An engaging reflection on the 50th anniversary of India's independence. Tharoor wears two hats with equal panache. A senior U.N. Official, he is also a novelist; his book, The Great Indian Novel (1989), is a virtuoso feat. This volume blends academic analysis and personal observation on a whole range of topics and problems that India confronts -- caste, religion, and economics. Tharoor passionately espouses a vision of a cosmopolitan, tolerant, liberal, and modern India that he believes truly describes his country. At the moment it appears that other descriptions are triumphing.