India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy

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Harper Collins, Jul 24, 2007 - History - 893 pages
517 Reviews

Born against a background of privation and civil war, divided along lines of caste, class, language and religion, independent India emerged, somehow, as a united and democratic country. This remarkable book tells the full story—the pain and the struggle, the humiliations and the glories—of the world's largest and least likely democracy.

Ramachandra Guha writes compellingly of the myriad protests and conflicts that have peppered the history of free India. But he writes also of the factors and processes that have kept the country together (and kept it democratic), defying numerous prophets of doom who believed that its poverty and heterogeneity would force India to break up or come under autocratic rule. Once the Western world looked upon India with a mixture of pity and contempt; now it looks upon India with fear and admiration.

Moving between history and biography, this story of modern India is peopled with extraordinary characters. Guha gives fresh insights on the lives and public careers of those long-serving prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. There are vivid sketches of the major "provincial" leaders whose province was as large as a European country: the Kashmiri rebel turned ruler Sheikh Abdullah; the Tamil film actor turned politician M. G. Rama-chandran; the Naga secessionist leader Angami Zapu Phizo; the socialist activist Jayaprakash Narayan. But the book also writes with feeling and sensitivity about lesser known (though not necessarily less important) Indians—peasants, tribals, women, workers and musicians.

Massively researched and elegantly written, India After Gandhi is at once a magisterial account of India's rebirth and the work of a major scholar at the height of his powers.

  

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Extremely well researched and comprehensive. - Flipkart
... easy to read and understand.. - Flipkart
There are some very good photographs in the book. - Flipkart

Review: India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy

User Review  - Manu Chauhan - Goodreads

Rarely it happens that you want a 750+ pages book to be more lengthy.......a superb account of our india.....must read Read full review

Apt Summary of Modern India's History

User Review  - Akaant Mittal - Flipkart

Given the fact that post- independence has seen many turbulent times and progress as well, the book succeeds in outlining the broad themes and touches the less discussed yet extremely important events ... Read full review

Contents

Minding the Minorities
365
THE RISE OF POPULISM
387
Leftward Turns
417
The Elixir of Victory
445
The Rivals
466
Autumn of the Matriarch
491
Life Without the Congress
519
Democracy in Disarray
542

NEHRUS INDIA
135
The Biggest Gamble in History
137
Home and the World
160
Redrawing the Map
189
The Conquest of Nature
209
The Law and the Prophets
233
Securing Kashmir
249
Tribal Trouble
267
The Southern Challenge
287
The Experience of Defeat
306
Peace in Our Time
342
This Son Also Rises
569
Rights
597
Riots
624
Rulers
651
Riches
682
A Peoples Entertainments
709
Why India Survives
733
Acknowledgements
761
Index
859
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Ramachandra Guha has taught at the University of Oslo, Stanford, Yale, and the Indian Institute of Science. His books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages, and his prizes include the UK Cricket Society's Literary Award and the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History.

Bibliographic information