founding-generations
The comparative approach to the founding generations of the USA and India is certainly novel and pulled off very well. A fine study drawing on a range of relevant secondary works. The book will be widely read in both countries and beyond.
-Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of History, Harvard University

A bold and ambitious contribution to the rich literature on transnational history and the history of Indo-American relations, this book thoughtfully engages several of the most important themes in the history of India and of the United States.
-Nico Slate, Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University

This book is a searching examination of the founding era politics and political elites and their contributions to shaping the destiny of the USA and India. An impressive, insightful, and thought-provoking work.
-Ashok Swain, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University

In this thought-prompting book that reconstructs the founding eras of the world's two great democracies, The United States and India...Siddharth's fresh and bold juxtapositions invite the reader to draw comparisons that can deepen our understanding of both the American and Indian foundings—and that encourage us to think harder about the continuing dilemmas and struggles necessary to sustain democracy.
-Sunil Khilnani, Professor of Politics and History at Ashoka University

2020 was a year of unprecedented confusion—pandemic pandemonium, geopolitical tremors and social media mayhem...USA and India were clearly on many minds, citizens confused by the plethora of opinions and the disdain for facts. How astonishingly timely then that Siddharth has come to the rescue by providing this refreshingly novel, rigorous, and revelatory analysis of these two democracies and their founders—and what this might tell us about possible futures. For Tweet-shocked and utterly flummoxed souls searching for a well-told story that can provide an anchor and offer insights—Read this!
-Roger Bingham, Director, The Science Network (UC San Diego)


As democracies around the world reorient themselves to prepare for the post-COVID era, this book is a timely work of history. The socioeconomic disruptions caused by the pandemic provide an apt opportunity to ruminate on how our democratic institutions originated in the first place. Utilizing the personal writings of the founding fathers and various historical works, this book provides valuable insights from the origins of the world's oldest democracy, the United States of America, and the world's largest democracy, India, to guide us through our contemporary dilemmas. Racism, Ultranationalism, Economic Inequality, Checks and Balances of Power, Religious Freedom, etc. were debated in various ways by the founding generations in their own times. This book shows how the founding generations tackled these issues to make America and India the beacons of Democracy and Pluralism.

It would have taken more than a trite, monotonous, and chronological account of history to help readers visualize the parallels between the origins of these democracies. Therefore, this book weaves a narrative around six themes—Minorities, Power, Opposition, Equality, Nationalism, and Compromises—that are central to the effective working of any democracy. With feedback from acclaimed historians and scholars, this book categorically breaks down the key events from the founding times that have ever since influenced the trajectories of these democracies.