NEHRU: Ten Years of Power by Vincent Sheean

NEHRU: Ten Years of Power

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sheean's preoccupation with India and specifically with Gandhi (Lead Kindly Light in 1949 made most of his readers aware of this) has born practical fruit in this perceptive study of India's Prime Minister. Without holding towards Nehru the almost mystical veneration he held towards Gandhi, Sheean is a great admirer of a man he feels is one of the world's great leaders. In this significant book he analyzes Nehru's achievements, the sources of his immense power in India, the enviable detachment he holds towards the bitter criticism and occasional hostility he is exposed to from the outside world . His ten years in power have seen India well on the way to concrete results in the course he advocates, the successive Five Year Plans he has put into operation, and the miracle of change that is gradually made evident in India today. It is a unique experiment- this planned development under state ownership and control, without sacrifice of freedom or democracy. It strikes at the heart of India's problem- poverty. The extent of industrial development is indicated in Sheean's outline of the wide range of activities he has seen for himself, while at the time the pockets of primitiveness which are basic India are as yet scarcely reached. India is burdened by unfriendly Nature, limited resources, the burden of pensioning off the feudal princes. But it has a reservoir of wealth in the ability and enthusiasm of its youth. The Pakistan partition- the Kashmir question- the problems of religious difference- of questions of a national language -- Nehru's ""uncommitted"" neutralism in foreign affairs (and what Sheean feels is a sound reason back of it)- are all weighed and assessed. But the most interesting parts of the book are the sidelights on Nehru the man, the politician, the diplomat -- a many-faceted personality, with potentials that are as yet unplumbed. An interim report, this- but an important one.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1959
Publisher: Random House