A Short History
- ISBN 9780500251997
- 22.90 x 15.20 cm
- With 12 illustrations
- First published 2014
In India: A Short History Andrew Robinson offers an incisive distillation of India's uniquely diverse history, from the advanced cities of the early Indus Valley to India’s current incarnation as the world’s largest democracy
‘I am impressed by the lucidity of the author … a very good attempt to encompass the long history of India within 250 pages’ – Asian Voice
‘Pithy, admirable … a most refreshing resumé’ – The Times Literary Supplement
‘Writing an accessible and coherent history of India is an ambitious task. Andrew Robinson meets the challenge successfully … the author’s many-sided engagement with the subcontinent … makes this book more readable than the course texts lately produced by professional historians’– History Today
To pilgrims from ancient China, India was the birthplace of the Buddha. To Alexander the Great, it was a land of philosophers and armies mounted on elephants. To ancient Rome, it was a source of luxuries. At the height of the Mughal empire in 1700, India boasted nearly 25 per cent of the world economy, but then, under British rule, its economy declined.
Colonial India was known for its extremes of wealth and poverty, epitomized by the Taj Mahal and famines, maharajas and untouchables, and for its spirituality: many-armed Hindu gods, Sufi saints and Buddhist philosophy, Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
The book places as much emphasis on individuals, ideas and cultures as on the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties and economies. Anyone curious about a great civilization, and its future, will find this an ideal introduction, at times controversial, written by an author who has been intimately engaged with the subcontinent for almost four decades.
See the list of contents
Andrew Robinson holds degrees from Oxford University and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He has been a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and is currently a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is the author of twenty-five books in the arts and sciences, nine of them on aspects of Indian history and culture, including two definitive biographies, Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye, and the co-authored Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man, the first of which was described by V. S. Naipaul as ‘an extraordinarily good, detailed and selfless book’.
see the author's website