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About the Author

Shivshankar Menon served as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India from 2010-14 and as India’s Foreign Secretary from 2006-09. A career diplomat, he has served as India’s envoy to Israel (1995-97), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-03), and Pakistan (2003-06). He was a member of India’s Atomic Energy Commission from 2008-14. He earlier served in India’s missions to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and the Department of Atomic Energy in Mumbai. In 2010, Menon was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world’s top 100 thinkers.

About the Book

Analytical, lucid, and illuminating, Choices offers unmatched insight into the intellectual heft of foreign policy decision-making by one of India’s most formidable diplomatic practitioners, who was actively engaged in these five defining moments.


A well-articulated book revolving around Indian Foreign Policy and the foundations of the contemporary form of the same. The author has analysed the major instances during his own tenure as a diplomat that define the perceptible Indian Foreign Policy. The author has restricted himself from displaying any personal bias about the decisions made during these instances and has successfully endeavoured to narrate the events impartially and neutrally justify the reasons behind those decisions. The hypothesis of the author is majorly about the fact that the choices that a nation makes during times of external affairs are the substances that formulate an enduring foreign policy of a nation. Further, to understand the nuances of foreign policy, one has to explore the plausible reasons behind the decisions shaping the nation. With such an approach, the author has travelled along with the readers to explore the reasons behind Indian Foreign Policy.

The book is lucid and analytical in nature, serving the purpose of developing a deeper understanding of Indian foreign policy for anyone who wishes to learn about the same and not specifically for individuals who are from similar fields. Although, it could be agreed that other major instances are also considered in developing India’s Foreign policy since the author himself had an astounding diplomatic career, I believe, it is the pursuit of the author to provide a first-hand experience of the development of the foreign policy, and since he has been active in the mentioned events in the book, he could provide the best narrative experience about the same with all the possibilities and surrounding circumstances. The examination of these instances has been done considering history, politics, and principles as the primary parameters. The readers are made well-versed with several untold elements, various personalities' contributions, and other alternatives during the same events, which also accounts for the highlight of the book.

The book is recommended to anyone who wishes to acquaint themselves with the foundational basis of Indian Foreign policy while pondering the consequences of alternative routes during the same instances of international affairs.

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