Book Review: ‘Pranab, My Father’ by Sharmistha Mukherjee

A Daughter's Tribute to Statesmanship, Family, and the Heart of Indian Politics.


Book Title: Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers
Author: Sharmistha Mukherjee
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-9357026826
Date Published: Jan. 20, 2024
Price: INR 479

Pranab, My Father by Sharmistha Mukherjee Book Cover

Book Review

Sharmistha Mukherjee’s debut book, “Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers,” stands as a remarkable exploration into the life and legacy of the 13th President of India, Pranab Mukherjee. Seamlessly blending personal anecdotes with political insights, the book presents a multifaceted portrait of the distinguished statesman. Mukherjee’s intelligent and charming writing style has earned accolades, making the book a valuable read for those intrigued by Indian politics and history.

The author skillfully paints Pranab Mukherjee not only as a towering statesman but also as a devoted father and history teacher, infusing a personal touch into the narrative. This dual perspective adds depth to the portrayal, making the book both engaging and enjoyable. Described as “refreshingly original” and “exquisitely rendered,” the work celebrates the special bond between a father and his daughter, offering readers a glimpse into the private life of a public figure.

Pranab, My Father” masterfully weaves personal and political storytelling, providing readers with a compelling narrative. Sharmistha Mukherjee’s unique writing style combines narrative and expository elements, allowing the reader to connect with both the personal stories and the historical events shaping Pranab Mukherjee’s life. The result is an engaging, informative, and multifaceted perspective on the statesman’s journey.

The book also sheds light on the significant political career of Pranab Mukherjee, spanning over five decades. From his early days in public office in 1969 to holding pivotal roles, including Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012, Mukherjee’s influence on Indian politics is thoroughly explored. His strong association with the Indian National Congress, economic policy contributions, and knack for building consensus on contentious issues are highlighted.

Moreover, “Pranab, My Father” delves into the internal struggles and personal moments of Pranab Mukherjee. The book vividly captures his temperament, political interventions, and the intertwining of politics with his family life. Sharmistha Mukherjee’s honest and warm portrayal provides readers with a comprehensive understanding of the man behind the political persona.

The book does not shy away from addressing contentious issues, including Pranab Mukherjee’s observations about Rahul Gandhi, adding an extra layer of complexity to the narrative. Sharmistha navigates these political intricacies with finesse, offering a nuanced perspective on trust deficits and criticisms that marked her father’s public life.

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In essence, “Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers” emerges not only as a significant contribution to political literature but also as a breezy and enjoyable read. Sharmistha Mukherjee’s eloquent storytelling captures the essence of a devoted father, a seasoned politician, and the intersecting realms of personal and political life. The book is a compelling journey into the heart of Pranab Mukherjee, resonating with honesty, spontaneity, and the wit that defines the author’s narrative style.

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