Author: Judith M Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195671945
This is a compelling and complete biography of one of India’s finest statesmen and the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Chronicling his political career first as a nationalist leader and thereafter as Prime Minister, the book shows how Nehru’s life was influenced by developments in Indian politics.
The book casts new light on both the public leader and the private man and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of India’s most fascinating political leader, the dynamics of
India’s nationalist movement, and the complexities of nation-building in the aftermath of imperial rule.
Jawaharlal Nehru was one of Asia’s most notable and important public figures in the twentieth century. His was a long life. He was born in 1889 when Queen Victoria was Empress of India and died in 1964 after serving for nearly two decades as first Prime Minister of independent India. By this time Victoria’s great grand-daughter was on the British throne and head of a new multinational Commonwealth which included India, now a republic, alongside a growing number of nation states which had once been part of the British empire.
Like many of his generation he saw dramatic and interlocking change in domestic and international politics – two world wars, the Russian and Chinese revolutions, the emergence of the USA as a world power, the Cold war and the gradual decline of Britain. From his Indian perspective, one of the most significant changes was the erosion of the British and other western empires, generating a rapid phase of decolonisation and the emergence of newly independent states, including his own.
A sympathetic and rounded account.
A fascinating biography, a must for anyone who wants to understand India today.
Judith Brown has come out with a comprehensive study on Nehru’s public career.
Brown shows how Nehru fought ceaselessly to promote and create a modern, liberal India.
Drawing on hitherto inaccessible sources, Judith Brown, one of the foremost historians on modern India offers an insightful analysis of the political life of a great leader.
Brown, skillfully depicts the upper-class world in which Nehru grew up, his early experience in politics under Gandhi’s guidance, and his role in shaping Indian nationalism.
-Lucian W Pye, Foreign Affairs
Brown’s biography is solid and scholarly.
A broad and fruitfully critical view of Nehru as anti-colonial leader and Prime Minister.
-Times Literary supplement
Brown’s political life is an absorbing, scrupulously researched and convincing assessment of one of the most important political figures of the twentieth-century.
-Katherine Frank, New Statesman
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
PART I: AN IMPERIAL HERITAGE, 1889-1920
India and the British Raj: Opportunity and challenge
The Young Nehru: Privilege and promise
The Turning Point
PART 2: THE AMBIGUITIES OF MASS NATINALISM, 1920-1939
The Making of a Politician
A Radical Bound, 1926-31
PART 3: THE TRAGEDIES OF AN IMPERIAL ENDING, 1939-1948
The Experience of War, 1939-1945
The experience of Independence, 1945-1948
PART 4: FOUNDING A NATION, 1948-1956
Imagining the Nation
Structuring the Nation
Forging the Nation
Creating an International Identity
PART 5: FRUSTRATION OF VISION, 1957-1964
The Realities of Democratic Leadership
A New India?
The Erosion of Authority
Appendix: Elections in India