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08 Nov 2007
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£68.00
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9780230517165
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Leftism in India, 1917-1947 provides a comprehensive account of the Leftist Movements in India during the most decisive phase of its struggle for freedom and describes how they interacted with the mainstream of the Indian Freedom movement under the leadership of the Indian National Congress, guided by its supreme leader Mahatma Gandhi and his ideology of non-violence. This ideology directly opposed those who believed in Marxism - Leninism and, little wonder, their policies clashed at almost every stage of the freedom movement. These clashes gave rise to the dramatic developments which are vividly described in this work. Each such development has been highlighted in its proper context, analysed with scholarly objectivity and supported by primary source materials collected not only from the Indian National Archives but also from Berlin, Paris, London, Mexico, Moscow and Tashkent.


Description

Leftism in India, 1917-1947 provides a comprehensive account of the Leftist Movements in India during the most decisive phase of its struggle for freedom and describes how they interacted with the mainstream of the Indian Freedom movement under the leadership of the Indian National Congress, guided by its supreme leader Mahatma Gandhi and his ideology of non-violence. This ideology directly opposed those who believed in Marxism - Leninism and, little wonder, their policies clashed at almost every stage of the freedom movement. These clashes gave rise to the dramatic developments which are vividly described in this work. Each such development has been highlighted in its proper context, analysed with scholarly objectivity and supported by primary source materials collected not only from the Indian National Archives but also from Berlin, Paris, London, Mexico, Moscow and Tashkent.


Reviews



'We are in debt to Professor Satyabrata Rai Chowdhuri for writing this excellent overview of the Indian Left. His book is especially welcome because of its wide scope. Let us hope that he is planning a successor volume that will bring this remarkable story of Communism in India up to the present day' - Stephen P. Cohen, The Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. (from his foreword)

'This book is one of the most lucid, nuanced and comprehensive accounts of the role of the political Left in Indian nationalism I have ever read. It is a task of commendable magnitude accomplished by a distinguished scholar in the fields of Political Science and International Relations and a valuable addition to the scholarly corpus of works on modern Indian political history. The author marks the ebb and flow of communism's fortunes with both scalpel-like precision, dramatic intensity and painstaking historical accuracy.' - Debjani Ganguly, Australian National University

'Professor Rai Chowdhuri has to be congratulated on such a comprehensive coverage of not only the Communist Party history but also of Left movements in general in India. I also like his interweaving of the history of the mainstream nationalist movement with a history of the Left. There are not many books which cover the same ground and this one, I am sure, will stay a standard reference work for a long time.' - Lord Meghnad Desai, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK


'...the volume is definitely a significant contribution to the history of the Left movement in India, and hence will be valuable not only to students and scholars in different fields of social sciences but also the reading public.' - The Statesman, India
 
' ...it is necessary to know the early history of the Left in order to make sense of its politics today...The author captures remarkably well the complex milieu in which the communists and other leftists struggled to find an identity for themselves.' Ashis Chakrabarti, The Telegraph, India
 
'...it is a welcome addition to the existing literature, both for its comprehensiveness and the discussion its critical conclusions generate.' The Hindu, India

 
'Leftism in India, 1917-1947 is an excellent account of the political maneuvers and theoretical ruminations of Indian radicals during the last thirty years of the liberation movement. ...[The] book is an attempt to interweave a study of the mainstream nationalist movement with not only the trajectory of the Indian Communist Party, but that of the left-wing of the Indian National Congress.' - Bhaskar Sunkara, New Politics, USA


Contents

Foreword; S.P.Cohen
Preface
Abbreviations
Historical Background
Ideologies and Orientations
Communism In India
Growth of the Congress Left Wing
Labour and Peasant Movements
Growth of Other Leftist Parties
Notes
Bibliography


Authors

SATYABRATA RAI CHOWDHURI is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University Grants Commission, India; and Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of London, UK. He has recently authored Nuclear Politics: Towards A Safer World.