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

4.6 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Ramachandra Guha's books cover a wide range of themes: they include a global history of environmentalism, a biography of an anthropologist-activist, a social history of Indian cricket, and a social history of Himalayan peasants. His entire career, he says, seems in retrospect to have been an extended (and painful) preparation for the writing of India After Gandhi.

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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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: Paperback
Let me tell you first and foremost,i am not a fan of history. As a child, i am sure i was not the only one who found history and my history teacher to be the worst epidemic inflicted on young minds. Young minds that dint relate to rote learning - years and causes and consequences. After having forgotten all of my rote learned history after leaving school over the last 11 years, I came across a narrative from this book from my unscrupulous boss! (only they have the time to read books while we slog away at work and die on our beds as soon as we are home). I am still on my way down this book and I continue to be amazed with amount of research and history that has been condensed into something that is interesting to read, eventhough it happened more than half a century ago! I am discovering answers to questions which were not answered when I was reading these chapters in my political science class in the 12th standard. It was unrelated and boring and definitely not scoring for me. As i read this today, I feel like i would have been able to write a better answer had i read this book. Mr Guha has done a splendid job by combining history with actual incidents and a flow that makes it easy for the mind to absorb.Names that havent been heard off. People who are the back bone that were left out in the usual tradition of praising the Gandhi and Nehru family.

I would recommend anyone including children who is least interested in knowing about historical events that led up to the Indian independence. It doesnt matter which Indian politician you like/dislike from that era, this book is sure likely to change your opinions on a lot of things and put in a fresher perspective history that was in the making after independence.

A splendid job done Mr Guha.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very great book to about indian democracy rule after independence
The script used in the book is also very simple and it is easily understandable.....
If you want to know about the rule of our past leaders then go for this book...
The packing of the book is also very good..
Thanks to Amazon The Seller
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good compilation by Ramachandra Guha. Writing style is simple and yet attractive. Gives a broad perspective to understand the present India. This book talks about the events from 1947 to 1985 in detail, but post 1985 history is not discussed in the same manner. It gives only a vague idea about the political events from 1992 to 2005, and post liberalisation economics.
Simply, we can call the book as 'India, After Gandhi, Before Rajiv'. However, given the extent it discusses about Nehruvian era and Indira Gandhi's time, we can say that Guha has done an extensive research. Respect...
This book really is a treasure...
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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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