Author: Ramachandra Guha
Publisher: Permanent Black
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8178240734
Guha's heroes and heroines include scientists and activists, scholars and writers, politicians and bureaucrats. Quietly purposeful and publicity-shy figures -such as Chandi Prasad Bhatt (the father of the Chipko movement) and Satish Dhawan (the father of the Indian space programme)- are described, as are those whose career and achievements are more public and prominent-such as Madras's C Rajagopalachari and Nepal's B P Koirala, Karnataka's Shivarama Karanth and New Delhi's Anil Agarwal.
Two essays look at the spell cast by Jawaharlal Nehru on Indians not normally thought of in association with him, namely Nirad C Chaudhuri and Atal Behari Vajpayee; a related essay looks at ideas of India in books by writers with cosmopolitan rather than chauvinistic perspectives. Intellectually influential Indians, such as the historian-editor Dharma Kumar, the writer-publisher Sujit Mukherjee, and the pedagogue-critic T G Vaidyanathan, are memorably etched in essays on them. Influential foreigners featured here include the Marxist cricket writer C L R James, and the revolutionary authoritarians Joseph Stalin and V Prabhakaran. Other essays explore the craft of biography and autobiography, and the joys of the second-hand bookstore.
Ramachandra Guha has been described in the New York Times as perhaps the best among India's non-fiction writers. The Last Liberal and Other Essays-a companion to Guha's An Anthropologist among the Marxists and Other Essays-will consolidate his reputation as a historian and biographer who conveys wide learning in elegant prose.
Introduction: Nehruvian Indians
PEOPLE AND PLACES
766 Kilometres from Somewhere: Sevagram
A Gandhian in Garhwal: Chandi Prasad Bhatt
The Wisest Man in India: Aspects of C Rajagopalachari
The Environmentalist of the Poor: Anil