This is a critique of Indian foreign policy under Indira Gandhi in the period 1966-1977, and it is one of the most thorough studies yet done of how Indian foreign policy is made. Tharoor is highly critical of Mrs. Gandhi's performance in those years: "She alienated one superpower, the U.S., by identifying it as the enemy of her type of regime; tied India increasingly to the other superpower, the U.S.S.R., whose intentions in the region . . . are causing more and more concern in the non-aligned world; maintained antagonistic relations with a powerful neighbor, China; failed to build accommodative bridges with a defeated one, Pakistan. . . . She ignored a major region, Southeast Asia, and snubbed an important economic power, Japan, in a policy which often appeared to prefer empty slogans to tangible gain." He holds out the hope that in her current term Mrs. Gandhi may yet "transcend the dogmas of the past."