Ramachandra Guha

Ramachandra Guha

Distinguished Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy


Ramachandra Guha is a historian and sociologist based in Bengaluru. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics and as the Satish Dhawan Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Science.

Guha’s books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods (University of California Press, 1989), and an award-winning social history of cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field (Picador, 2002), which was chosen by The Guardian as one of the ten best books on cricket ever written. India after Gandhi (Macmillan/Ecco Press, 2007) was chosen as a book of the year by the Economist, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out, and Outlook, and as a book of the decade in the Times of India, the Times of London, and The Hindu.

Ramachandra Guha’s most recent book is a two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. The first volume, Gandhi Before India (Knopf, 2014), was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The second volume, Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World (Knopf, 2018), was chosen as a notable book of the year by the New York Times and The Economist. Among Ramachandra Guha’s other books are Environmentalism: A Global History (Addison Wesley Longman, 2000), and two books on Indian ecological conflicts co-authored with Madhav Gadgil: This Fissured Land (1992) and Ecology and Equity (1995), these later issued in a joint omnibus edition by the OUP. His collection of environmental essays, How Much Should a Person Consume? was published in fall 2006 by the University of California Press.

Apart from his books, Ramachandra Guha has published more than two dozen research papers in journals such as Past and Present, the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,  Indian Economic and Social History Review, Development and Change, and Economic and Political Weekly. Guha’s books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as ‘perhaps the best among India’s non fiction writers’; Time Magazine has called him ‘Indian democracy’s pre-eminent chronicler’.

Ramachandra Guha’s awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History, the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society prize, the Malcolm Adideshiah Award for excellence in social science research, the Ramnath Goenka Prize for excellence in journalism, the Sahitya Akademi Award, and the R. K. Narayan Prize. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Republic of India’s third highest civilian honour. In 2008, and again in 2013, Prospect magazine nominated Guha as one of the world’s most influential intellectuals. In 2014, he was awarded a honorary doctorate in the humanities by Yale University. In 2015, he was awarded the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian studies. In 2019, he was made a Honorary Foreign Member of the American Historical Association, only the third Indian to be given that honour.

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