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An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays

Ramachandra Guha (Author)
Synopsis Inside every thinking Indian there is a Gandhian and a Marxist struggling for supremacy’, says Ramachandra Guha in the opening sentence of this wonderfully readable book of portraits and polemics. A substantial portion of this book expands on this salvo: it analyses Gandhians and pseudo-Gandhians, Marxists and anti-Marxists, Stalinists and democrats, scientists and historians, environmentalists and cricketers—in short, it examines and discusses all those who comprise the life of thinking Indians today. One section of the book, ‘The use and abuse of Gandhi’, is about Gandhi’s relations with Ambedkar, with the intelligentsia of Bengal, and with the west. It also profiles self-obsessed Gandhians such as Vinoba Bhave, green Gandhians such as J.C. Kumarappa, German Gandhians such as Herbert Fischer, and ‘editorial’ Gandhians such as K. Swaminathan. In the process, Guha illuminates little-known corners and aspects of Gandhi and Gandhiana. Another section, ‘Patriots’, looks at Nehru’s intellectual and personal legacy to India, it also reflects upon Indira Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and the emergency. E.M.S. Namboodiripad sits unexpectedly with M.S. Subbulakshmi in this section. The Government of India’s cavalier and unscrupulous handout of the Great Indian Prize, Bharat Ratna, is exposed to full view. Karl Marx, Nirad Chaudhuri, Jayaprakash Narayanan, Khushwant Singh, E.P. Thompson, J.B.S. Haldane, Verrier Elwin, Philip Spratt and Mira Behn are some of the other unusual characters who people these pages. And finally, who can stop Ramachandra Guha writing the finest essays ever written on India’s ultimate heroes, its cricketers? Better pieces than the ones herein on C.K. Nayudu, Vijay Hazare and Bishan Bedi cannot be discovered. Maybe someone, someday, will write as well on Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.
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About the author

Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha is a historian and columnist based in Bangalore. He has taught at the universities of Yale, Stanford, and Oslo, and at the Indian Institute of Science. His books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002). India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook; and as a book of the decade in the Times of India, the Times of London, and The Hindu. Guha's books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as "perhaps the best among India's non fiction writers"; Time Magazine has called him "Indian democracy's preeminent chronicler".

Ramachandra Guha's awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for excellence in social science research, the Ramnath Goenka Prize for excellence in journalism, and the R. K. Narayan Prize. In 2008 Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines nominated Guha as one of the world's hundred most influential intellectuals. In 2009 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan.

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Bibliographic information

Title An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 3rd ed.
Publisher Permanent Black
Language: English
isbn 9788178240015
length x+267p., 23cm.