Customer Reviews for

India: A History

Average Rating 3.5
( 10 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2000

    A very useful reference on Indian history

    This book is an excellent documentation and reference on Indian history, especially for those who want to have a beginning insight. However, the book has not been unable to break from the trend of portraying a western perspective of Indian history. My judgement is based on the author's treatment to subjects of recent past for which there is lesser ground for subjectivity than older aspects of history. For e.g. in the last pages of the book the author comments on nuclear blast carried out by India in 1998. The books could have captured the wave of pride that Indian's felt in the aftermath of the blasts. The book fails to describe the Indian perspective for the nuclear blasts and instead points to non-trivial issues. The necessity for the blasts stems from the potential geo-political security threat perspective from nuclear Pakistan and China and is definately not to be perceived as weapon that is likely to be first used. On the whole the book is recommended for it's sheer range. It is very rare to find a single compact and yet comprehensive documentation of Indian history dating back to 3000 BC up to 1999. The interpretive parts of the author on Indian history may be taken with a pinch of salt and instead the reader must concentrate on the factual aspects about Indian history from this book. Travellers to India might find the book a useful reading in their decision making process for sight seeing. Students of Indian history should back up this book with additional readings by other authors to gain a wider perspective.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    Well balanced and very well written. Enlightening and educational.

    Author has taken care in not being judgemental when facts are not clearly known. He has great command of the language and expressed his views in engrossing and refined manner. Obviously, he has researched extensive history of India well and presented it in a most readable and educational manner. Like to read more of this writer's books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Indian Subcontinent┬┐s Rich Mosaic

    John Keay largely succeeds in his endeavor of reviewing the key milestones in the rich history of the Indian Subcontinent in a little more than 500 pages. Although Keay mainly focuses on India, he also looks at the influence of what are today¿s Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, to name a few countries, on India. For the most part, Keay gives his audience a balanced, honest appraisal of what is known and what is controversial in the history of the region. The perspective that Keay weaves for his readers ultimately forms an intricate tapestry that illuminates the deep influence of diverse civilizations, religions, and people on South Asia. In his narrative, Keay mainly sticks to a traditional approach to history that focuses on the most important events of each period. Whoever is looking for an in-depth overview of the uses and customs of ordinary people of the Indian Subcontinent will probably be disappointed. Furthermore, Keay sometimes gets bogged down into too much detail that slows down the narrative. On the other hand, patient readers will derive much benefit from Keay¿s exploration of South Asia. The challenges and opportunities of the Indian Subcontinent will become clear to them by the end of Keay¿s journey. The pictures reproduced in Keay¿s book are also a compelling motivator to travel and use all one¿s senses to better know that increasingly important region of the world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    Too bogged down in details and historiography

    This book is bogged down with entirely too many useless and superfluous details. In addition, it is extremely difficult to glean any kind of releveant information because of its attention to the superfluous details and historiography. I bought it to help me prepare a lecture on India for my college history class, and I had to return it because it was useless and offered me no practical information.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 22, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted October 18, 2009

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