Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru pdf download


Title  Glimpses of World History

Author  Jawaharlal Nehru

Publisher  Penguin Books

Quality  Paperback / pdf

ISBN  9780143031055 Edition 

1st Published, 2004

Number of Pages  1155

Country  Abroad

Language  English

book name :- Glimpses of World History pdf download 

Glimpses of World History book Author:- Jawaharlal Nehru 

Glimpses of World History book pdf download size :- 2MB

From the begging of Glimpses of World History the book:- 


My father’s three books — Glimpses of World History, An Autobiography and The Discovery of India — have been my companions through life. It is difficult to be detached about them. Indeed Glimpses was written for me.

It remains the best introduction to the story of man for young and growing people in India and all over the world. The Autobiography has been acclaimed as not merely the quest of one individual for freedom, but as an insight into the making of the mind of new India. 

I had to correct the proofs of Discovery while my father was away, I think in Calcutta, and I was in Allahabad ill with mumps! 

The Discovery delves deep into the sources of India’s national personality. Together, these books have moulded a whole generation of Indians and inspired persons from many other countries.Glimpses of World History book.  

Books fascinated Jawaharlal Nehru. He sought out ideas. He was extraordinarily sensitive to literary beauty. In his writings he aimed at describing his motives and appraisals as meticulously as possible. 

The purpose was not self-justification or rationalization, but to show the Tightness and inevitability of the actions and events in which he was a prime participant. He was a luminous man and his writings reflected the radiance of his spirit. 

The decision of the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to bring out a uniform edition of these three classics will be widely welcomed. 

Indira Gandhi  

New Delhi 

4 November 1980   

PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION of Glimpses of World History pdf book

I DO not know when or where these letters will be published, or whether they will be published at all, for India is a strange land to-day and it is difficult to prophesy. But I am writing these lines while I have the chance to do so, before events forestall me. 

An apology and an explanation are needed for this historical series of letters. Those readers who take the trouble to go through them will perhaps find the apology and the explanation. In particular, I would refer the reader to the last letter, and perhaps it would be as well, in this topsy-turvy world, to begin at the end. 

The letters have grown. There was little of planning about them, and I never thought that they would grow to these dimensions. Nearly six years ago, when my daughter was ten years old, 

I wrote a number of letters to her containing a brief and simple account of the early days of tthe world. 

These early letters were subsequently published in book form and they had a generous reception. The idea of continuing them hovered in my mind, but a busy life full of political activity prevented it from taking shape. Prison gave me the chance I needed, and I seized it.

Prison-life has its advantages; it brings both leisure and a measure of detachment. But the disadvantages are obvious.

There are no libraries or reference books at the command of the prisoner, and, under these conditions, to write on any subject, and especially history, is a foolhardy undertaking. A number of Glimpses of World History books came to me, but they could not be kept.

They came and went. Twelve years ago, however, when, in common with large numbers of my countrymen and countrywomen, I started my pilgrimages to prison, I developed the habit of making notes Glimpses of World History of the books I read. 

My note-books / Glimpses of World History grew in number and they came to my rescue when I started writing. Other books of course helped me greatly, among them inevitably, H. G. Wells’s Outline of History. But the lack of good reference books was very real, and because of this the narrative had often to be slurred over, or particular periods skipped.

The letters are personal and there are many intimate touches in them which were meant for my daughter alone. I do not know what to do about them, for it is not easy to take them out without considerable effort. I am therefore leaving them untouched. 

Physical inactivity leads to introspection and varying moods. I am afraid these changing moods are very apparent in the course of these letters, and the method of treatment is not the objective  

one of a historian. I do not claim to be a historian. There is an unfortunate mixture of elementary writing for the young and a discussion at times of the ideas of grown-ups. There are numerous repetitions. Indeed,

of the faults that these letters contain there is no end. They are superficial sketches joined together by a thin thread. I have borrowed my facts and ideas from odd Glimpses of World History books, and many errors may have crept in. It was my intention to have these letters revised by a competent historian, but during my brief period out of prison I have not had the time to make any such arrangement. 

In the course of these letters I have often expressed my opinions rather aggressively. I hold to those opinions, but even as I was writing the letters my outlook on Glimpses of World History / history changed gradually.  

To-day if I had to re-write them, I would write a differently Glimpses of World History /  Glimpses of World History pdf book or with a different emphasis. But I cannot tear up what I have written and start afresh. 


January 1, 1934. 

Glimpses of World History book



Dates are not very attractive things. And yet they help in putting things in their right place, so that we may have an ordered sequence in our minds. A long list of dates is a most depressing affair. I have arranged some important dates in a different form, as you will see.

Various parts of the world are represented by different columns so that you can have a very rough idea at a glance of what the world was like at a particular stage or date. 

Of course the idea will be very very rough. This chronology is meant to be used for reference purposes. Having finished with it I now feel that I could have made a better one! But this will have to do for the present. It represents a few days’ hard work. 

Papu  ✔Dehra Dun Jail  ✔August 22, 1933

Glimpses of World History pdf download A CHRONOLOGY OF WORLD HISTORY 

For the very early periods of human history dates are sometimes pure guesswork. Sometimes they are so uncertain that experts differ about them by a thousand years. The earliest remains of human culture so far discovered take us back to beyond 5000 B.C. , that is to about 7000 years ago. 

Egyptian history is supposed to begin then. It was the end of the age of stone. Egypt was then split up into many small states. Archaeologists have also discovered the early remains of a civilization, dating from about 5000 B.C, in Chaldea or Elam (Mesopotamia). 

Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru pdf download

The capital city of this was Susa. Most of the archaeological discoveries have been made in Egypt and in Mesopotamia because most of the digging has taken place there. Glimpses of World History book pdf download. 

Probably similar discoveries, of a like date, will be made in other countries also. This idea is strengthened by the next batch of archaeological finds which dates from about 3500 B.C. 

These discoveries take us right across Asia: from Egypt-Chaldea—Eastern Persia—Indus Valley in India—Western Turkestan—to the Yellow River or Hoang-Ho in China.Glimpses of World History pdf download.  

In all these places a common stage of development is found. It is the end of the age of polished stone and copper is beginning to be used. There is agriculture, and domestic animals; and trade, and tools of the same type, and beautiful jewellery of gold and silver, and painted pottery with many similar designs. Writing had already appeared.  

It appears that a common civilization existed at this period, about 5500 years ago, from Egypt to North India and China. Because of the common pottery this has been called the ‘Painted Pottery Civilization. Glimpses of World History book

‘ This civilization is already so advanced, its culture and fine arts are so developed, that it has thousands of years of cultural growth behind it. This is the period of Mohenjo Daro in India with its fine houses and streets and artistic development.

In Egypt the separate states now join together to form one state under the Pharoahs-the god-kings. In Chaldea two powerful states appear about this time-Sumer and Akkad-with a high degree of culture; and on the banks of the Euphrates stands the famous city of Ur—’Ur of the Chaldees’ it is called in the Bible. 

From this common ‘Painted Pottery Civilization’ the four great eastern civilizations-Egyptian, Mesopotamian (including Persian orIranian), Indian, and Chinese-diverge and develop separately. 

Glimpses of World History pdf book THE LESSON OF HISTORY 

January 5, 1931 

WHAT shall I write to you, my dear ? Where shall I begin ? When I think of the past, vast numbers of pictures rush through my mind. Some of the pictures stay longer than others. 

They are my favourites and I begin to muse about them, and, unconsciously almost, I compare past happenings with what is taking place to-day, and try to find a lesson in them for my guidance.  

But what a strange jumble is one’s mind, full of disconnected thoughts and ill-arranged images, like a gallery with no order in the arrangement of pictures. And yet perhaps the fault is not entirely ours. 

Most of us could certainly arrange the order of events in our minds better. But sometimes the events themselves are strange and difficult to fit into any scheme of things. 

I think I wrote to you once that a study of history should teach us how the world has slowly but surely progressed, how the first simple animals gave place to more complicated and advanced animals, how last of all came the master animal—Man, and how by force of his intellect he triumphed over the others. Man’s growth from barbarism to civilization is supposed to be the theme of history.

In some of my letters I have tried to show you how the idea of co-operation or working together has grown, and how our ideal should be to work together for the common good.

But sometimes, looking at great stretches of history, it is difficult to believe that this ideal has made much progress or that we are very much civilized or advanced. There is enough of want of co-operation to-day, of one country or people selfishly attacking or oppressing another, of one man exploiting another.

If after millions of years of progress we are still so backward and imperfect, how much longer will it take us to learn to behave as sensible and reasonable persons ?

Sometimes we read about past periods of history which seem to be better than ours, more cultured and civilized even, and this makes us doubt if our world is going forward or backward.  

Our own country has surely had brilliant periods in the past, far better in every way than our present. 

It is true that there have been brilliant periods in the past in many countries—in India, Egypt, China, Greece, and elsewhere— and that many of these countries have relapsed and gone back.   But even this should not make us lose heart. The world is a big place and the rise and fall of any country for a while may not make much difference to the world at large. 

Many people nowadays are apt to boast of our great civilization and of the wonders of science.  

Science has indeed done wonders, and the great men of science are worthy of all respect. But those who boast are seldom the great. And it is well to remember that in many ways man has not made very great progress from the other 7 animals. 

It may be that in certain ways some animals are superior to him still. This may sound a foolish statement, and people who do not know better may laugh at it. But you have just read Maeterlinck’s Life of the Bee, of the White Ant, and the Ant, and you must have wondered at the social organization of these insects. 

We look down upon the insects as almost the lowest of living things, and yet these tiny things have learnt the art of co-operation and of sacrifice for the common good far better than man.

Ever since I read of the White Ant and of its sacrifices for its comrades, I have developed a soft corner in my heart for it. If mutual co-operation and sacrifice for the good of society are the tests of civilization, we may say that the White Ant and the Ant are in this respect superior to man. 

Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru pdf download

In one of our old Sanskrit books there is a verse which can be translated as follows : ” For the family sacrifice the individual, for the community the family, for the country the community, and for the Soul the whole world “. What the Soul is few of us can know or tell, and each one of us can interpret it in a different way. 

But the lesson this Sanskrit verse teaches us is the same lesson of co-operation and sacrifice for the larger good. We in India had forgotten this sovereign path to real greatness for many a day, and so we had fallen. 

But again we seem to have Glimpses of World History /  glimpses of it, and all the country is astir. How wonderful it is to see men and women, and boys and girls, smilingly going ahead in India’s cause and not caring about any pain or suffering ! 

Well may they smile and be glad, for the joy of serving in a great cause is theirs; and to those who are fortunate comes the joy of sacrifice also. To-day we are trying to free India. That is a great thing. Glimpses of World History book 

But an even greater is the cause of humanity itself. And because we feel that our struggle is a part of the great human struggle to end suffering and misery, we can rejoice that we are doing our little bit to help the progress of the world. 

Meanwhile, you sit in Anand Bhawan, and Mummie sits in Malacca Gaol, and I here in Naini Prison—and we miss each other sometimes, rather badly, do we not ? But think of the day when we shall all three meet again ! I shall look forward to it, and the thought of it will lighten and cheer up my heart.

Summary Of The Book

Glimpses Of World History was written by Nehru in 1934, which provides the readers a panoramic sweep of history, comprising 196 letters in total.

These letters were written from a number of prisons in British India from 1930 to 1933. The sole objective of these letters was to introduce Nehru’s daughter, Indira, to world history.

In his first letter, Nehru tells Indira about his sadness at being unable to send her any material gift from prison. He goes on to tell her that he would give her something he could afford, which was a series of letters, straight from his heart.

Since these letters were written during his time in prison, Nehru didn’t have access to any reference books, but only his personal notes. Through the course of this book, he covers the history of mankind from 6000 BC till the time he wrote this book. 

He tells the readers about the rise and fall of large civilizations and empires from Rome, Greece, West Asia, and China. He also throws light on several renowned historical figures such as Genghis Khan, Vladimir Lenin, Mohandas K.

Gandhi, and Ashoka. One of his chapters talks about Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion in a way that is against major European views of that time. 

He mentions that Genghis was, without doubt, history’s greatest military genius and leader, considering Alexander and Caesar petty before Genghis.

He wrote about several cultures in detail, as he wasn’t in favor of the current way history was taught at school. Owing to the fact that history teaching at school revolved only around a particular country, he wrote about world history to his daughter, to help her understand why people did what they did.

These letters have been written in an informal manner, packed with contemporary as well as personal experiences.  

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