In this book an attempt is made to present a view of ancient Indian Culture and Civilisation, as seen in some of their best representatives…Each of them presents an aspect of Indian Thought and Life. Yajnavalkya is the typical and most historical example of Vedic thought, the fountain-head, and perhaps, the high watermark, too, of the entire stream of Indian thought…Yajnavalkya takes his rank a the father of Hindu philosophy.
The next character brought forward is the Buddha, who, born a prince, and a prince among men, lived to achieve the highest enlightenment in the solitude of the forests which produced the wisdom of Aranyakas and Upanisads, and discovered a new world of Truth and Love, which well-nigh completed the circle of Indian thought and even extended it over a large part of mankind..
Asoka stands out as the singular example of a monarch and a man of affairs, proving the best of idealists, who proceeded boldly to organise an empire upon the principle of Right and not Might, the first, and perhaps, the only man in the world who proclaimed war and evil, and believed only in moral conquest…
Samudragupta comes next as the Indian type of militarism, who conquered only to liberate, but who stood boldly for the traditional Ksatriya ideal for a king…
Lastly comes Harsa, in whom we find some of the attributes of both Samudragupta and Asoka. Great in War and greater in Peace, Harsa has touched certain heights of greatness rarely equalled in the annals of kingship…
About the author (from Wikipedia):
Radha Kumud Mukherjee (1884–1964) was an Indian historian and a noted Indian nationalist during the period of British colonial rule. He was the brother of the sociologist, Radhakamal Mukerjee.
Mukherjee obtained a doctorate from the University of Calcutta in 1905 and joined the newly established National Council of Education, teaching at the Bengal National College. After 1915, he embarked on a series of tenures at universities in Benares, Mysore, and Lucknow.
He published Indian Shipping: A History of Seaborne Trade and Maritime Activity of the Indians from the Earliest Times in 1912. He was an advocate of the notion of Greater India in which Indian merchants and adventurers with huge fleets brought Indians to Southeast Asia and became the foundation of kingdoms in that region.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1957 for his contribution to Public Affairs.