The most authoritative and highly regarded single-volume history of India – from ancient time to the modern day.
Five millennia of the sub-continent’s social, economic, political and cultural history are interpreted by one of our finest writers on India and the Far East. 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. 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. 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.