Patriots and Partisans

Patriots and Partisans In this wonderfully readable collection of essays Ramachandra Guha defends the liberal centre against the dogmas of left and right with style depth and polemical verve The essays turn a critical eye

In this wonderfully readable collection of essays, Ramachandra Guha defends the liberal centre against the dogmas of left and right with style, depth and polemical verve The essays turn a critical eye on topics as wide ranging as Hindutva, the Communist left, and the dynasty obsessed Congress party Whether writing about politics or profiling individuals, this book confirIn this wonderfully readable collection of essays, Ramachandra Guha defends the liberal centre against the dogmas of left and right with style, depth and polemical verve The essays turn a critical eye on topics as wide ranging as Hindutva, the Communist left, and the dynasty obsessed Congress party Whether writing about politics or profiling individuals, this book confirms Guha s standing as India s most admired historic and public intellectual.

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Patriots and Partisans

  1. Ramachandra Guha was born in Dehradun in 1958, and educated in Delhi and Calcutta He has taught at the University of Oslo, Stanford, and Yale, and at the Indian Institute of Science He has been a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and also served as the Indo American Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.After a peripatetic academic career, with five jobs in ten years on three continents, Guha settled down to become a full time writer based in Bangalore His books cover a wide range of themes, including a global history of environmentalism, a biography of an anthropologist activist, a social history of Indian cricket, and a social history of Himalayan peasants Guha s books and essays have been translated into than twenty languages The prizes they have won include the U.K Cricket Society s Literary Award and the Leopold Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History.

271 Reply to “Patriots and Partisans”

  1. To someone who is well versed with the nitty gritty of Indian political panorama and exceedingly vigilant to the chimerical democratic garb that Indian politics adorn, barring a few nostalgic personal textual pieces, this book is akin to reading newspaper articles and magazines scouting for scholarly debates over eloquent verses surpassing tapered attitudes to a universal perceptive of secularists farce under autocratic, fascists and pluralists mirages To the unknown it s a revelation.


  2. Having read previously the author s scholarly historical narratives in India After Gandhi , and the brilliant editorial commentaries of the selected writings of the Makers of Modern India , I started this book with the pre determined bias that I would like it The liberal Nehurvian views of Guha resonates that of mine, and hence, my expectations from this book was, if not gaining new confirming information, then at least reaffirmations of my own thought stream The book fully meets that expectatio [...]


  3. Like Guha s other books of essays.1 Smooth, anecdotal writing I have read each of Guha s books of essays on vacation I haven t intended to read them but have begun and gone on reading.2 Sociopolitical bellelettrism, basically.3 Guha calls himself a historian but is actually a story teller he has no theses for the movement of history, instead consistently focusing overmuch on individual figures This obviously works better in a book of essays than in a history like INDIA AFTER GANDHI His commonsen [...]


  4. review incomplete Some excerpts A Muslim asking for equal rights for women finds it far difficult to argue from first principles.He takes refuge instead in one or other verse from the Koran, read or interpreted in a way most congenial to his argument He tends to suppress or ignore the contrary evidence in other verses or sections Metropolitan intellectuals have been fascinated by left wing rebels for a very long time From Mao through Ch Guevara and Fidel Castro, on to Subcomandante Marcos of th [...]


  5. My first whole Guha And I ve been meaning to read him for a long bloody time When I say whole, I seem to find his essays somewhere or the other The Caravan, Himal Southasian, other anthologies , and have always been rather overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of his scholarship And of course, the fact that the man can write Part of the criticism he receives must be, I think, because of this it is difficult to trust, for most people, a historian who can write this well.Though I own a couple of h [...]


  6. My review of this book is probably going to be biased since Guha s views are extremely similar to views I hold That being said, this is an engaging, excellent and very well written collection of essays The essays are on different topics, ranging from a history of congress sycophancy to the end of Premier Bookshop in Bangalore Each essay is put together well, with convincing arguments and lucid language The essay on the decline of the bilingual intellectual, for example, made some excellent point [...]


  7. Some might criticize him for Belle Lettrism, some for giving way too much importance to individuals rather than the fluid streams of history And some of that might be true as well Still, Ramchandra Guha s books are very readable and give a unique sense of pleasure A strongly worded liberal, always ready to voice opinion against intolerance and fascist tendencies of any kind, he does make history much accessible to the lay person Though this book is a collection of memoirs than a serious histor [...]


  8. it was quite impossible to read this quick, because of the amount of information and references the author has given in the book each of them very relevant and draws from various sources Good read, and must for everyone who want a historical view of Indian politics.


  9. Wonderful collection of essays ranging from analyses of the Sino Indian War of 1962 to reflections on influential bookstores and Individuals on the Indian intellectual community.


  10. I had interest in Guha as a person as I was listening to him on various TV channels on a debate May it be discussing about Greatest Indian after Gandhi or sharing his views on Cricket His proficient language and excellent vocabulary flattered me There are few people whose mere presence and style grabs your attention and hints you that they are full of knowledge correct.Grabbed this book from roadside, for me reading is imp than locationJ.This book is a collection of his essays published in vario [...]


  11. It was a nice read I am not from social sciences background have very little academic knowledge of Indian politics social issues However, as a common man, I am interested in contemporary history of India This book is a collection of chapters based on diverse topics ranging from Indo China relation, a nice critique of Jawaharlal Nehru as a nation builder, politician surprisingly as a thought leader to decline of Indian academic institutions importance of compromise for social political stability [...]


  12. I here by disavow any notion of liberalism I would have harbored so long.A page full of bashing of Hindu fanatics counter balanced by single line criticism of other faiths is not the definition of liberals.Also at than one point my Maharashtrian ego which is in abundance was severely hurt.The meteoric rise of simpleton Anna Hazare probably itched author as his erudite views of Republic remain confined to academic world and majority follows Anna.He questions whether women were treated equally du [...]


  13. This probably, this is the one non fiction which I finished very quickly Quick and good read Partly may be there are few interesting essay of my choice Mr Shanbhag of Premier Book Shop Bangalore, Nehru Memorial Museum Library NMML , Oxford University Press OUP , and Economic and Political Weekly EPW.


  14. Awesome Guha writes everything A liberal and yet he speaks fair of all In the other sense, he has no problem finding out mistakes with anyone Those alive, those dead, those he know and those he doesn t Yes patriots and partisans is on masterpiece


  15. This is one book which should be read by minds interested in modern Indian history There are some chapters which are avoidable though I will update the list.



  16. I prefer to read the first part of the collection and Debating democracy,essays on Nehru,Gandhi s religion and Indo china war are remarkable one My personal favorite is fall of the Indian left


  17. This collection of essays written by Mr Guha debunks many myth surrounding Pandit Nehru and through its logical consistency implores me to judge Pandit Nehru on better terms It is a book which will make an Indian think about various policies enacted by state and central government in fields of education Since I studied science in my college days I always thought social science is of no use to me but the way Mr Guha writes and describes the fact that social science is the basic ingredient to have [...]


  18. This book is again a collection of essays related to various aspects of Nationalism and our foreign affairs I particularly like a couple of essays that spoke about the Hindutva hate mails that he received and also about the hows and the whys of China policy While the hate mail essay was extremely relatable in this era of social media and paid trolling, his thoughts about the Indo China relations were interesting He seems to be a Nehru sympathiser to me I am being specific because he seemed to sp [...]


  19. An eclectic collection of essays, Guha writes in his characteristic style passionate, no holds barred and non partisan He doesn t use academic jargon or tries to impress the audience He simplpy states facts and his analysis of it A must read for someone who wants to understand modern India especially so for most educated indians Not really an eye opener but gives you good food for thought.The only fly in the ointment the last three essays don t really fit in.


  20. Apart from last 4 essays which seem to have been written out of personal nostalgia about the events, places and institutions concerned, the book depicts a clear dichotomy of schools of thought on various contemporary issues Dr Guha surgically analyses plethora of view points with a dispassionate approach More, in the book for I don t wish to write a thesis on the book


  21. On the whole, an insightful and erudite collection of essays the hagiographic and fanboyish pieces on Nehru and Gandhi notwithstanding.


  22. Enjoyable, informative, leisure time pleasure but nothing new Same information, idea, concept and ideology which Mr Guha propounded in India after Gandhi.



  23. This most definitely must be read after India After Gandhi In some ways it is even a sequel in India After Gandhi, Guha endures great pains to explain why he reveres Nehru In this book he proceeds to explain by Nehru has been vilified in subsequent decades.My favorite chapters were towards the end he talks about the rise and fall of his favorite bookshop, the glories of the personalized bookstore experience, the Nehru Memorial library, the wealth and value our nation owes to historians, research [...]


  24. What can you say about a man who writes with equal felicity about environment, cricket and contemporary India You just have to get amazed and read and enjoy This book is essentially a collection of Essays His grand sweep takes you thru the Chinese aggression, Chamchagiri in Congress Party, the advantages of bilingual politicians, Need for pluralism in Universities, the sad state of the Nehru museum to some very personal essays on Shanbhag of Premier Book Store and Romesh Thapar of EPW and many [...]


  25. Mr Guha is a storyteller.While reading him you feel that you are listening to story being told by your grandmother there is no feeling of reading a boring and serious non fiction work.And the same thing is with this book it seems that whatever you are reading is happening in front of your eyes.In this book Ramchandra Guha presents his case for liberal democracy in a formidable way,by giving lots of examples from past and present,and criticizes both the left and right wing radicals.He also raises [...]


  26. Excellent collection of essays from Ramachandra guhaA wide array of topics are covered in a very easy languageTopics range from Political , Social to Personal memoirsIn a very brief manner,author introduces us to some of the important events that took place in Indian history which ranges from Decline of Left in India,India China Standoff,Congress sycophancy and rise of Saffron in IndiaMost importantly he introduces many renowned but unfortunately obscured scholars social workers in the view of g [...]


  27. Reading Guha for the first time, i feel i have missed out on so much.I know so little of the history of the Modern India.His essays, each having a personal tone which is obvious as they are mostly lectures or publications as articles, not impersonal research articles, make an interesting read.Each deals with a different question, tells a different story.If there is an underlying theme to the whole book, its celebration of the liberal, democratic, culturally rich heritage of this country.While th [...]


  28. The book is a collection of Dr Guha s essays, some of them previously published while some of them being published for the first time I was particularly interested to read his piece regarding the internet hindus but what is impressive about the book is it kind of puts together a historical perspective to India s political present and helps in understanding why a lot of things about the current political situation in India exists and what could have happened, what shouldn t have I was disappointe [...]


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