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Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this revised edition of the highly praised Engaging India, Strobe Talbott updates his bestselling diplomatic account of America's parallel negotiations with India and Pakistan over nuclear proliferation in the late 1990s. The update looks at recent nuclear dealings between India and the United States, including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 2005 visit to Americ ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published March 6th 2006 by Brookings Institution Press (first published 2004)
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Neeraj Bali
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating book on Indo-US parleys over non-proliferation that rivals thrillers in tautness and pace. Very reassuring to learn the sharp focus of Indian effort on its national interest.
Ravi Shankar
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading on the origins of the modern chapter of Indo-US relations and its architects.
Mannar Karyampudi
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a 10-14 year old, I vividly remember reading major world events concerning India, like it going nuclear, getting sanctioned, Kargil war, Parliament attacks etc. This book helped me understand what went behind the scenes between India & US at a diplomatic level as those national headlines flashed.

An excellent recount of what it took for India and US to go from mutually suspicious to a state of undeclared natural allies. A good primer on the foundational work done between 98 and 2006 by diplom
Haluk Cavusoglu
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating piece regarding complex political negotiations and diplomacy. I was intrigued how changes of leadership in a country affects the ongoing dialogue between diplomats and negotiators. I read this book to have an understanding of complex inter-state diplomatic negotiation dynamics and to learn a bit about India's democracy scene. India is a very strong country that will affect the global scene in the next 10-20 years while the conflict between China and U.S.A. is approaching. Let's hop ...more
Jitendra Singh
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the beautiful classics I would say. This gives you detailed version from American perspective. It basically dwells more about how India and US did fine tune diplomatic relationship. Some of the chapters are really thrilling especially when Bill Clinton was furious with Nawaz Sharif. A must for everyone who loves to read political affairs.
Sagar Kale
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written, extremely informative and interesting. The chapter dealing with the kargil war is the USP of this book.
Giving 4 stars instead of 5 only because I found it difficult to read more than 50-100 pages of the book at once. Due to the intensity and detailed nature of the book, a reader may need to take several breaks while reading.
A real diplomatic walk through that takes you the backstage of some real action pieces.
Neeraj Patralekh
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great way to know about diplomatic relations of India, US, and Pakistan.
Gordon Kwok
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable book that provides a great brief history on the rivalry between India and Pakistan. I appreciated the perspective that Mr. Talbott provided in sharing the mindset of the Indian government as well as the mindset of the Pakistani government as both raced to secure nuclear weapons. An often overlooked achievement of the Clinton administration was President Clinton's deftness in defusing an explosive situation when India detonated a nuclear weapon and the world was holding onto it ...more
Amaruvi Devanathan
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Books written by retired US officials about foreign policy usually center around the self-righteousness of the US and how they had, in times of great need, saved the other countries from the brink of extinction. For a change this book is one with a difference.

Written by Strobe Talbott, one of the respected US foreign office officials, it talks about the tumultuous times of 1998 to 2005 when the Indian subcontinent was the main focus of the world. 1998 was when India, under Atal Behari Vajpayee,
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Talbott was along with Jaswant Singh one of the architects of bringing the real foundation to India-US foreign relationship. Their efforts to understand the south asian dynamics of regional balance along with pragmatic approach to mutual relationship brought real depth to generally frosty interaction between US-India. The book gives riveting insight into international diplomacy, India's going nuclear and the interplay of great game between isolation and total engagement.

Although as with quite a
Aashish C
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, geopolitics
This was a brisk read, both due to the nature of content included as well as Talbott's lucid writing style. Although, the book doesn't cover the denouement of America's courtship of India (I.e. The nuclear deal of 2005), the book does a good job of laying the pieces down for one to gauge how the relationship nurtured over time.

I especially liked the author's personal anecdotes with Jaswant Singh, a public figure I admire a lot, as well as learning facets of India's diplomatic troupe.
Venkata Mategunta
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful and detailed behind the looks at the diplomatic conversations that shaped India-US relations from 1996-2004. The most fascinating part was the tense moments when India and Pakistan were on the brink of a thermonuclear war and Bill Clinton came to the rescue. Also, Strobe Talbott throws light on the statesmanship of towering personalities like Vajpayee and Jaswant Singh.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
A still relevant history of India becoming nuclear, how the Clinton administration handled it. History has led to it also being a good look at the BJP's previous time in government. Dry, but probably unavoidably so. ...more
Vamsi Kiran
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books to know how diplomacy works. Especially, if we need to know about India's nuclear phases, the way Indian Diplomats worked with US diplomats ..Its truly engaging ..Its like a story but real events. Hatsoff to Strobe Talbott ...more
Hans Hoffmann
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
For those who remember when India and Pakistan detinated a nuclear bomb in the late 90's - this is a good account of the behind the scenes negotiations that took place betweeen the US and India ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: india
I imagine this book is very popular in Pyongyang as the Kim regime seeks to secure its own India-style nuclear relationship with the US.
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yes
Lucidly written. This book gives a great insight into international diplomacy in general, and between India and the US in particular.
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