Jagdish Bhagwati, one of the world's leading economists, offers a fascinating overview of the policies that produced India's sorry economic performance over a third of a century. His analysis puts into sharp focus the crippling effects of the inward-looking, bureaucratic regime that grew to Kafkaesque dimensions, starting in the early 1950s. It provides therefore a coherent and convincing rationale for the economic reforms begun in June 1991 by the new government of Prime Minister Rao. These reforms, also discussed by Professor Bhagwati, are thus set into historical and analytical perspective. Written with wit and elegance, this text of the 1992 Radhakrishnan Lectures at Oxford is readily accessible to a wide readership.