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Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny [NOOK Book]

Overview


Sonia Gandhi's story represents the greatest transformational journey made by any world leader in the last four decades. Circumstance and tragedy, rather than ambition, paved her path to power. Born into a traditional, middle-class Italian family, Sonia met and fell in love with Rajiv Gandhi, son of future Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, while studying English in Cambridge. Cruelly tested by the assassinations of her mother-in-law and of ...

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Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny

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Overview


Sonia Gandhi's story represents the greatest transformational journey made by any world leader in the last four decades. Circumstance and tragedy, rather than ambition, paved her path to power. Born into a traditional, middle-class Italian family, Sonia met and fell in love with Rajiv Gandhi, son of future Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi and grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, while studying English in Cambridge. Cruelly tested by the assassinations of her mother-in-law and of her husband, Sonia grew into a strong, authoritative but always private figure, now president of a coalition ruling over a billion people in the world's largest democracy. Through exclusive interviews with members of Sonia's party, political opponents and family friends, Rani Singh casts new light on Sonia. In the first mainstream biography of this inspirational figure, the author’s compelling narrative retraces the path of the brave and beautiful Sonia Gandhi, examining what her life and legacy mean for India.



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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Rani Singh’s biography of Sonia Gandhi is an intimate and insightful portrait of an extraordinary woman... a compelling and important story of tragedy, family and a nation on an upward trajectory.”— Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State

"Rani Singh has opened the door on one of the most powerful yet surprisingly little-known women in the world." —Jon Snow, UK Newscaster

"A biography that isn't only carefully researched but offers new details about Sonia Gandhi's extraordinary emergence from obscurity to most powerful woman in Asia (and arguably in the world). Rani Singh tells Sonia's story in remarkably vivid prose — tough but fair, critical but empathetic... an enormously readable work of scholarship and journalistic endurance." — Pranay Gupte, author of Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi

“Rani Singh’s book draws back the curtain, allowing the reader to encounter Sonia as the person behind the larger-than-life figure that she is for India’s millions. It is a highly readable and rewarding work for anyone interested in modern India and its contemporary politics.”  —Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

"Rani Singh weaves a compelling love story into the complexities of Indian politics with skill and sensitivity... If you want to understand modern India, you need to understand the Gandhis. Ms Singh has made an important and timely contribution." —Tim Marshall, Foreign Affairs Editor at Sky News

"A moving tribute... sets the scene for a thorough understanding of the fast-moving undertow affecting political life in India today, and of the critical influence of Sonia Gandhi." – James Brewer,business journalist and former editor of global insurance coverage for Lloyd's List

"A book of human scope that reveals an intriguing political history and a life of compassion" — Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A London journalist presents a biography of one of the world's enigmatic female leaders.

Beginning with the 1991 assassination of Sonia's husband, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Singh traces back to Sonia's girlhood, her English education and her eventual marriage, emphasizing the charged atmosphere in mother-in-law Indira Gandhi's household. The author then discusses the death of Rajiv's brother, Sanjay, and Indira's assassination by her own bodyguards, circling back to Rajiv's term in office, his death and beyond. Singh portrays Sonia not as a strategist aiming for power, nor as a widow pushed onto the stage by tragedy, but as a family-oriented woman inspired by her adopted country. She did not accept the position of president until several years afterward; how reluctance transformed into the will to preserve a legacy comprises much of the second half of the book. Though Singh provides few quotes from Sonia herself, readers will glimpse how she earned the trust of her constituency through decades of personal involvement and with the Nehru tradition of honoring public meetings, all while preserving her own privacy. The author occasionally dwells on darker moments, but Sonia does not appear to rely on sympathy. Readers initially intrigued by the famous namesake (unrelated to Mahatma), by India's violent, sometimes sectarian past and by the Nehru descendants—often likened to the Kennedys—will find that the author assembles a story of mostly balanced perspective. Readers unfamiliar with Sonia's life will also discover a woman of surprisingly level-headed strength.

A book of humane scope that reveals an intriguing political history and a life of compassion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230340534
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Rani Singh is a London-based journalist who has worked with BBC television and radio for over 15 years. She is known for her investigative reports and documentaries from India and Pakistan. She commented on the region for CNN and NBC News, and has written for The Observer News Service, The Spectator, Lloyd’s List, and The Huffington Post. Rani is an Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people.


 

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Table of Contents


Foreword by Mikhail Gorbachev
Preface
Acknowledgements

1. One Sleepy night in India
2. Italia
3. One Safdargang Road
4. Not Just Bringing Up Babies
5. The Emergency
6. Willington Crescent
7. Sanjay
8. The Toughest Decision
9. Problems Within and Without
10. 'Every Drop of My Blood'
11. Race Course Road
12. Depth of Feeling
13. Unanimously Elected
14. Going Abroad as the Wife of the Premier
16. The Foundation
17. Unanimously Elected
18. Into Myself
19 Preserving Rajiv's Legacy
20. Understand My Anguish
21. Akbar Road
22. This is My Land
23. The Peace Dividend
24. Against the Odds
25. My Inner Voice
26. Little Office in Parliament House
28. India's 9/11
29. Generation Next
30. Dear Mother


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