India: A History
Keay (John)
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Amazon Book Description1

  1. A new edition of the most authoritative and highly-regarded single-volume history of India. Fully revised to include the most recent research and to cover events from partition to the present day.
  2. In ‘India: A History’ five millennia of the sub-continent’s history are interpreted by one of our finest writers on India and the Far East. This definitive work combines narrative pace and skill with social, economic and cultural analysis.
  3. India’s history begins with a highly advanced urban civilisation in the Indus valley, regressing to a tribal and pastoral nomadism, and then evolving into a uniquely stratified society. The pattern of inward invasion plus outward migration was established early: from Alexander the Great via the march of Islam and the great Moghuls to the coming of the East India Company and the establishment of the British Raj.
  4. Older, richer and more distinctive than almost any other, India’s culture furnishes all that the historian could wish for in the way of continuity and diversity. The peoples of the Indian subcontinent, while sharing a common history and culture, are not now, and never have been, a single unitary state; the book accommodates Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as other embryonic nation states like the Sikh Punjab, Muslim Kashmir and Assam.
  5. In this brilliant new edition, John Keay continues the narrative of India’s history – covering events from partition to the present day and examining the very different fortunes of the three successor states: Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Republic of India. Based on the latest research, this is an indispensible history of a country set to be a definitive influence on the future of world economics, politics and culture.
  6. John Keay is a writer, broadcaster and historian whose books include
    Into India
    India Discovered
    When Men and Mountains Meet
    Highland Drove
    The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company
    The Great Arc
    "Keay (John) - China: A History" and
    Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland (with his wife, Julia Keay)
    He has travelled extensively in India and the Far East, and specialised in Asian history and current affairs.

    List of Illustrations → vii
    List of Maps → xi
    List of Charts and Tables → xiii
    Author’s note to the Second Edition → xvi
    Introduction → xvii
  1. The Harappan World: C3000-1700 BC → 1
  2. Vedic Values: C1700-900 BC → 19
  3. The Epic Age: C900-520 BC → 37
  4. Out of the Myth-Smoke: C520-C320 BC → 56
  5. Gloria Maurya: C320-200 BC → 78
  6. An Age of Paradox: C200 BC-C300 AD → 101
  7. Gupta Gold: C300-500 AD → 129
  8. Lords of the Universe: C500-700 → 155
  9. Dharma and Defiance: C700-C900 → 180
  10. Natraj, the Rule of the Dance: C950-1180 → 202
  11. The Triumph of the Sultans: C1180-1320 → 231
  12. Other Indias: 1320-1525 → 262
  13. The Making of the Mughal Empire: 1500-1605 → 289
  14. Mughal Pomp, Indian Circumstance: 1605-1682 → 320
  15. From Taj to Raj: 1682-1750 → 348
  16. The British Conquest: 1750-1820 → 383
  17. Pax Britannica: 1820-1880 → 414
  18. Awake the Nation: 1880-1930 → 448
  19. At the Stroke of the Midnight Hour: 1930-1948 → 484
  20. Surgical Procedures: 1948-1965 → 510
  21. The Spectre of Separatism: 1962-1972 → 537
  22. ‘Demockery’: 1972-1984 → 561
  23. Midnight’s Grandchildren: 1984+ → 582
    Source Notes → 607
    Bibliography → 619
    Index (incorporating Glossary) → 633

Brief Notes
  1. This book is definitely an informative page-turner.
  2. A general complaint is that it’s hard for the reader to understand the geography without adequate maps. It really needs to be read with a (historical) atlas in hand.
  3. Also, there are very many characters that need to be kept track of for a fully-informed level of understanding.
  4. My main complaint is that the moral tone is different just when “the British” are involved, being much more rigorously condemnatory, using contemporary standards of evaluation, when the quaint ways – however barbarous – of Indians – whether invaders or not – are merely recorded, sometime with supposed humour.

In-Page Footnotes ("Keay (John) - India: A History")

Footnote 1:

Harper Press; Revised edition (22 July 2010). Paperback.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2022
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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