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A Short History

Andrew Robinson

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This is the story of Indian history, from the cities of the Indus Valley civilization, four millennia ago, to the nation’s emergence as the world’s largest democracy and one of its fastest growing economies in the modern era

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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.

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'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

'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

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 22.9 x 15.2 cm

Extent: 248 pp

Publication date: 10 March 2014

ISBN: 9780500251997

Contents List

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

About the Author

Andrew Robinson has written more than 25 books on the arts and sciences. They include Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts, India: A Short History and Earthshock, which won the Association of Earth Science Editors Outstanding Publication Award, plus Earth-Shattering Events . A regular contributor to such magazines as Current World Archaeology, History Today, The Lancet, Nature and Science, he has also been literary editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement and a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge.