Shivshankar Menon is a distinguished fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. His long career in public service spans diplomacy, national security, atomic energy, disarmament policy, and India's relations with its neighbors and major global powers. Prior to joining Brookings, Menon served as national security advisor to the Indian Prime Minister from January 2010 to May 2014 and as India's foreign secretary from October 2006 to August 2009. He currently serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Institute of Chinese Studies in New Delhi.
Shivshankar Menon's Choices is a short book concentrating on
five major challenges that Indian leaders have had to confront
since independence, chosen because he was involved in all of them.
It is written simply and powerfully. As Ambassador, High
Commissioner, Foreign Secretary, and National Security Adviser,
Menon played roles that were not insubstantial, but he writes with
modesty and objectivity. The last chapter of the book begins with a
quote from Mahatma Gandhi that "True power speaks softly. It has no
reason to shot." That describes not just Menon but also the India
he portrays."- George Yeo, former Foreign Minister, Singapore;
"Finally an authoritative, accessible, and analytical account of contemporary Indian foreign policy, written with sophistication and style. Menon's exposition of five key choices is absolutely required reading for anyone interested in why India does what it does. It has no peer."- Kanti Bajpai, Wilmar Chair in Asian Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore;
"This is a must-read for anyone interested in how at least one of India's most sophisticated geopolitical and security thinkers sees the world, India's place in it, and its relationship with the United States."- Vipin Narang, War on the Rocks;
"Menon's book is an excellent and authoritative guide to how some of the stars in India's foreign-policy leadership think about the inevitable trade-offs they deal with."- Teresita C. Schaffer, Survival;
"Written by one of India's premier foreign policy intellectuals and practitioners since the country's independence, Shivshankar Menon's brilliant analysis shines a powerful beam into the shadows of Indian government decisionmaking in recent years. An indispensable book for anyone who wants to understand Indian foreign policy past, present, and future."- Robert Blackwill, former United States Ambassador to India;
"Shivshankar Menon brings coherence, insight, and narrative verve to crucial episodes in India's emergence over the 40-plus years that span his distinguished and eclectic career. Many of the choices he writes about benefited from his own sagacity. In addition to his skill as a diplomat and policymaker on behalf of his own country, he has a rare gift of understanding the sources of other countries' sense of their own aspirations, interests, and anxieties. These virtues make for a brilliant contribution to the annals of international relations."- Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings Institution and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State