Indian Political History Books

My friend, Anshuman, suggested some books for learning about India’s political history since Independence. Here is a list:

  • India after Gandhi: by Ramachandra Guha
  • India after Independence (1947-2000): Bipan Chandra, et al
  • The Politics of India Since Independence: by Paul Brass
  • A History of India: by John Keay (covers complete Indian history)
  • The Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani
  • Nandan Nilekani: Imagining India (good backgrounder on different topics, and looks ahead)
  • India’s Politics: A View from the Backbench and The Future of India: Politics, Economics and Governance: by Bimal Jalan
  • Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi: by Katherine Frank
  • My Country, My Life: by LK Advani
  • Sonia: A Biography: by Rasheed Kidwai
  • Behenji: A Political Biography of Mayawati: by Ajoy Base

Any other suggestions?

167 thoughts on “Indian Political History Books

  1. The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen

    Cambridge History of South East Asia edited by Nicholas Tarling

  2. Pingback: » Indian Political History Books

  3. If you are studying the game, please do get the rule-book first.

    Indian Constitution, Either by D D Basu or by Subhash Kashyap.

    I purchased one, after Atanu Dey questioned, How many citizens have read constitution?

    The murky sentences, the tenses (I mean, not the past-present-future tenses we learn in School Grammar, the tense in which words are used), the jargon, ……..

    No wonder, Judges and Layers eke out a living interpreting the sentences.

  4. typo in my earlier comment.

    Should have been Judges and Lawyers do eke out a living, interpreting the sentences.
    This is a sad comment and not meant to be a contempt.

    Indian Constitution could have been phrased in a simpler manner.

  5. Two books by former ambassadors to India provide a good outsider’s view of India:
    Octavio Paz’s In Light of India

    John Kenneth Galbraith’s Ambassador’s journal: An American view of India

  6. I would also recommend any good book on the Emergency..
    1) All the Prime Ministers’ Men – Janardhan Thakur

    2) Delhi Under Emergency – Ajoy Bose/John Dayal

    Will give people an idea of what happened during a very crucial page of history

  7. I liked Nandan Nilekani: Imagining India.
    It is very different book than I expected.
    The book is well researched and you happen to know lot of new points from historical perspective.
    The central theme remains less government , focus on education and environment.


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  9. a very good book on the evolution of culture in India : the national culture of india by S Abid Husain

  10. please give benefit to the Indian’s. we know we are still developing, from ancient days we are listening these words. Now we have to change. don’t believe and don’t give chance to bought.

  11. Imagining India is worth reading, its better to see online videos of mr. Nilekani about the same

  12. this website is actually not bad. If i could get my hands on those books Anshaman wrote, then i could be mistres of Indian Politics. Since i am an Indian myself. I could learn loads from this books. This website is awesome. From now on i gonna go on it every single day.

    OH YE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. heyy.
    I am intrested in politics a lot but there is lack of guidance for me in it.
    Are there any books dear friends that you can suggest me so that i can enter into politics and the book that can guide me and can show me the path in indian politics and i can archieve my goal from common youth to a leader.

  14. 1. Rajaji – A Life, by Rajmojan Gandhi
    2. Buddha and the Sahebs by Charles Allen
    3. The Honorable Company by John Keay
    4. False Economy by Alan Beattie

  15. Books on political history ignore all infrastructure development, including the building of roads, bridges, railways, ports, factories, electrical system, communication systems, hospitals and an educational system. Not to mention the green revolution and avoiding starvation. What kind of history is that?

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