Patrick French's India: A Portrait tells the story of how India emerged from a turbulent struggle for independence to become a vibrant democracy with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
India is the biggest democracy on earth, a country of dynamic change, huge divisions and countless identities. Is there any way to discover the 'real' India?
In this intimate biography of 1.2 billion people, Patrick French travels all over the country talking to everyone from political leaders to mafia dons, from chained quarry workers to self-made billionaire entrepreneurs, to tell the story of post-independence India as never before.
'Patrick French brings one of the globe's most dynamic nations springing to life ... he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the country, sensitivity to its subtler nuances and a wealth of research'
'It's gripping ... If you're Indian, reading the book is like learning the history of your country in four days'
New Indian Express
'Fizzing with wit, insight and infectious curiosity ... a thoroughly enjoyable romp through six momentous decades'
Wall Street Journal Asia
'Wide-ranging, clear-sighted, warm-hearted and immensely readable ... The human tales that French finds are engrossing'
'A rich colouring of contemporary characters and events, many of them sharply observed at first hand. Crammed with elegant portraits'
Patrick French is the author of Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer, which won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Royal Society of Literature W. H. Heinemann Prize, Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division, which won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land, The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Hawthornden Prize, and India: A Portrait.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 326 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 25 mm
It is a funny, witty book; also dense, gripping, thrilling. What blazes through from each page is French's absolute and uncondescending engagement with India -- Neel Mukherjee * The Times *
Wide-ranging, clear-sighted, warm-hearted and immensely readable -- Nirpal Dhaliwal * Evening Standard *
French is a fine reporter, with an appealing fascination for all things Indian ... an accomplished portrait of momentous times in a remarkable country * Economist *
Admirable ... There are many Indias, and Patrick French sets out, with enthusiasm and empathy, to encounter as many as he can find -- David Gilmour * Spectator *
Mr. French compresses 63 years of post-independence history into 450-odd pages fizzing with wit, insight and infectious curiosity ... a riveting read, and one suspects that Mr. French could not pen a boring passage if he tried. -- Sadanand Dhume * Wall Street Journal *
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