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Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, was the ideological and political heir of Gandhi. Building on the Mahatma's foundations, as leader both of the Congress and of independent India from 1947, Nehru shaped the new state: his story is India's story. Born in Allahabad on 14 November 1889, Nehru was a Kashmiri Brahmin, a member of India's most aristocratic caste. M.J. Akbar examines with great perception the social and cultural milieu in which Nehru grew up, giving a fascinating picture of the man behind the public figure. Drawing on a wealth of material released from British government records and on Nehru's life against the background of volatile political forces that have dominated twentieth-century India, Akbar provides a unique insight into the years of struggle, loss and, ultimately, achievement. The last hundred years have seen the growth of a new independent nation of vast complexity, both political and social: the architect of that nation was Jawaharlal Nehru. One of India's foremost journalists, M.J. Akbar, has written a superb biography. Printed Pages: 609.