Indira by Katherine Frank
The Life of Nehru Gandhi

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Synopsis

On the morning of October 31, 1984, as she walked through her garden, smiling, with hands raised and palms pressed together in the traditional Indian namaste greeting, Indira Nehru Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards. She died as she had lived, surrounded by men, yet isolated. It was a violent end to a life of epic drama.
Here is the first popular biography of one of the world's most influential leaders, India's third prime minister. Brought up during an era that saw the rise of Indian nationalism, Indira was raised to be what her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, called "a child of revolution" - destined to play a political role in the creation and governing of an independent India. Despite her early reluctance to embrace this role, Indira eventually presided over a huge, complex, religiously riven, and male-dominated country. She was born to a wealthy, westernized family, but she had a gift for connecting with the poor of the countryside and the urban slums, the illiterate, the dispossessed - so much so that "Indira is India" became a familiar slogan. Throughout childhood, love, marriage, imprisonment, motherhood, and a sequence of personal and family tragedies, her personal hopes and desires were continually subsumed by the historical and political imperatives of her country.
In this beautifully written book, the acclaimed biographer Katherine Frank draws on unpublished sources and more than a hundred interviews to create a rich, balanced portrait. INDIRA captures in full color the personal and political fate of the leader of the world's largest democracy - the woman who played a dominant role in the history of the twentieth century and who, when it ended, was voted Woman of the Millennium by the BBC.
 

About Katherine Frank

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KATHERINE FRANK's most recent biography, A Passage to Egypt: The Life of Lucie Duff Gordon, earned a rave front-page review in the New York Times Book Review, which called it "a masterpiece." Frank is also the author of A Voyager Out, a life of Mary Kingsley, and A Chainless Soul, a life of Emily Brontë, which was hailed as "a near perfect work" (New York Daily News). Her work on Indira involved six years of extensive travel and research.
 
Published January 7, 2002 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 592 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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As Frank (A Passage to Egypt, 1994) notes, Indira Nehru Gandhi, daughter of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was strongly influenced by family friend Mahatma Gandhi (no relation).

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The Guardian

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Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi Katherine Frank 545pp, HarperCollins £19.99 Buy it at a discount at BOL I shall never forget boarding an Air India plane at Heathrow 17 years ago to find the entire cabin crew in tears.

Mar 10 2001 | Read Full Review of Indira: The Life of Indira Ne...

The Guardian

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The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi Katherine Frank HarperCollins £19.99, pp578 Buy it at a discount at BOL Indira Gandhi is often described as India's Margaret Thatcher.

Mar 25 2001 | Read Full Review of Indira: The Life of Indira Ne...

Publishers Weekly

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Not a political biography, Frank's book (via letters and conversations with close confidants) comes closest to showing the human Indira who joined politics because she felt duty-bound to uphold her father's secular, inclusive vision of her homeland.

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India Today

HarperCollins The sense of mythology was there in the very beginning of Indira Priyadarshini's life: "The very month you were born," wrote her father on her thirteenth birthday, "saw the birth of the Russian Revolution thousands of miles away from India."

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