Synopses & Reviews
A full and intimate portrait of the man who led India through its first years of independence.
The first prime minister of India after independence from British rule, Jawaharlal Nehru (18891964) was a major architect of India as a nation state. His dedication to politics led to imprisonment under British rule, a deeply disturbed family life, and eventually to nearly two decades in power during which he ceaselessly pursued his vision of a transformed and democratic India.
This compelling biography depicts the phases of Nehru's life and shows how each phase reflected new developments in Indian politics. Drawing on new sources including Nehru's post-1947 papers which have not been accessible before, Judith M. Brown offers the most complete and penetrating account of Nehru yet written. Casting new light on both the public and private Nehru, the book also provides an array of insights into the history of India's nationalist movement and international standing, and into the complexities of constructing a new nation state in the aftermath of imperial rule.
"[T]he fullest one-volume life of Nehru available, and a primer of 20th-century Indian politics." Publishers Weekly
"While the civics tenor of Brown's work is not for the casual reader, its vault of information about India's independence movement will be vital for serious students." Booklist
"A superb book. Judith Brown catches the spirit of Nehru's times as well as his own tribulations and achievements." Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas at Austin
"[A] reasonably broad and fruitfully critical view of Nehru as anti-colonial leader and Prime Minister does emerge....[Brown] does not abuse the advantage of hindsight. She acknowledges sufficiently the immense problems Nehru inherited from an imperial administration; her judgements usually seem fair. Nehru comes across as a solitary, often isolated, intellectual and visionary." Pankaj Mishra, The Times Literary Supplement
(read the entire Times Literary Supplement review
This biography depicts the phases of Nehru's life and shows how each period reflected new developments in Indian politics. Drawing on previously unconsulted sources including Nehru's post-1947 papers, Judith Brown offers a complete and penetrating account of Nehru.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -399) and index.
About the Author
Judith M. Brown is Beit Professor of Commonwealth History, University of Oxford, and professorial fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.