A magisterial account of the pains, the struggles, the humiliations, and the glories of the world's largest and least likely democracy, Ramachandra Guha's India After Gandhi is a breathtaking chronicle of the brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation and the extraordinary factors that have held it together. An intricately researched and elegantly written epic histor...more
In 1959, the Atlantic Monthly pitied India for having a democracy, when it might be better off as a military dictatorship. In 1999, the same magazine thought this very democracy had been India's saving grace.It has often been said that India is a young nation, and a diverse one. We Indians have been told this in school and swallowed it without a question. On reading India after Gandhi, the depth of those adjectives sink in.
Historian Ramachandran Guha, the author of Environmentalism: A Global History (1999) and The Unquiet Woods (1989), among others, and a current resident of Bangalore, writes of what he knows. Weighing in at nearly 900 pages, India After Gandhi successfully clarifies the convoluted history and contradictions of the world's second most populous nation. That Guha leaves questions unanswered in a book of this scope, as one critic asserts, might be considered nit-picking. To be sure, the author does c...more