“Glimpses Of World History” by Jawaharlal Nehru

A friend suggested me to write about one of the historical book “Return of the Aryans” which I had read long time back but then I thought I should write about “Glimpses of World History” first because this is the first book that made history interesting for me rather than being a difficult subject with a series of names and dates. This book is a collection of almost 200 letters that Nehru had written to his daughter Indira Gandhi (at that time Indira Nehru) from prison in an effort to teach her about world history and so the style of writing is very conversational and informal making it a very interesting read.

He has traced human history of almost all parts of the world from 6000 BC to the present day world and has taken a very non-biased view of events. This was probably the first attempt to write history from non-anglican bias and hence gives equal importance to civilizations which are non-European. Also, it is not just a collection of dates and names but looks in more detail about how these civilizations flowered and then floundered. He has also given detailed accounts of evolution of various major religions of the world. I found his description of origin of Islam to be very interesting and that is something that has remained with me for a long time.

I am sure he was also influenced in some parts by his own thoughts and association with Mahatma Gandhi and he must have given more importance to certain aspects. Probably that is the reason for writing in detail about King Ashoka and Mongol Empire.

As the title suggests it is just the “Glimpses” that you get in this book but it is enough to create an interest and then you can read more about specific civilizations. I really feel that history should be taught in schools in this manner and definitely not the way we studied in our schools.



Filed under History

4 responses to ““Glimpses Of World History” by Jawaharlal Nehru

  1. d

    Nehu was an amazing……well reading this book it made me realize how much humankindhas developed


    • pkg

      Yes, human kind has developed but unfortunately how much of that history we have forgotten and we keep on making same mistakes again and again.


  2. Satheesh

    The best chapters this book are the ones that deal with the Great Depression. Nehru’s analysis of the root causes are relevant even today and with some modifications apply even to the 2009 bust. The military-industrial complex, credit boom etc were as prevelant in the 1920s as now, with appropriate scale factors applied.
    This book has made me change my views on Nehru. I had always been skeptical about Nehru’s calibre, but this book removes all doubts. He may have his failings as a leader, but as a visionary he stands tall. Also, like Churchill, he could have won a Nobel for literature.


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