Book Review - In Spite of the Gods


  • Navyasree Yekkaluri CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru.


Book Review, Edward Luce, Modern India


Edward Luce (2011), “In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India”, Little, Brown, Abacus, pages: 430, ISBN 978-0-349-12346-2, Rs.499

One of the earliest accounts of India through the lens of a foreigner was 'Indika' crafted by Greek ambassador Megasthenes in about 310 BCE, during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya. Although the original work ceases to exist today, the quotes and references give a picturesque exposition of what ancient Mauryan India looked like. From Geography to topography, culture to caste, woods to wild, figuratively, Magesthenes had drawn the Indian map through Greek eyes. Like him, many ventured into India and expressed their world views of the land at multiple points in time. One such account is Edward Luce's 'In Spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India'. It is a descriptive reflection of his travels across the length and breadth of mighty India and his conversations with individuals belonging to various social groups. However, a huge chunk is the business and political elite. This nine-chaptered work is layered with a cogent analysis of India's paradoxical universe. 

Author Biography

Navyasree Yekkaluri, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru.

Department of Sociology and Social Work, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.


Luce, E. (2006, 2011). In spite of the Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India. London: Little, Brown.