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India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy Paperback – 14 Aug 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Ramachandra Guha is a historian with major interests in the field of social, environmental, political and cricket history. Guha holds a B.A. degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College (1977) and is a post graduate from the Delhi School of Economics with a fellowship from the IIM- Calcutta. He has won the Padma Bhushan Award, R.K. Narayan Prize and the U.K. Cricket Society's Literary Award. Ramachandra Guha is an avid columnist along with being an author of books like the Picador Book of Cricket, Patriots and Partisans and the Wickets in the East.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Indian ed edition (14 August 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330505548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330505543
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ramana Murthy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 9 April 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All blurbs are lies. Most reviewers do not read the books fully. They just go by others' comments and the author's public image.

Coming to this book: the prose is not readable, just droning. Bland retelling of events. By trying to cover the whole post-Gandhi period in one volume, the book fails to cover any topic deeply or comprehensively. There are better books on this period of Indian History.
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By Anup Viswanath TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 January 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gr8 book with a lot of things that we ought to know. I bought this book as I saw a lot of reviews and good words about this particular book and it never fails in creating an impression at the same time providing a lot of info, thanks to amazon and seller for such fast delivery and gr8 deal
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most of the history lessons taught in school ends with the independence of our country. We are not taught of the events that have shaped the destiny/ future of our country from there on. This book solves the purpose.

The book gives an objective view of the various major events that had shook the country. The only exception was the author's views on one of our earliest PM's, which I taught was not that objective and he had some positive personal bias towards him. It clearly tells about the context and scenarios that played out during, the wars we have had, the reservation system, caste abolition, split and merger withinin the congress, Jana Sangh etc. The book is neither jingoistic nor does it goes overboard in describing our country's various achievements.

If you want to know post independence history, this should be your choice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For me born about 37 years ago, Post independence Indain history was merely the Social Studies classes that I had attended from class 1 to class 5. Rajagopalchari was merely 1st governor General of independent India, Jaiprakash Narayan Social worker, Sardar Patel First home minister, Nehru as potrayed on T.V and as first Prime mninister of India and Mahatma Gandhi as father of Nation. Indira Gandhi First woman Prime Minister of India, Sheik Abdulla father of Farooq Abdulla, B.R Ambedkar, V.P Menon, 72 aggression, chinese agression, Kashmir issue.

This book gives me an detailed insight of the contributions these greats and some not so great individuals and events that have contributed. Now I cherish the independence,the Fundamental rights and secularism in this country which was a result of their efforts.

Well researched and compiled for easy read. the Book is written like a story book where India is the protagonist. Flow is superb Does not limit itself to politics also takes through business, Indias development also how the indians were entertained.

Though the book was mammoth in size but it ws a interseting reading.I felt it was linient towards Nehru, which I may be wrong.
I would say a fantastic contibution to Indian History.

Thanks to Amazon for the discounted price during Independecs day sale and quick delivery
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Format: Paperback
This is a good book of history narrated with special emphasis to conflicts. In his foreword, Ram Guha says that conflicts in India can be categorized as that as arising on the basis of religion, region, language, gender and caste. In the next 530 or so pages, he looks at post independence history and documents conflicts in a chronological order.

The personalities of Gandhi, Nehru, Indira, Sheikh Abdullah get decent coverage. Non-political relationships of these personalities are not mentioned. For example, there is only one sentence about Kamala Nehru, nothing at all about Gandhi's wife or children. There is one, sarcastic in my opinion, statement about Edwina Mountbatten. This is a dispassionate narration of history, can be used also as reference material. Conspiracy theories and urban legends are not mentioned. So Lal Bahadur Shastri's and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee's deaths are just written as data points, nothing more.

Events covered are Partition and aftermath, the wars with China and Pakistan, Elections, 5 year plans, Emergency and Political alignments/re-alingments. Issues covered are secularism, terrorism, caste & gender inequality, foreign relations.

One disadvantage is the abundance of information and becomes quite overwhelming on the readers memory. I think it is unavoidable in a history book of this nature. If someone wants to get a birds eye overview of the entire 1946-1990 period, then this is the book to buy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one book I recommend to every Indian to understand what it means to be an Indian. The writer makes an important suggestion, that the history of India post independence, should be taught in schools, and how I wish I were taught so. What we are today is the consequence of what followed 1947. As one nation we are very young, though we have a a deep history before becoming one. The book showed me the many challenges we faced, internal and external, at a scale that I believe no other country has faced. Reading this book will help you to understand the root cause of the problems we face today and instill a sense of pride as you read this mammoth account of an unlikely nation that struggled against all odds and still remains a testament for democracy.
The book is written subjectively with references and views from many sides and the author judiciously provides his own opinion.
I also recommend this book to non Indians to know the truly remarkable story of 1 billion people.
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