The official history of the Congress has already been published in India by Dr. Pattabhi Sitarammayya at the time of the Congress Jubilee Celebra­ tions in 1935. Our own aim has been to supplement this very full and well-documented work with a volume which could be more easily read by the general public, especially in the West. We have also given much more space to those religious and social forces in Indian history, during the nineteenth century, which led up to the birth of the Congress in the year 1885.