AUTHORTalbott, Strobe
TITLEEngaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy, and the Bomb
PUBLISHERBrookings Institution Press
CITYWashington, D.C.

The author of this book, Strobe Talbott, gives a behind-the-scenes view of the diplomatic relations between India, Pakistan, and the United States during the U.S. presidential administrations of Richard Nixon through George W. Bush. He describes the history of Indian-Pakistani hostilities and explains the motivations for both countries to pursue, acquire, and test nuclear weapons. Most of the book focuses on the Bill Clinton administration and the author’s own experience as Deputy Secretary of State under Madeleine Albright. Talbott describes his interactions with members of the administration and politicians in India and Pakistan, particularly Jaswant Singh, the Indian minister of external affairs under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The author discusses the increasing diplomatic angst surrounding India’s and Pakistan’s nuclearization in the 1990s, culminating in India’s testing of a thermonuclear bomb in 1998 and the flurry of activity following the testing until the end of Clinton’s presidency in January 2001. Rather candidly, Talbott describes the interactions between heads of state and the somewhat more gritty realities of diplomats behind closed doors.

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