10 Best Shashi Tharoor Books that are Must-Read

Shashi Tharoor Books: Shashi Tharoor is a renowned politician and author based in India. He is a widely popular figure who has received numerous national and international awards for his books and public service. He has been a Member of Parliament since 2009 from The Indian National Congress representing the constituency of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He has also worked as an International Civil Servant for the United Nations and climbed to the top positions in the organization before retiring in 2006.

shashi tharoor books

Tharoor is immensely popular among youngsters for his eloquent English and charismatic appearance. He is regarded as a leading figure in Indian Intelligentsia. He has courageously defended India and its policies on the World Stage, including in his widely popular Oxford’s Union Speech. 

As mentioned above, he has penned a number of books that have been both critically acclaimed and commercial successes. He has written widely on India’s History, Indian Politics, World Politics, Culture, Religion, International Affairs, Foreign Policy, Historical figures, and Social issues. Furthermore, he has written a few fiction books, though they are somewhat less popular than his non-fiction books. Regardless of that, his books are always in high demand.

If you google which Shashi Tharoor Books one must read, you are bombarded with a plethora of books. If you are a new reader and plan to read Shashi Tharoor Books, we bring you a list of Top Shashi Tharoor Books that you must read, and if you don’t, you are missing out on a lot. So let’s get started.

Shashi Tharoor Books List

The following is the list of Shashi Tharoor Books that you must read.

1. Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Originally published as An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India, the book is a must-read not only for Indians but also for the rest. The book is descriptive, well-researched and passionately expressed and deals with the social, economic and cultural costs of British Rule in India. The author eloquently argues how the Raj led to humiliation, violence and suffering for Indians.

According to Tharoor, the period under British control was a dark one for India, during which it experienced numerous artificial famines, wars, racism, poor administration, the expulsion of its citizens to other countries, and enormous economic exploitation. Tharoor is so furious that he, in fact, even wants the British to issue a modest apology and make recompense for all the devastation they did in India. The book is the best choice for anyone wanting to study the deleterious impact of British Rule (or Misrule) in India.

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2. Pax Indica: India and the World in the Twenty-first Century

The second in our list of Shashi Tharoor Books is Pax Indiica. The book fundamentally provides a narrative of India’s foreign relations for experts as well as makes an effort to make a clear understanding possible for everyone who is interested in Indian foreign policy. Although it does so incoherently, it is clearly written and covers important subjects pertaining to India’s foreign policy. It is not an academic text and avoids taking a realpolitik stance in favour of focusing on an aspirational role that India can play in a world that is becoming more multipolar with the advent of China. The book is a good read if one wants an introductory-level understanding of India’s foreign policy and its relations with the world.

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3. Why I Am a Hindu

The list of Shashi Tharoor Books cannot be without this book. Amid the rise of political Hinduism in India, Shashi Tharoor pens down another interpretation that is devoid of hatred. He explains the ideas of eminent expounders, leads the reader through the myths and common customs in the religion, ranging from the early rishis who compiled the Vedas to Swami Vivekananda and shares his personal devotion. Three sections make up the book. Tharoor provides a brief overview of Hinduism’s history in the first section, as well as the evolution of his own religious beliefs. He describes how the Hindutva movement came to represent Hindu nationalism in the second section. Tharoor investigates the despicable elements of Hindutva politics in his third part, which aims to recover the religion for the liberals.

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4. Nehru: The Invention of India

Nehru’s contribution to India is perhaps unmatchable. Tharoor, in this short book, offers a glimpse of Nehru’s life and times. Readers gain an understanding of Nehru’s sincerity, his steadfast support for equality and secularist ideas, as well as his respect for democracy and scientific temper. These attributes all contributed to our success in establishing a strong democracy for ourselves. The book is also not a work of academics but is a good read to begin with if one wants to know Nehru.

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5. Ambedkar: A Life

It is the latest addition to the Shashi Tharoor Books list. Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar is one of the most popular figures in Indian politics. The author describes the key episodes of Ambedkar’s arduous journey in the first half of his book, including the embarrassments, the poverty, the catastrophes in his life, as well as the times of unearthly fortitude, defiance, and iron resolve. He examines Ambedkar’s legacy in the more fascinating second half, including the influence of his views overseas, his idea of “constitutional morality,” and the massive symbolic adoption of Ambedkar by groups he would have seen as his political rivals. The book is a well-written introductory work which is a must-read for all the fans of Ambedkar.

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Also See:

List of top 10 Hindi Story Books for Kids

6. The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative

The next in our list of Shashi Tharoor Books is The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative. As an international civil servant, Tharoor has had first-hand experience in dealing with the governments of various countries and witnessing the events that shape the world order with proximity. This book, co-authored by Samir Saran, a researcher on Climate Policy, Internet Governance, Development Policy and Global Governance, is a reflection of the ongoing events that shape the world order. The three major issues that the book address are China’s ascent, the US-led Western order’s retreat, and the meteoric rise of populism on the world stage. The book is an interesting read, especially for students of Political Science.

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7. The Hindu Way: An Introduction to Hinduism

The seventh book in our list of Shashi Tharoor Books is The Hindu Way: An Introduction to Hinduism. This book is mainly written for non-Indian readers who want to have a sense of the ethos of Hinduism. For many of us, this serves as a sort of refreshment on Hinduism. In the book, the author attempts to explain the background of Hinduism as well as the various gods, holy books, traditions, etc. that are practised in the religion and how they differ for Hindus living in various regions of India or perhaps the entire world.

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8. The Battle Of Belonging: On Nationalism, Patriotism, And What It Means To Be Indian

The book is a fervent defence and justification of civic nationalism. He regrets that although being inscribed in the Constitution of India, a competing majoritarian nationalism which excludes certain groups of Indians while simultaneously attempting to impose homogeneity poses a threat to this ideal. The book is a quick read and deals with the ongoing debate on nationalism in India.

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9. Tharoorosaurus 

Shashi Tharoor is perhaps most famous for his choice of words, which has often resulted in the netizens going crazy. Our next book is one of the most interesting books in our list of Shashi Tharoor Books. 53 terms with definitions, word histories, and in some cases even Indian contexts are included in the book. What distinguishes this book from others are the extra details about the words. Some of the terms are ones that Tharoor has previously used in tweets, so they will be familiar to his ardent supporters. Other words are genuinely common, but their context gives them an entirely new meaning. The book is excellent for language lovers of all ages as well as for everyone who needs to comprehend the wonder of language and how it is ever-evolving.

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10. The Great Indian Novel

The Last but certainly not the least book in our list of Shashi Tharoor Books is The Great Indian Novel, which is perhaps the most interesting fiction book of Tharoor. It is a satirical work in which Tharoor skillfully retells the Mahabharata’s narrative using characters and events from the Indian Independence War (as well as later events up till the Emergency Years). Most Indians have known this history by heart since their early school days, but not in the hilarious way the novel tells. It is the most hilarious of all Shashi Tharoor Books

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