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July 29, 2004

Judith M. Brown to Discuss Her Book on Nehru on September 13

Judith M. Brown, whom the Times Literary Supplement identifies as the most interesting scholar now interpreting recent Indian history, will discuss her latest book, "Nehru: A Political Life" (Yale University Press, 2003), at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, in Room LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. She will be joined in the discussion by Ainslie Embree, an Asia expert and a professor emeritus of history at Columbia University, and Granville Austin, a leading authority on the Indian constitution and a former staff member of the U.S. Senate.

The event, which is sponsored by the Library's John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public and no reservations are required.

The first prime minister of India after independence from British rule, Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) was a major architect of India as a nation-state. His dedication to politics led to imprisonment under British rule and eventually to nearly two decades in power as prime minister, during which he ceaselessly pursued his vision of a transformed and democratic India.

"Nehru: A Political Life" examines the phases of Nehru's life and shows how each phase reflected new developments in Indian politics. Drawing on newly accessible sources, including Nehru's post-1947 papers, Brown offers a complete and penetrating account of Nehru. Casting new light on both the public and private man, the book also provides an array of insights into the history of India's nationalist movement, its international standing as a nation and the complexities of constructing a new nation-state in the aftermath of imperial rule.

Brown is Beit Professor of Commonwealth History at Oxford and a fellow of Balliol College. Born in India, she was educated at Girton College, Cambridge, and has been an official fellow and director of studies in history there, as well as a lecturer, senior lecturer and reader elect in history at the University of Manchester. She currently chairs the Charles Wallace (India) Trust and was co-editor of the 20th century volume of "The Oxford History of the British Empire" with William Roger Louis. She is also a member of the Library of Congress Scholars' Council.

Among Brown's other publications are "Gandhi's Rise to Power: Indian Politics 1915-1922"; (1972); "Gandhi and Civil Disobedience: The Mahatma in Indian Politics, 1928-1934" (1977); "Gandhi, Prisoner of Hope" (1989); "Modern India: The Origins of an Asian Democracy (1985, 1994); "Migration: The Asian Experience," edited with Rosemary Foot (1994); "Hong Kong's Transition, 1842-1997" edited with Rosemary Foot (1997); "Nehru" (2000); and "Christians, Cultural Interactions, and India's Religious Traditions," edited with Robert Eric Frykenberg and Alaine Low (2002).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world's best thinkers to distill wisdom from the Library's rich resources and to stimulate and energize interaction with policymakers in Washington. For more information about any of the fellowships, grants and programs offered by the center, contact the Office of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20540-4860; telephone (202) 707-3302, fax (202) 707-3595, or visit the Web at

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PR 04-133
ISSN 0731-3527

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