India has had many histories. To pilgrims from ancient China, India was the birthplace of the Buddha; to Alexander the Great it was a land of clever naked philosophers and indomitable, elephantine armies. At the height of the Mughal empire, India boasted nearly a quarter of the world economy, and even under colonial rule it was the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. Today it is the resurgent home to one sixth of the global population.
Andrew Robinson incisively distills India’s many incarnations, from the remarkably advanced cities of the early Indus Valley to the world’s largest democracy. Anyone curious about its past, present or future will find this a fascinating introduction.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction; 1. The Indus Valley Civilization; 2. Vedas, Aryans and the Origins of Hinduism; 3. Buddha, Alexander and Asoka; 4. Hindu Dynasties; 5. The Coming of Islam; 6. The Mughal Empire; 7. European Incursions and East India Companies; 8. The Jewel in the Crown; 9. The End of Empire; 10. The World’s Largest Democracy; Postscript; Map
'Impressively lucid ... very good' - Asian Voice 'Writing an accessible and coherent history of India is an ambitious task. Andrew Robinson meets the challenge successfully' - History Today
About the Author
Andrew Robinson is the author of twenty-five books in the arts and sciences, nine of them on aspects of Indian history and culture. They include two definitive biographies: Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye, described by V. S. Naipaul as `an extraordinarily good, detailed and selfless book', and the coauthored Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man. He holds degrees from Oxford University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, has been a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and is currently a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society.