Emergency Chronicles: Indira Gandhi and Democracy's Turning Point

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Product Details
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.6 X 1.4 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author
Gyan Prakash is the Dayton-Stockton Professor of History at Princeton University. His many books include Mumbai Fables: A History of an Enchanted City (Princeton), Bonded Histories: Genealogies of Labor Servitude in Colonial India, and Another Reason: Science and the Imagination of Modern India (Princeton). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
"The chronicles themselves are fluently and persuasively recounted as a narrative history of the awful excesses inflicted on individuals and communities by and during the Emergency."---Mani Shankar Aiyar, Indian Express
"Emergency Chronicles is perhaps the most comprehensive scholarly examination yet of the Emergency. Looking back more than four decades after Indira Gandhi stunned India and the world by suspending demo-cracy, historian Gyan Prakash argues forcefully that this was no momentary distortion in India's democratic record or a nightmare that came from nowhere and vanished without a trace, leaving only its villains and heroes."---Ajoy Bose, India Today
"Gyan Prakash's excellent study . . . offers a genuinely riveting account of the decades leading up to the imposition of the emergency."---Priyamvada Gopal, Times Higher Education
"Compelling and unputdownable. With the keen eye of a social phenomenologist, Prakash vividly brings to life this catastrophic Indian episode in the global history of democracy's continuing struggles with populism and authoritarianism. A brilliantly woven narrative of the invasion of ordinary life by state power, this elegantly written book is gripping from cover to cover."--Rajeev Bhargava, author of The Promise of India's Secular Democracy
"Gyan Prakash's lucid and astute account of India's postcolonial history and the Emergency combines readability and consummate research with a powerful central argument about the vicissitudes of political freedom devoid of social revolution. It is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand democracy's relationship with popular politics in the world today."--Zoya Hasan, professor emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University
"Prakash has written an indispensable political and narrative history of one of the most significant phases of India's democracy. Emergency Chronicles is an exceptional book."--Shruti Kapila, University of Cambridge
"In this lively and well-written book, Prakash makes the persuasive and important argument that the possibilities of suspending democracy are embedded in the legal and political frameworks of the Indian state, and that an awareness of this fact is essential to protecting and defending this democracy into the present day."--Yasmin Khan, author of India at War: The Subcontinent and the Second World War
"A brilliant, gripping study of one of democratic India's darkest moments--the Emergency of 1975-77--that reveals the deepest lineaments of the Indian state. Bearing an important lesson for beleaguered democracies across the world today, Gyan Prakash brings the Indian experience into the global debate about democracy."--Sunil Khilnani, King's College London
"With vivid portrayals of lesser known characters and some striking archival photographs, Gyan Prakash has given us a thoughtful and superbly readable account of one of Indian democracy's darkest episodes."--Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University
"Gyan Prakash's Emergency Chronicles is perhaps the first work of historical scholarship on the subject, and Prakash, who is a historian at Princeton University, has deftly dealt with the subject, not only bringing out the larger historical context, but also peppering his narrative with some good fictional work and cinema produced during the times."--Financial Express
"Gyan Prakash's outstanding new book is the first historical narrative of one of the most important crises of democracy in the modern world. . . . The meticulous detail of Emergency Chronicles exposes a shameful chapter in India's democratic history."---Rana Mitter, Financial Times
"[An] acute analysis of the sudden collapse of democracy in India in the mid-1970s."---Pankaj Mishra, New York Review of Books
"Prakash manages to tell the tale with the charm of a raconteur, and this should make it easy for generations of readers born long after 1975 to get a vivid, sepia-tinted picture of socialist India as well as the nationwide public unrest of those years."---Parsa V. Rao Jr., Gateway House
"Reading Emergency Chronicles is like entering a beautiful superstructure of ideas created with lucid writing and incisive arguments with a sprinkling of historical anecdotes."---Utpal Kumar, Sunday Guardian
"[Prakash] puts Emergency in perspective."---Sandeep Sinha, The Tribune
"What sets [Emergency Chronicles] apart is [Prakash's] effort to take back the cause-and-effect chain right up to the debates in the Constituent Assembly where 'draconian' measures were enshrined in the constitution."---Siddharth Singh, Open Magazine
"A valuable work."---Ben Margulies, LSE Review of Books
"Prakash has written a valuable work, which embodies important lessons and certainly speaks to contemporary issues. Emergency Chronicles reminds us that the horrors of our histories do not emerge from the clear blue sky, but from long traditions of (mis)rule. The book also warns us that democracy is a game played by equals - or else a rigged game, where someone is always threatening to take the ball and go home."---Ben Margulies, Democratic Audit UK