Unruly Waters: How Rains, Rivers, Coasts, and Seas Have Shaped Asia's History

Unruly Waters: How Rains, Rivers, Coasts, and Seas Have Shaped Asia's History

by Sunil S. Amrith


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


From a MacArthur "Genius," a bold new perspective on the history of Asia, highlighting the long quest to tame its waters

Asia's history has been shaped by her waters. In Unruly Waters, historian Sunil Amrith reimagines Asia's history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, and seas — and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers and farmers who have sought to control them. Looking out from India, he shows how dreams and fears of water shaped visions of political independence and economic development, provoked efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, and unleashed powerful tensions within and between nations.

Today, Asian nations are racing to construct hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, with dire environmental impacts; hundreds of millions crowd into coastal cities threatened by cyclones and storm surges. In an age of climate change, Unruly Waters is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Asia's past and its future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465097722
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 12/11/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 1,206,387
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Sunil Amrith is the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and Professor of History at Harvard University and a 2017 MacArthur Fellow. The prize-winning author of Crossing the Bay of Bengal, as well as several other books and articles, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

What People are Saying About This

Author of A River Runs Again - Meera Subramanian

"Across Asia, water is power. Sunil Amrith's Unruly Waters is a gripping work, both timely and necessary, that captures the forces at work in the struggle to control Asia's water. From cultural influences of colonial empire engineering to atmospheric chemistry in a time of climate change, Amrith reveals all that is at stake for half the planet's population.”

Customer Reviews