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In modern times, two hundred years of British ascendancy were followed in the twentieth century by India taking its place among the nation-states of the modern world. For this revised edition, a new chapter by Dilip Hiro covers the events that have taken place in India from the 1980s to the present day. The enduring distinctiveness of India, its widely recognized but often bewildering "diversity of unity," emerges from these pages as a product of geographical simplicity and historical complexity. 186 illustrations and 4 maps.
Author Biography: The late Francis Watson was Director of Counter-Propaganda to the Government of India and the author of Gandhi, The Trial of Mr. Gandhi, and The Frontiers of China. A journalist and commentator on Asian affairs, Dilip Hiro's many books include Inside India Today, Dictionary of the Middle East, and Holy Wars: The Rise of Islamic Fundamentalism.
|1||Introduction: Unity and Diversity||11|
|2||The Roots: Men and Cities, the Coming of the Aryans, Gods, Kings and Sages||21|
|3||The Light of Asia: The Power of Ideas, the Rise of Magadha, Alexander on the Indus, the Mauryan Empire||39|
|4||The Heirs of Ashoka: Indo-Greeks and Scythians, the Kushan Prelude, the Imperial Guptas, Harsha of Kanauj||53|
|5||The Deccan and the South: The Trade Factor, the Andhra Supremacy, Regional Conflicts, the Expansive South, the Empire of the Cholas||71|
|6||The Impact of Islam: Arabs and Ghaznavids, the Feudal Scene in the North, the Turco-Afghan Paramountcy||87|
|7||Moghuls and Europeans: Christians and Spices, the First Four Moghuls, the New Arrivals, Aurangzeb and the Break-Up of the Moghul Empire, the Anglo-French Involvement||105|
|8||The British Period: The Path to Paramountcy, Reform and Revolt, the Victorian Zenith, the Tide of Nationalism||129|
|9||The new India: Freedom by Division, the Shape of Development, India in the World||159|
|10||India after Nehru: The Dynastic Succession, Into the Twenty-First Century||175|
|List of Illustrations||191|
Posted October 3, 2002
Though the author clearly states that this book is a concise history of India, but readers still expect an impartial view of the history and some justice to the subject matter. This book has an almost clinical feel to it- very cut and dry. Emphasis has been placed on names, places and dates rather than the bigger picture, which might be expected of such a small book attempting to cover more than 5000 years of Indian history. Sometime rambling sometimes lucid text is densely written and drops subtle hints of British superiority. I started reading the book and had not looked at the biography of the author. Almost 1/3rd of the way through the book, a clear pattern emerged wherein the author tried to project that much of what the world knows of India¿s glory is a result of British efforts. And how the British brought civility and culture to India. It also seemed that the image that the author projected of India was along the lines of what a British "sahib" may have thought of the locals. It was then that I read the author's biography and saw that he was Director of Counter-Propaganda to the Government of India. From the period when he served the government it is obvious that the author was not employed by Government of Independent India but the British Government ruling India (which technically speaking was also the Government of India). I really feel that justice was not done to the subject matter. Maybe someone who is both- a patriotic Indian and a history buff- might enjoy some aspects of this book. An average reader would find the treatment of this subject poor (and boring) at worst and mediocre at best. I would not recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.