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Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey From Movie Star To Political Queen Paperback – 29 Aug 2016

4.1 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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  • Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey From Movie Star To Political Queen
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Description for Amma: Jayalalithaa's Journey From Movie Star To Political Queen

About the Author

Vaasanthi is one of Tamil Nadu's best known writers. Her books include Cut-Outs, Caste and Cine Stars: The World of Tamil Politics, and several novels. She was editor of the Tamil edition of India Today for nearly ten years.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Juggernaut; Latest edition (29 August 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8193284143
  • ISBN-13: 978-8193284148
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 1.5 x 13.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Divakar Kaza TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 January 2017
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When Jayalalithaa passed away recently, all the TV channels were interviewing Vasanthi who wrote an unauthorized biography on the Southern dowager. I also remembered that when this book was published, JJ got it banned. With Amma / JJ lying in state and without any scope for retaliation, Vasanthi had a field day on all channels giving interesting and at times salacious nuggets on the departed political supremo. Curiosity about the book made me buy the book and in retrospect, I shouldn’t have read it and wasted my time.
Other than minor nuggets on the political leader’s childhood, her evolution as a box office super star, her on-off relationship with the ageing AIADMK leader MGR, her entry into politics, her torturous struggle to wrest control of the party and finally emerging as an autocratic, welfare oriented politician / CM – the book offers nothing. Just a series of events in her life written about in a sequential manner.

Here was a subject who was a multifaceted personality and led a complicated life. A Brahmin Iyengar girl who ruled over a party founded on caste politics which was pronouncedly anti Brahmin, a woman who made it on her own in a decidedly chauvinistic male dominated party, an autocrat who brooked no dissent - She would be an author’s delight if someone had taken the trouble to research and presently a scholarly tome of a shy, diligent girl and her transformation to a Czarina…with the political transformation of the Dravidian parties in the back-drop. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost.

The book seems to have been written based more on gossip and hearsay. Even the not so known details of her life like her relationship with a Telugu super star are only briefly alluded to.

I may not agree with Jayalalithaa’s politics and her style of governance…but one has to admit…that she was remarkable….and she deserves a better book on her…..possibly someone can tempt Ramachandra Guha to write about her.
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A well-researched biography of #Jayalalitha #AMMA by Vaasanthi. Simple and neatly written. Though she has placed few sensitive incidents which many were not aware of, she has handled it sensibly in her writings. After reading the book, my respect for her enhanced. She deserves to be called IRON LADY. Tamilnadu missed a distinct politician, administrator and the one cares for people.
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I had very high hopes for this book since the subject was one of the most charismatic leaders of Indian politics and the writer, a reputed journalist and author. Unfortunately I was deeply disappointed. The book read more like a record of events from newspaper articles than an in-depth portrayal of the subject. While an attempt was made in the beginning to bring out the nuances of the character one never gets a feel of the living, breathing person that was Jayalalithaa. The author had stated elsewhere that she had conducted only one interview with Jayalalithaa and that too long before this biography was even thought of. Perhaps that is what is missing from this narrative, an understanding and empathy for the character. The result is a chronology of events in the life of a cardboard character.
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There is nothing of interest in this book if you are over 30, live in/lived in Chennai and read the newspaper everyday. Though the book has 175 pages, the content could be codensed in 50 pages if the book is printed in a normal font and standard paragraph spacing. The narrative of the 80's Jayalalitha is interesting to some extent as it is based on interviews with important players like Soolai, RMV etc. The rest of the book is as informative as wikipedia. Did the author even make an attempt to talk to any of the ADMK ministers (there are enough ADMK men who have fallen out of favor in the last 20 years), Sasikala, bureaucrats who have worked with Jayalalitha in the last 20 years?
Could she not get a detailed perspective from journalists like Cho, Sekhar, Shyam ?
Read the first line again before you buy the book.
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The book overall is a one time read. Written in a simple language and crisp - to the point story, I finished the entire book in one book. the book is a gripping read for those who are not much aware of AMMA's life. Since I have seen her interviews and read few of her stories here and there, the book did not have much to offer.

But overall I think Vaasanthi did a good job in bringing about various stories of Jayalalitha's life and put them together in one place. It is a one time read.
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Print is not dark enough, and paper quality is bad. The first half of the book was very interesting but the second half being full of politics did not interest me so much
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By khushnuma on 23 February 2017
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Totally useless and worthless read. Complete waste of time n money.
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Does the Author has any hatred towards Madame Jayalalithaa? You have a lot of things to write well about madam. Why to criticise the people's leader in this book? why to write the gossips points? sorry. this book is a waste of my money and time.
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