From the point of view of its multi-functionality, size, status, and impact, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is unique in the world. The perceived omnipotence and omnipresence of the IAS, in all matters related to the government, has made its members a subject of sustained criticism, some of which has been unfounded. There is a need to understand the role of the IAS in terms of the changing environment in which it has had to function. The administrative acumen and character of individual civil servants has significantly influenced the pattern, orientation, and productivity of the administrative system. This volume brings together the recollections of 14 officers who served, or are serving, in the IAS. Many of the incidents and episodes highlighted in the narratives may be seen as case studies of how the protagonists and others responded, leading to successful handling of the situations in some cases and failures in others. They also indicate how Indian administration has been carried out in actual practice during the last 60 odd years. The editor has provided highly informative introductions to each of three sections. While the first two sections on 'IAS Careers Remembered' and 'Remembering District Tenures' each contain seven mini-memoirs, the last section has one contribution on the spirit of the civil service.