A Portrait

Patrick French chronicles epic change, telling human stories to explain a larger national narrative.

By Patrick French Read by Walter Dixon History - Asian / Nonfiction / Social Science English, Unabridged 17h 13m Sell Sheet
Format Release Date List Price Your Price ISBN
14 Audio CDs July 19, 2016 $59.99 $47.99 9781520020044 Add to Cart
2 MP3 CDs July 19, 2016 $29.99 $19.99 9781520020051 Add to Cart
							Melding on-the-ground reports with a deep knowledge of history, French exposes the cultural foundations of India’s political, economic and social complexities. He reveals how a nation identified with some of the most wretched poverty on earth has simultaneously developed an envied culture of entrepreneurship (here are stories like that of C. K. Ranganathan, who trudged the streets of Cuddalore in the 1980s selling sample packets of shampoo and now  employs more than one thousand people). And even more remarkably, French shows how, despite the ancient and persistent traditions of caste, as well as a mind-boggling number of ethnicities and languages, India has nevertheless managed to cohere, evolving into the world’s largest democracy, largely fulfilling Jawaharlal Nehru’s dream of a secular liberal order.

“Fizzing with wit, insight and infectious curiosity...A riveting read...One suspects that French could not pen a boring passage if he tried...A thoroughly enjoyable romp through six momentous decades.” - Sadanand Dhume, The Wall Street Journal Asia

“It is a funny, witty book; also dense, gripping, thrilling. What blazes through from each page is French’s absolute and uncondescending engagement with India, Indians and the mindboggling plurality of practices.” - Neel Mukherjee, The Times (London)

"A fittingly vigorous and colorful book about what it means to live in India six decades after the nation freed itself from British rule." - San Francisco Chronicle

"French mingles historical analysis with on-the-spot reportage, aiming to capture the country in all its teeming, volatile complexity. The result is rich, engaging and indeed multi-hued." - Los Angeles Times

"A well-informed and well-crafted portrait...[French is] a skilled interviewer who writes with a descriptive flair." - The Boston Globe