How did Jawaharlal Nehru come to lead the Indian nationalist movement, and how did he sustain his leadership as the first Prime Minister of independent India? Nehru's vision of India, its roots in Indian politics and society, as well as its viability have been central to historical and present-day views of India. This engaging new biography dispels many myths surrounding Nehru, and distinguishes between the icon he has become and the politician he actually was. Benjamin Zachariah places Nehru in the context of the issues of his time, including the central theme of nationalism, the impact of Cold War pressures on India and the transition from colonial control to a precarious independence. Connecting the domestic and international aspects of his political life and ideology, this study provides a fascinating insight into Nehru, his times and his legacy.