Patrick French

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Patrick French is a British writer and historian. His most recent book is India: A Portrait, a study of Indian politics, economics and society since 1947. He is also the author of Younghusband, which won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize, Liberty or Death, which won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, Tibet, Tibet and The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of VS Naipaul, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the US National Book Critics Circle Award.

He has lectured at venues including Brown University, SAIS at Johns Hopkins University, SOAS, Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Rand Corporation, the Royal Geographical Society, the Asia Society, Asia House, the Centre for Policy Research, Chatham House and the London School of Economics. He is a leading commentator on South Asian politics and social change for TV channels such as NDTV, CNN, the BBC and Al Jazeera. He was a founding member of the inter-governmental UK-India Round Table.

Patrick French co-edits the news aggregation and original comment website, http://www.theindiasite.com. The site is home to the full dataset of his recent research on the Indian Parliament, showing the increasing trend of nepotism in national politics and its effect on democracy in India. According to the Independent: ‘French’s database will go a long way in explaining who governs India to the world … The importance of this data for students of political science cannot be over-estimated – not because one out of six people in the world is an Indian, but because, as French notes, one out of every two people living in a democracy is an Indian.’

A video about India: A Portrait: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cve0mDkxok8

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