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Best Autobiographies

Updated: Aug 19

The 75th Independence Day has finally arrived. What a grand day! Today we pay respect to the great Indians who have sacrificed their everything, to serve the public, have worked for the betterment of the public. Today we present to you our top 3 picks of autobiographies written by eminent personalities in Indian history.


1. Wings of Fire

Author : APJ Abdul Kalam

Everyone has heard about this book. This book is pens down the life of APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India. It was written by Arun Tiwari and Dr. Kalam himself. This book explores the childhood of Dr. Kalam and the various hardships faced by him. We learn more about all the efforts he had put which eventually led him to be the leader of the Indian Space Research, Nuclear and Missile Programs.

The book begins with him introducing the readers to his family, friends and his birthplace, Rameshwaram. We see that he was a great admirer of his father since his childhood, and always looked up to him. In the later chapters we are acquainted with one of the most famous events from Dr. Kalam’s life. He tells the readers about the time when his own teacher did not allow him, a Muslim boy to sit with his own friend, the son of a Brahmin priest. This deeply saddened Dr. Kalam, his friend and their parents. His friend’s father, Lakshmana Sashtry summoned the teacher and in their presence, he had told the teacher that he should not be spreading such poison of social inequality and communal intolerance among the minds of innocent children.

Later on we learn about his higher education, and how his teachers had influenced and shaped his mind and given him a fragment of their personalities to call his own. Overall this book is a must read for everyone it is highly inspirational and motivates us to take another step towards our goals.


2. The Indian Struggle

Author : Subhash Chandra Bose

This book has been written in 2 parts. The first part of The Indian Struggle covered the years 1920 - 1934. It was published in London in 1935. It covers the history of Indian Independence movement to end the British rule over India. Subhash Chandra Bose was then banned in India, and hence this book could only be published in India in 1948 after India became Independent. This book gives the readers a lot of insight on the Indian struggle, especially from the Khilafat Movements and Non- Cooperation from the early 1920s. It also speaks about the Quit India and the Azad Hind movements which took place in the early 1940s.

The second part of the book death with the years 1935-1942. This was written by Bose, during the World War 2. A planned German edition of the book was not published. Emilie Schenkl assisted him in writing this book, whom he later married.

Both these books contain an evaluation of Gandhi’s role in the Indian Independence. It also shows his own visions and how he approached politics. We see that Bose has accused Gandhi in his book, and called him “too soft” and “almost naïve”.

Bose also predicted a left wing revolt, in the Congress, which he said would give rise to a new political party with “clear ideology”.

This book contains a lot of insight on how India was as a country before Independence. We get to learn a lot about how Bose was a leader. It is surely a must read.


3. An Autobiography / Toward Freedom

Author : Jawaharlal Nehru

This book was written by Jawaharlal Nehru during his years in the prison between 1934 and 1935. John Lane published the first edition of this book and since then this book has been translated into more than 30 languages and has more than 12 editions.

In the book Nehru speaks about his aims and objectives and reviews past events in India. This book was never targeted towards a particular audience, however he wrote “if I thought of an audience, it was one of my own countrymen and countrywomen. For foreign readers I would have probably written differently”.

The book begins with Nehru speaking about how his ancestors migrated to Delhi from Kashmir and how his family eventually settled in Agra post the revolt of 1857. This book was written during the long illness of Kamala Nehru, his wife. The book is closely centred around his own marriage.

In the later parts, he speaks about nationalism. At the end of the book he includes an epilogue on February 15 1935.

This book should be read by each and everyone who wishes to know more about their country and all the hardships our freedom fighters faced to make India what it is currently. This book gives a lot of insight in the minds of the great leaders of India and how they thought.


If you have read any of these books do let us know your opinion on them. If you have any more book recommendations, we would love to hear from you. Wishing everyone a very Happy Independence Day. Until then, Ciao.

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