Book Review : Lance Price’s The Modi Effect

Lance Price’s The Modi Effect is an engaging and thorough examination of Narendra Modi’s rise to prominence, meticulously detailing the political strategies and media tactics that elevated him to a key position in Indian politics. The book provides a detailed account of Modi’s journey, starting from his early days in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to his influential role as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, culminating in his landmark victory in the 2014 Indian general elections.

Price, a seasoned political commentator and former advisor to Tony Blair, utilizes his expertise to draw insightful comparisons between Modi’s campaign strategies and those used in Western political systems. The book is well-organized to offer a comprehensive understanding of Modi’s political evolution, with a particular emphasis on his innovative use of technology, social media, and novel campaign techniques.

A significant aspect of The Modi Effect is its detailed analysis of Modi’s communication prowess. Price delves into how Modi effectively utilized social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to engage directly with voters, bypassing traditional media channels. This digital-savvy approach not only helped Modi build a strong personal brand but also enabled him to mobilize a vast grassroots movement, showcasing the transformative power of modern communication in politics.

Price’s examination goes beyond Modi’s digital strategy, exploring the broader sociopolitical context of India. He investigates the complex dynamics of Indian politics, the significant role of Hindu nationalism, and the socioeconomic factors that resonated with Modi’s message of development and change. Notably, the book does not shy away from addressing the controversies surrounding Modi, particularly the 2002 Gujarat riots. Price provides a balanced view that acknowledges both Modi’s achievements and the criticisms he faces.

The narrative is enriched with interviews from key figures in Modi’s campaign, political analysts, and ordinary voters, offering a multifaceted perspective on his rise. Price’s engaging and accessible writing style makes complex political strategies understandable to a wide audience. He skillfully combines anecdotal evidence with robust data, creating a nuanced portrait of one of the most influential figures in contemporary Indian politics.

However, some readers might feel that the book occasionally leans towards admiration, potentially downplaying the more contentious aspects of Modi’s tenure. While Price does address the controversies, the focus on Modi’s strategic brilliance might sometimes give the impression of an overly positive portrayal.

In conclusion, The Modi Effect is a valuable contribution to the literature on modern political campaigning and Indian politics. Lance Price offers a detailed and well-researched account of Narendra Modi’s rise, providing valuable insights into the innovative strategies that reshaped Indian electoral politics. Whether you are a political enthusiast, a student of media studies, or simply interested in understanding the phenomenon that is Narendra Modi, this book is highly recommended.


  • kalyan chandra

    Kalyan Chandra is a multi-talented professional specializing in public relations, media and communication strategy, political consulting, election campaign management, psephology, marketing, and digital analytics. He focuses on strategic political consulting, offering services that include competitive research, public opinion collection, and digital media management. Kalyan has significantly contributed to successful campaigns across India with his meticulous approach and deep understanding of the political landscape.

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