Assembly by dramatically waving Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States : "Representatives of the governments of the world, good morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you, very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read it. Noam Chomsky is one of the most prestigious American and world intellectuals, and this is one of his most recent books...It's an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet." Perhaps inspired by it all, two days later, General Musharraf was with President Bush in a press conference and said he was "honor-bound to Simon and Schuster not to comment" on his book, In the Line of Fire before it was published, prompting the ever so subtle George Bush to remark, "In other words, buy the book, is what he's saying." While Musharraf's book was ripped apart by many a security analyst and the like, what had us chuckling was the typo which described the Pakistan capital as "Islam is bad". Meanwhile, William Dalrymple, Vikram Chandra and their publishers generated the usual hype, but two Darjeeling poets, Wangdi Gyalpo and Sonam Bhote created a new high—they were on top of the world, literally, when they released their book, Bards' Sketches on Mt Everest.