The All-India Muslim League, 1906-1947
A Study of Leadership in the Evolution of a Nation
In this book, the author takes Pakistan as a case study in a search for better definitions of nations and nationalism, arguing that it exhibits three essential ingredients which are: a distinctive integrated community, a particular set of circumstances, and purposeful leadership. She discusses all three elements within the local context, concentrating particularly on the evolving leadership role of the All-India Muslim League as evidenced in contemporary sources. The achievement of Pakistan was primarily the work of Muslim League leaders, and especially of the Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, but would have been impossible without a prior cohesive community and the stimulus of a neighbouring nationalism.
Mary Louise Becker (1928–2012) was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She attended local schools until she entered the renowned private university in St. Louis, Washington University, where she received an undergraduate degree in business and administration and a Master’s degree in political science. Thereafter she pursued a doctorate in international relations at Radcliffe College. As a result of her interest, she received a Fulbright Fellowship for Pakistan so she could conduct her doctoral research on Jinnah and the All-India Muslim League. After returning from her sojourn in South Asia, she received her doctorate in 1957, and went to work for the United States government. Following three years in the Department of State, she spent twenty-five years with the United States Agency for International Development. She retired in 1991 but continued to follow events in the subcontinent and to conduct research on South Asia. She had always been heavily involved with a number of organizations connected with South Asia and following her retirement served for some fifteen years on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. She also served for a number of years on the Board of Directors of the South Asia Muslim Studies Association.