Amagisterial 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 history peopled with larger-than-life characters, it is the work of a major scholar at the peak of his abilities.
India has risen with epic dramaa nonviolent struggle for independence followed by mass mayhem and bloodletting, dynastic succession and assassination, military victory and defeat, starvation succeeded by green revolution, political leaders as saints, sinners and sexual ascetics. And yet, the Indian story rarely has been told and is practically unknown to Americans. India After Gandhi masterfully fills the void. India needs a wise and judicious narrator to convey its scale, diversity and chaosto describe the whirlwind without getting lost in it. It needs a biographer neither besotted by love nor enraged by disappointment. Ramachandra Guha, a historian who has taught at Stanford and Yale and now lives in Bangalore, has given democratic India the rich, well-paced history it deserves.