Makers of Modern India
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Makers of Modern India

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  429 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Includes a short biographical introduction to each person, followed by excerpts from their writings.
Title: Makers of Modern India
Author: Guha, Ramachandra (EDT)
Publisher: Harvard Univ Pr
Publication Date: 2011/03/31
Number of Pages: 500
Binding Type: HARDCOVER
Library of Congress: 2010034625
Hardcover, 560 pages
Published March 31st 2011 by Belknap Press (first published October 25th 2010)
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Riku Sayuj

To make the Indian experience more central to global debates is one aim of this book. Another, and perhaps greater aim, is to make Indians more aware of the richness and relevance of their modern political tradition.

After such bold claims, I was disappointed to find that the book is in fact an anthology of Indian political writing. I strongly feel a commentary would have been better to meet the professed aims of the book and could have been made more impact-full with short relevant extracts

Historian, author and columnist Ramchandra Guha’s recently published book, Makers of Modern India is a sincere effort at profiling some of India’s most prolific thinkers and doers, whose ideas have had a defining influence in the shaping of our republic. The book – through speeches, articles and essays by these great personalities – tracks Indian’s political, social and cultural history over the last two centuries, giving the reader a comprehensive idea of how the country has come to evolve.
The book "Makers of Modern India" by "Ramachandra Guha" gives you first-row seat of the India in making through the thoughts and ideologies of such varied personalities. Irrespective of the fact whether they are remembered today or not, it can't be denied that they contributed most of the bricks that laid the foundation of our nation. India which still remains the greatest experiment in democracy ever.

The book has a slow start and I was only left wondering why did I picked it. But, it gradually...more
Niladri Ghosh
I did not expect that this book will be only a collection of writings penned by the makers of modern India, with very short introductions to each maker. But this aspect gives the book its charm, it gives you the opportunity to read the [translated] original works of the people most influential in shaping the destiny of India. Almost all the articles selected in this book are still relevant in today's Indian society and democracy to a large extent.
Murali Neelakantan
Having just finished reading India after Gandhi, an excellent book by Guha, it may have been a touch too soon to read this one without involuntarily comparing the two. The prologue which was excellent in the way it laid out the framework for the book was in stark contrast to the language used. Ironically, while he comments on the "eccentricities of syntax and grammar of the Makers", it seemed like he was trying to follow them - Size of its territory plus the diversity of its people when the cock...more
Was particularly impressed with Dr.Ambedkar on untouchability.

It amazed me to see how relevant (or prophetic) Rajaji's thoughts were on Indian democracy. On elections, on leftist economics of Congress, on lack of internal democracy, on need of a balanced opposition party. Unfortunately most of these are still true after 50 years. It was also interesting to read the first manifesto of the Swatantra party.

But the best thing was reading the relatively unknown Hamid Dalwai who to my mind is the fir...more
Masen Production
“"WOW !!!! What a book.... I am glad that I read this book and it shall always be amongst my most treasured possessions. The book looks into the radical thoughts of eminent political leaders of modern India that nurtured the growth of the miraculous diverse democracy called India. The reason I use radical is that some of these fighters, thinkers, political activists were very forward thinking for the era they lived in. It brings to light the speeches, writings, essays of these stalwarts of India...more
Nafis Faizi
Clearly, a typical book of R. Guha, though a tad bit lower than the expectations I had with it. Though the title 'Makers of Modern India' is itself a difficult title, if all you are doing is mentioning only 19 people & only a few of their speeches without a detailed background of their biography in many cases.

Having said that, it is indeed a humble attempt to begin with & the best part is that the book is a quick read and does speak about the shape of India that was carved finally in 19...more
This is the author's next contribution to modern Indian history after his brilliant work titled 'India after Gandhi'. Here, Dr.Guha presents a selection of the contributions of nineteen eminent Indians who have shaped and made a defining impact on our country's outlook through their ideas, vision and expositions on the diverse subjects of caste, class, religion, nationalism, colonialism, democracy and secularism. The approach is somewhat different in this book because Dr. Guha simply introduces...more
Vaarun Dhingra
Makers of Modern India was an eye opener for me as I had heard of these people but never had a chance to actually read what they wrote or spoke about. Out of the 19 the ones that stuck with me are M.K. Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, B.R. Ambedkar, E.V. Ramaswami, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jayaprakash Narayan, C. Rajagopalchari, Verrier Elwin and Hamid Dalwai. Reading excerpts of articles and books that these men have published makes me realise how the state of Indian politics has deteriorated over the yea...more
Anant Mittal
Enlightening. The various individuals mentioned in the book are certainly the bigger pieces of the jigsaw that is Modern India, yet somehow the book seems incomplete because of a lack of an analysis by the author why these are considered so valuable as to be the special ones desrving mention in the book. His reproductions of extracts from books, speeches and letters is comendable yet that touch of Guha, which shows his insight into Indian history and understanding is missing which takes away som...more
Karan Kamble
A pretty good book if one wants to put the Indian history - from pre-independence to post-independence - into a large framework and have a big picture. It also gives a great sense of direction towards independence and beyond, including all that which the Indian thinker-political activists stood for in the society in their respective times.

When I read through the book, I found the writings of many a thinkers extremely thought-provoking. In fact, I was amazed at their ability to not only think th...more
Adhip Amin
I have read most of the essays in this book, not all. Guha has an eye for eminent personalities, and has a passion to represent them, well- in as much detail and vibrancy he can muster. Perfect qualities for a biographer.
Ram Kaushik
One of my favorite Indian historians! This is a superb anthology of writing by India's rich intellectual political figures through the 19th and 20th centuries. Spirited debate of ideas by sometimes vehemently opposed opinions but always patriotic and passionately looking to improve society - from RamMohan Roy, Nehru, Gandhi, Tilak, Rajaji and the polarizing fascist leaning Golwalkar - this book is fascinating and a must-read for any Indian history enthusiast. I learnt a lot about one of my favor...more
Makers of Modern India is a highly readable and informative book on the politics in India from the time of Rammohan Roy to the time of independence and beyond.

The author Ramachandra Guha says in the book that one of his aims was "to make Indians more aware of the richness and relevance of their modern political tradition". He really succeeds in that aim. It was fascinating to read about the thoughts and ideas of the makers of modern india. The ideas of these men and women have played and contin...more
Manish Saini
Good read for small briefs of original writings of leading personalities who shaped India's thought process.
Samrat Ashok
This book is a fantastic collection of writings from people who shaped the destiny of India in the modern world . It was fascinating to see people debating and discussing their view points to steer the nation . From a larger context the book also provides how the nation came this far , what was the discourses which dominated the brightest of this nation over the years .

Its like seeing the highlights of a football match we see the topics dominating this nation . From the days of early reformers...more
An unusual choice for me. Reading Dr. Guha is a pleasure anyday.
Its a great work
Ramesh Prabhu
Highly readable, this book gives us an insight into the thought processes of the men and women whose contribution to the making of modern India is immeasurable. I am especially in awe of Tarabai Shinde, of whom I had not heard before. Her pamphlet, "A comparison between women and men", reproduced in this book, will make you ponder the treatment of women in our country.
Ramachandra Guha is to be commended for introducing these great Indians to us.
A great book to learn about the various social and political currents that assumed importance at some point of time or another, in modern India.
The personalities featured in the book were thinking politicians/activists of their times; the ones who have written extensively, besides being active in the social or political sphere. A brief introduction is provided for each of the personalities,followed by their letters and speeches.
Apr 19, 2014 Isha added it
ramchandra guha. enough said.
Kamal Kannan
Kamala Kannan This book shows glimpse of 'out of box' thinking by our great leaders....Good mixture of leaders ranging from Rammohan roy to Tarabai Shinde and topics ranging from aboliyion of Sati to Protection of Tribal people.
Great collection of essays that illustrates a variety of opinion over considerable span of time. Especially interesting dialogue between Nehru and Jayaprakash Narayan in the epilogue.
A collection of writings/speeches/essays by leaders, with a small foreword for each leader by Ram Guha.
The collection is nice read to get inside the thoughts of our leaders
Collection of a sampling of essays from some of the makers of modern India. I found the voices of Tagore, Nehru, Ambedkar and Rajagopalachari fascinating.
Niloy Mitra
I learned quite a lot. Almost felt that the book was too short. Great introduction to some folks I didn't even know before. Quite a few more to read I guess.
Tushar Bhandari
Liked the part of book about Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It inspired me to read his biography (written by Dhananjay Keer). Dr. Ambedkar is now my Hero.
Ajay Bansal
Amazing book. Must read for every individual. The writings of the Makers are really inspiring and educative. Great work by Guha.
If one read its 1st chapter,eventually one becomes to know wt about it is
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Ramachandra Guha was born in Dehradun in 1958, and educated in Delhi and Calcutta. He has taught at the University of Oslo, Stanford, and Yale, and at the Indian Institute of Science. He has been a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and also served as the Indo-American Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

After a peripatetic academic career, with...more
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