Glimpses of World History, a book published by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1934, is a panoramic sweep of the history of humankind. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history written from various prisons in British India between 1930–1933. The letters were written to his young daughter Indira, and were meant to introduce her to world history.
The letters start off with one he sends to his daughter on her birthday. He says he is sad about not being able to send her any "material" gift from prison, so he would try to give her something he can "afford", a series of letters from his heart.
Written from prison, where he had no recourse to reference books or a library but his personal notes, Glimpses of World History contains the history of humankind from 6000 BC to the time of writing of the book. It covers the rise and fall of great empires and civilizations from Greece and Rome to China and West Asia; great figures such as Ashoka and Genghis Khan, Mohandas K. Gandhi and Vladimir Lenin; wars and revolutions, democracies and dictatorships.
He wrote about many cultures throughout the globe in detail because, as he himself said, he didn't like the way history was taught in schools where it was confined to the history of a single country and that too narrow, and he wanted his daughter Indira to know why people did what they did. It was possible only through knowing the history of the whole world.
The letters are written in informal language, with contemporary and personal events also mentioned. They reflect the world view of Nehru, and his grasp of history. It could be considered as one of the first attempts at historiography from a non-Eurocentric angle - a statement that is itself subject to the charge of Eurocentrism, given the long history of historical writing outside of Europe, for instance in China (from The Classic of History, c. 550 BC) or the Islamic world (from Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari in the 9th century AD to Biruni and Ibn Khaldun).
Nehru stated in his preface that The Outline of History by H. G. Wells was a major influence on the work. The New York Times described it as: "... one of the most remarkable books ever written.... Nehru makes even H.G. Wells seem singularly insular..... One is awed by the breadth of Nehru's culture."
In particular, his chapter on Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion runs counter to dominant European views of the time. Prefacing his introduction to the Mongol empire, which was larger than the British empire and lasted as long, he said: "It would be foolish not to recognize the greatness of Europe. But it would be equally foolish to forget the greatness of Asia."
And he goes on to state: "Genghis is, without doubt, the greatest military genius and leader in history.... Alexander and Caesar seem petty before him." According to Jack Weatherford, this was possibly the first re-evaluation of the Mongol empire since the 18th century.
Nehru's interpretation of the Sepoy Mutiny—sparked by the order for the Sepoys to bite off the paper cartridges for their rifles which were greased with animal fat, namely beef and pork—is that "the Revolt of 1857-58 was the last flicker of feudal India."
- Nehru, Jawaharlal. Glimpses of World History. Penguin Books India. ISBN 0-670-05818-1
Also written during Nehru's imprisonments:
Essay on Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru was a great person who loved children very much throughout his life. Students can be assigned in their school for writing essay on Jawaharlal Nehru. So, we have provided some easy paragraphs, long and short essays on this topic. They can select any Jawaharlal Nehru essay given below:
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 1 (100 words)
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of the India. He was born on 14th of November in the year 1889 in the Allahabad. The name of his father was Moti Lai Nehru who was a prominent lawyer. He got his early education at home however went to England for getting higher studies and returned again to the country in 1912. He became a lawyer just like his father. Later he became involved in the India’s freedom movement with the Mahatma Gandhi. During the freedom movement he sent to jail several times however after independence of India in 1947 he became the first Prime Minister of India.
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 2 (150 words)
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Indian prime minister. He was born in the Allahabad on 14th of November in 1889. His father, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent lawyer. He also became a lawyer in the future after higher studies like his father. He joined the freedom movements of the India with the Mahatma Gandhi and later he successfully became the first prime minister of the India. He was very fond of children and loved them so much that’s why his birth anniversary means 14th of November has been declared as the Children’s Day in India.
Bal Swachhta abhiyan has also been run by the Indian government on the same day of his birthday anniversary for the children safety and health as well as show his love and affection towards children of India. His birth day is celebrated in India with big enthusiasm especially by the children. He was called by the children as Chacha Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 3 (200 words)
In India many people are born great and Jawaharlal Nehru was one of them. He was very great person who liked and loved children very much. He was very hard working and peaceful nature person. His father name was Motilal Nehru who was a prominent lawyer. Pt. Nehru was born in the Allahabad on 14th of November in 1889. He was very famous for his greatness and trustworthy person. He took his earlier study at home and went to England for the higher study. Later he returned to India and became a lawyer.
He joined the freedom movement of India with the Mahatma Gandhi and his hard works made him able to be the first Indian prime minister after the independence of India. He is remembered as a famous icon of the India. He was called as the Chacha Nehru by the children as he loved children so much. Because of his love and affection towards the children, Indian government has implemented two programmes named Children’s Day and Bal Swachhta abhiyan in India on his birthday anniversary (14th of November) to be celebrated every year for the wellness, safety and health of the children forever in India.
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 4 (250 words)
Jawaharlal Nehru was the son of a prominent lawyer named Motilal Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru took birth in the year 1889 on 14th of November in the Allahabad, India. He was blessed to become the first Prime Minister of Independent India later. His family was very influential political family where he got his earlier study and went to the England at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge for the higher studies and returned to India as a famous lawyer. His father was a lawyer however also interested in the Nationalist Movement as a prominent leader. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru also joined the country freedom movement with the Mahatma Gandhi and went to jail several times. The hard works of him made him able to become the first Indian prime minister and understand all the responsibilities towards the country. He got married to the Kamala Kaul in 1916 and became the father of a sweet little girl named Indira in 1917.
In the meeting of Indian National Congress he met to the Mahatma Gandhi in 1916. After the event of Jallianwala Bagh massacre he vowed to fight for India with the Britishers. Even after being criticised for his works, he became one of the most influential leaders of the freedom struggle. He became the longest and first serving Prime Minister of the India from 1947 to 1964. After serving the country with his great works, he died in the year 1964 on May 27 because of the stroke problem. He was a author also and written may famous books including his autobiography named Toward Freedom (1941).
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 5 (300 words)
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a great person, leader, politician, writer and speaker. He loved children so much and was a great friend of the poor people. He always understood himself as the true servant of the people of India. He worked hard all through the day and night for making this country a successful country. He became the first Prime Minister of the Independent India and thus called as the architect of modern India. In India, many people born great and Chacha Nehru was one of them. He was the person having great vision, honesty, hard labour, sincerity, patriotism and intellectual powers.
He was the giver of a famous slogan as “Aram Haram Hai.” He became the first chairman of the National Planning Commission and two years later he started a National Development Council in order to improve the living standard of the Indian people to make better quality of life. The first Five Year Plan was launched and implemented in 1951 under his guidance. He was very fond of the children so has created many ways for the growth and development of them. Later Children’s Day was declared by the Indian government to be celebrated every year for the wellness of the children on his birthday anniversary. Currently, another programme named Bal Swachhta abhiyan has been launched by the Indian government to be celebrated on his birthday anniversary.
He always gave the priority to the improvement of the untouchables, people of weaker sections of society, right of women and children welfare. “Panchayati Raj” system was launched throughout the country in order to take great step in the right direction for the welfare of the Indian people. He publicized the “Panch Sheel” system in order to maintain the international peace and harmony with India and made India as one of the leading countries of the world.
Jawaharlal Nehru Essay 6 (400 words)
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is counted among the very famous personalities of the India and almost every Indian knows about him very well. He was very fond of the children and loved them much. Children of his time were used to of saying him as Chacha Nehru. He was the most popular national and international figure. He is considered as the maker of modern India because of his hardship during his first prime ministership of India. He became the first and longest serving prime minister of the country from the year 1947 till 1964. He took the responsibility of the India to lead it ahead just after the independence of the country.
He was born on 14th of November in 1889 at Allahabad, India to the Motilal Nehru. His father Motilal Nehru was a prominent and successful lawyer and very rich person of that time. He provided the environment to his son as a prince. Pt. Nehru took his earlier study at home in the observation of most efficient teacher. At his 15, he went to the England for higher studies at public school in Harrow and Cambridge University. He completed his degree in the year 1910 and joined law just like his father and truly he became a lawyer later. He started practising his law in the Allahabad High Court after his return to the country. He got married to the Kamala Kaul in the year 1916 at the age of 27 and became the father of Indira.
He saw that people of India were treated very badly by the Britishers then he promised to join the freedom movement and fight for India against the Britishers. His patriotic heart did not allow him to sit comfortably and forced him to join the Indian independence movement with the Bapu and finally he joined the Non-cooperation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi. He had to go to the jail several times however did not fed up and continued his fight by suffering all the punishment cheerfully. Finally Indian got independence on 15th of August in 1947 and citizens of India selected him as a first Indian prime minister to lead the country in the right direction.
After his selection as the prime minister of India, he had created many ways to progress the country under his guidance. Dr. Rajendra Prasad (the late President) said about him that “The country is marching forward on the road of progress in the leadership of Panditiji”. Serving the country with his hardship, he died on 27th of May in 1964 because of the heart attack.
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