Book Reviews

The Blue Elephant | Rahul Das | Book Review

  • Author: Rahul Das
  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Notion Press; 1st edition (31 August 2020)
  • Language: English

Book Review (1)

Soft power is defined as the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without force or coercion. Its key currency includes culture, political values and foreign policies. First coined by Nye in the late 1980s, this term is widely used in the context of foreign policies. 

The Blue Elephant by Rahul Das essentially talks about how India could make use of its soft power to garner global attention. By harnessing its soft power in different areas such as sports, tourism, narratives, etc., India could definitely be on its way to becoming a global power. The beauty of this non-fiction read lies in the fact that it draws its inspiration not just from facts and compelling arguments but also from the author’s personal experiences. This blend renders it an interesting and valuable read for all of us.

Although I’ve heard a bit about India’s soft power, I was not aware of its great role that would help in the nation-building on a global platform. This book starts things from scratch and explains everything as precisely and clearly as possible. A collection of essays, The Blue Elephant, picks up crucial touchpoints such as arts, diaspora, and human relations to emphasise the ways India can approach the concept of soft power. Each essay opens with a brief explanation of the subject in corn and proceeds to suggesting ways to take it forward. 

Structurally, the book performs well in educating without putting loads of information out there. As far as writing is concerned, it is lucid, comprehensible, and engaging. ‘Narratives’ happened to be my favorite chapter of this book. I resonated with the author’s words and would definitely take this moment to appreciate his balanced thoughts. He presented his thoughts with much clarity that appears to be the product of thorough research and keen observation.

Soft power has an imperative role to play in nation’s building and this book pretty much argues well for the same. If the subject intrigues you already, please go ahead and pick this one up!


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