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Indira Gandhi: A Biography
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When Indira Gandhi was brutally assassinated in 1984, she had lived through India's tortured liberation from the British Empire, the bloody era of partition and the monumental difficulties associated with creating and sustaining the world's largest and most troubled democratic nation. This unique, intimate biography of one of the first women heads of state in modern history shows Indira growing from the shy daughter of the great Jawaharlal Nehru to the accomplished politician she eventually became. Very few people knew Indira beyond the facade, and there has been nothing written about her that illumines the conflicting aspects of her character: aloof but charming; lonely but ferocious in defense of her own - particularly her son Sanjay; sensitive and cultivated but capable of cold arrogance; devoted to her nation but blind to some of the cruelties she inflicted; a warm mother and grandmother but a calculating politician. A friend of Indira's for more than thirty years, Pupul Jayakar is uniquely qualified to assess and illuminate this complex woman in depth. Jayakar reveals Indira's thoughts and feelings, her loves and emotional entanglements, her blunders and her great courage. She is also able to situate the Nehru family in the context of modern Indian history in a way that is vivid to the Western reader. In Indira Gandhi, Pupul Jayakar gives us a penetrating but balanced account of one of the twentieth century's most remarkable women, a towering figure whose virtues and vices will be debated for a long time to come.
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