Random House India
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Thomas Macaulay is most famous for having introduced the English language as a medium for learning in India, creating a class of westernized Indians who are sometimes derisively referred to as Macaulays children. Was this an act of cultural imperialism or a modernizing move far before its time?
This is the first biography of this vastly influential figure for the general reader, giving a vivid sense of a brilliant, eccentric, contradictory man and his complex times. Tracing Macaulays fascinating journey, Zareer Masani allows the reader to glimpse into what it felt like to be at the centre of power in a global empire, ruling over hundreds of millions of Indian subjects and shaping the destiny of a subcontinent.
Masani makes a powerful and lucid case for a British statesman who profoundly influenced the course of Indian history and whose influence survives today, a case that is bound to stir up a fascinating controversy. - Mark Tully
Excellent, Masani does not allow his obvious admiration of Macaulay to sabotage the unwelcome detail. This biography is both erudite and readable. - M. J. Akbar
Zareer Masani is one of those rare historians who conveys insight and detail in a highly readable style as a result of which his books are both thought-provoking and eye-opening. - Karan Thapar
Zareer Masani has captured the life, the essence, the dazzle and the enduring impact of the extraordinary Lord Macaulay in this masterpiece of concision and explanation. Its high time Macaulay was brought back to life for those who seek to understand modern India and a contemporary Britain shaped more than it knows by its nineteenth-century experience. - Peter Hennessy
Writing with his customary elegance and insight, Masani goes beyond the stereotypes of Macaulay to show a difficult, complicated and very human man who, for better or worse, left his mark on both India and Britain. A thoroughly enjoyable and very welcome biography. - Margaret MacMillan
While accepting that Macaulays institutional legacies are hotly contested in modern India, this well-researched and well-written biography makes a powerful-and enjoyably politically incorrect-case for seeing them as 'the glue that still holds independent India together. - Andrew Roberts, Telegraph
Masanis book is an elegant mixture of polemic and biography, which, while it doesnt soft pedal Macaulays racial hauteur, gives his reforms credit for opening India to the world and often changing it for the better. - Ian Jack, Prospect
About the Author
Dr. Zareer Masani has an Oxford D. Phil. in Modern History (With a thesis on Indian nationalism) and is the author of three very successful books on India - Indira Gandhi - A Biography, Indian Tales of the Raj and From Raj to Rajiv - 40 Years of Indian Independence (With Mark Tully). He is the son of the late politician Minoo Masani and grandson of eminent historian and educationist, Sir Rustom Masani. His family memoir, And All is Said - Memoir of a Home Divided, was published in 2011 to wide critical acclaim.