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This section includes book notes of 150-300 words as well as some book reviews of 600-900 words on books of particular interest to the members of our group. If members have either suggestions for books they would like to review/see reviewed (including recent books of their own), please contact Cas Mudde. Book Notes Chetan Bhatt, Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths, Oxford: Berg, 2001, 232 pp., GBP 14.99/USD 21.50, ISBN 1-85973-348-4 (pbk) / GBP 42.99/USD 65.00, ISBN 1-85973-348-3 (hbk). Reviewed by John Zavos (University of Manchester) This is a clear and accessible account of a complex and challenging set of developments in Indian social and political life. The book will be very valuable to anyone trying to get to grips with the sudden emergence in the heart of Indian politics during the 1980s of what had been perceived previously as a rather marginal force and way of thinking. Bhatt's intention is to explain how Hindu nationalism has in fact always been a key element in the development of political thought in the colonial and postcolonial periods. By examining the work of figures such as Lala Lajpat Rai, Swami Shraddhanand and V.D. Savarkar, Bhatt demonstrates how strains of Hindu nationalism were interwoven with the dominant discourses of the liberation struggle, and so with the development of postIndependence politics. Although several other authors have noted the proximity of Indian and Hindu nationalism in this way, Bhatt's contribution is substantive in terms of his textual approach and his impressive ability to link developing Hindu nationalist thought to European thinkers such as Spencer and Comte. On the other hand, I do feel that the focus on reformist thinking in the early part of the book, especially on the Arya Samaj, tends to obscure

2002 03 03 book reviews  
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