Nehru's India

Taylor C. Sherman


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Princeton University Press
27 September 2022
ISBN: 9780691222585
304 pages

From the publisher

An iconoclastic history of the first two decades after independence in India

Nehru's India brings a provocative but nuanced set of new interpretations to the history of early independent India. Drawing from her extensive research over the past two decades, Taylor Sherman reevaluates the role of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, in shaping the nation. She argues that the notion of Nehru as the architect of independent India, as well as the ideas, policies, and institutions most strongly associated with his premiership-nonalignment, secularism, socialism, democracy, the strong state, and high modernism-have lost their explanatory power. They have become myths.

Sherman examines seminal projects from the time and also introduces readers to little-known personalities and fresh case studies, including India's continued engagement with overseas Indians, the importance of Buddhism in secular India, the transformations in industry and social life brought about by bicycles, a riotous and ultimately doomed attempt to prohibit the consumption of alcohol in Bombay, the early history of election campaign finance, and the first state-sponsored art exhibitions. The author also shines a light on underappreciated individuals, such as Apa Pant, the charismatic diplomat who influenced foreign policy from Kenya to Tibet, and Urmila Eulie Chowdhury, the rebellious architect who helped oversee the building of Chandigarh.

Tracing and critiquing developments in this formative period in Indian history, Nehru's India offers a fresh and definitive exploration of the nation's early postcolonial era.