My Next Reads : Indian History Binge

I seriously need to brush up my knowledge of Indian history so I am taking the plunge into a Indian history binge.

There are 3 books part of this binge and given their nature I am giving myself an outward deadline of August. This also means that book reviews are going to be few and far between in my blog. You’ll understand why after going through the book details below.

1. India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra

No. of pages – 657

“This is the first major study to examine every one of the varied strands of the epic struggle individually and collectively and present it in a new and coherent narrative and analytical framework. Basing themselves on oral and other primary sources and years of research, the authors take the reader through every step of the independence struggle from the abortive Revolt of 1857 to the final victory of 1947. More important while incorporating existing historiographical advances, the book evolves a new and lucid view of the history of the period which will endure.”


2. India since Independence by Bipan Chandra 

No. of pages – 788

“A thorough and incisive introduction to contemporary India The story of the forging of India, the world’s largest democracy, is a rich and inspiring one. This volume, a sequel to the best-selling India’s Struggle for Independence, analyses the challenges India has faced and the successes it has achieved, in the light of its colonial legacy and century-long struggle for freedom. The book describes how the Constitution was framed, as also how the Nehruvian political and economic agenda and basics of foreign policy were evolved and developed. It dwells on the consolidation of the nation, examining contentious issues like party politics in the Centre and the states, the Punjab problem, and anti-caste politics and untouchability. This revised edition offers a scathing analysis of the growth of communalism in India and the use of state power in furthering its cause. It also documents the fall of the National Democratic Alliance in the 2004 General Elections, the United Progressive Alliance’s subsequent rise to power and the Indo-US Nuclear Deal that served to unravel the political consensus at the centre. Apart from detailed analyses of Indian economic reforms since 1991 and wide-ranging land reforms and the Green Revolution, this new edition includes an overview of the Indian economy in the new millennium. These, along with objective assessments of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Rajiv Gandhi, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh, constitute a remarkable overview of a nation on the move.”


3. India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha 

No. of pages – 893

“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 history peopled with larger-than-life characters, it is the work of a major scholar at the peak of his abilities..”


That comes to a grand total of 2338 pages ! Now you know why I am so liberal with my deadlines here. 🙂

Is anyone out there crazy enough to take this binge with me ? 😉

(images and summaries source: Goodreads)


9 thoughts on “My Next Reads : Indian History Binge

  1. Wow! I’m very impressed with your committment – and am sorely tempted by all of these books, especially the first since I’ve been reading lots about the British Empire recently. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your reviews. 🙂


      1. Really about the Empire in general, but I seem to have veered off towards America recently. My interest was really inspired by John Darwin’s recent book Unfinished Empire, which is a really great overview of the whole thing from it’s earliest days through to the present. And since then I’ve read maybe half a dozen different hsitories all relating to aspects of the Empire or Commonwealth. Fascinating stuff – but I’ve yet to read a really comprehensive history of India as part of the Empire, so the ones you’re reading sound particularly intriguing…


      2. Unfinished Empire has now gone to my TBR on Goodreads. My case is the exact opposite – everything about the Empire I have read till now has been from the India view so I really don’t know much about their rule in other parts of the world. I guess I should start reading on that too. All the more because 2014 is the 100th anniversary of World War 1 and the 75th anniversary of World War 2 – no better year to brush up on your history I guess !


  2. That seems like a really huge challenge. I’m interested in India’s history but think I’ll continue to do it the easy way via fiction. Hope this works out for you.


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