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A New History of India

1 rating: -3.0
A book by Stanley Wolpert

A comprehensive history of India.

Author: Stanley Wolpert
Genre: Economic Conditions, India, South Asia
1 review about A New History of India

A Poor History of India

  • Mar 13, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-3
A New History of India by Stanley Wolpert is a one-volume history of India. Unfortunately, it is not a very good one. It appears to be written as a textbook and has many of the faults of textbooks covering such a vast subject. I often felt I needed an expert on Indian history to fill in the gaps. While one can empathize with the tremendous task of writing a one volume history of any country, the great failing of this book is that it does not give the reader a good overall perspective on the political and socio-economic development of the country. Additionally, there are poor linkages between one era and the next as the book moves from ancient to more modern times.

This history starts by providing an ecological setting and tracing the history of the Indus peoples from circa 2500 BC forward. These chapters are very short and bereft of the details one needs to understand the development of the culture, politics, and economics of the country. There is a lot more to be said about early Indian history than is provided here. Often the book jumps from one theme or era to another without adequate connections to provide an understanding of the significance of events. This is even true of the chapters on the Mughal Empire, although here the text does a slightly better job.

The book is on much firmer ground when discussing modern Indian history, starting with the gradual absorption of India into the British Empire. There are fuller details and linkages between events leaving the reader with a better understanding of this era in Indian history. Nevertheless, there are still gaps in providing the reader with enough information and insight to fully appreciate India's development.

As a result of these shortcomings, I cannot recommend this book to the general reader.

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