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This book is about G.A. Natesan (1873-1949), an enterprising Madras publisher and an ardent patriot, who founded in 1897 a publishing firm, called G.A. Natesan & Co., from where issued in the first three decades of twentieth century a regular stream of informative and instructive, cheaply-priced books on all sorts of subjects, aimed at promoting a national awakening in the country. In January 1900 Natesan also founded a monthly called the Indian Review, which he edited for nearly fifty years until his death in early 1949. Natesan was a liberal in politics and believed in constitutional methods of agitation. Natesan began supporting Gandhi when he was still in South Africa. He was the first to publish a book on Gandhi in India in 1909 written by H.S.L. Polak. In 1911 he published another book, titled M.K. Gandhi and the South African Indian Problem, written by Gandhi s lifelong friend Dr. P.J. Mehta. What was the early life of Natesan? How and when did he found a press? What kind of books did he publish? What was the role of his monthly Indian Review in promoting political, social and cultural awareness in the country? What was his relationship with Gandhi? What part did he play in the Indian National Congress? Why did he leave the Indian National Congress in 1918 and join the National Liberal Federation of India? What was his contribution to the national awakening in the country? Answers to these and similar other questions have been attempted in this book.
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