One of the finest features of Percival Spear's intensely interesting study of India is his clear explanation of the differences between Hindu and Muslim ideology and attitudes toward life, religion, nationalism, and world affairs. His discussion provides the necessary historical and geographical fundamentals for a greater understanding of the country as it has come to exist today. Although his material is nearly encyclopedic (covering all major eras of recorded time), Spear uses his space wisely, concentrating predominantly on the material that best fills the gaps between what is usually covered in academic lessons in general history and what appears in journalistic literature. He indicates the influence Western commercial affairs and politics have had on India, and shows how Gandhi's ""way of gentleness"" was instrumental in preventing utter chaos at the time of India's separation from Great Britain. His book tells the things that Americans want to know, if they have any curiosity about India at all. Part of the History of the Modern World Sciences, edited by Allan Nevins and Howard M. Ehrmann.