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Category: History

History

Showing 1–20 of 1801 results

  • A classic that anybody with an interest in the civilisational beginnings of India must read, this is a work of uncompromising scholarship and a labour of love

    AL Basham’s The Wonder that was India is a brilliant early history of one of the oldest civilisations. When it was first published in the United Kingdom in 1954, it became an instant hit, as it would in the United States a few years later. Since then it has consistently found an avid readership all over the world, been translated into many languages, and has educated and entertained generations of general readers, serious students and travellers to India. This edition celebrates its fifty years in print with a foreword by Thomas R Trautmann, professor at the University of Michigan and once Basham’s student, which brings alive the man and the academic behind this cherished volume and illuminates the historical influences upon it.

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  • The gripping – and little-known – story of the courtroom drama that precipitated the rise of the Nazi party.

    The hitherto untold story of the scandalous courtroom drama that paved the way for the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
    On the evening of November 8, 1923, the thirty-four-year-old Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air, and proclaimed a revolution. Seventeen hours later, all that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction. Hitler was on the run from the police. His career seemed to be over.
    In The Trial of Adolf Hitler, the acclaimed historian David King tells the true story of the monumental criminal proceeding that followed when Hitler and nine other suspects were charged with high treason. Reporters from as far away as Argentina and Australia flocked to Munich for the sensational four-week spectacle. By its end, Hitler would transform the fiasco of the beer hall putsch into a stunning victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. It was this trial that thrust Hitler into the limelight, provided him with an unprecedented stage for his demagoguery, and set him on his improbable path to power.
    Based on trial transcripts, police files, and many other new sources, including some five hundred documents recently discovered from the Landsberg Prison record office, The Trial of Adolf Hitler is a gripping true story of crime and punishment – and a haunting failure of justice with catastrophic consequences.

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  • The twentieth century for Palestine and the Palestinians has been a century of denial: denial of statehood, denial of nationhood and denial of history. The Hundred Years War on Palestine is Rashid Khalidi’s powerful response. Drawing on his family archives, he reclaims the fundamental right of any people: to narrate their history on their own terms. Beginning in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, Khalidi reveals nascent Palestinian nationalism and the broad recognition by the early Zionists of the colonial nature of their project. These ideas and their echoes defend Nakba – the Palestinian term for the establishment of the state of Israel – the cession of the West Bank and Gaza to Jordan and Egypt, the Six Day War and the occupation. Moving through these critical moments, Khalidi interweaves the voices of journalists, poets and resistance leaders with his own accounts as a child of a UN official and a resident of Beirut during the 1982 seige.

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  • ‘Despite what we would like to believe, the Mahal was not an exotic sexual playground; it was a family space. And the stories of these women, from queens and princesses to foster mothers and female officers, are worth listening to.’ In every citadel in medieval northern India was a luxurious fortress that housed the women of the empire. The little-known space of the Mughal harem, known as the ‘Mahal’, was a place of mystery. Only a few could enter these closely guarded palaces and none could speak of it. Yet, within these walls was a world unto itself. Revealing the untold stories of the Mahal’s remarkable women, we learn of Ehsan Daulat Begum, Babur’s grandmother, without whose enterprise there would have been no Mughal empire; the Padshah Begums who ran the vast establishment of the Mahal with an all-women team; the female scholars and poets – like Zeb-un-Nissa, Salima Sultan Begum, Zeenat-un-Nissa – who influenced the emperor in matters of diplomacy and state policy; the queens and princesses who ran estates and owned ships trading with the Gulf and Europe, among others. In this fascinating chronicle Subhadra Sen Gupta illuminates a little-investigated space in Mughal history for the modern reader. From documenting the facets of their everyday to the role they played in the empire, Mahal is a rare peek into life behind the veil.

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  • Based on thorough research and exploration into the past, Rizvi brings out the political, societal, economical, religious, art and architectural and other facets of India under the Islamic rule. The span of time in India from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries has seen the advent of the Arabs, Afghans, Turks and the Mughals. More than a billion people s lives changed due to endless exchange of culture and other ideas in all spheres of life. This work, along with A. L. Basham’s book, The Wonder That Was India, provides a comprehensive and riveting outlook of the pre-colonial times in the history of India.

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  • There are many missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is ancient India, but those we have yield a rich tapestry.’

    The oldest surviving love graffiti on a cave wall immortalizing an intimate bond in the third century BCE; charred seeds and chewed animal bones that provide evidence of a peoples’ food obsessions; architectural minutiae that point to the alarming regression of a civilization’s potty habits; intriguing sculptures that reveal myriad facets of the human–animal relationship…

    In Time Pieces, award-winning historian Nayanjot Lahiri whimsically sifts through intricate clues left behind by the early inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent – in plaques and inscriptions, fragments of jewellery, bones and tools, poetry, art and pottery – to reveal to us our ancient land in all its variety, splendour, complexity and contradictions.

    Sparkling with wit and reflective of a scholar’s keen and curious energy, this delightful volume seamlessly connects the past to the present and a civilization to the world beyond.

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  • Book of the Year
    – The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook

    Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award

    Ramachandra Guha’s India after Gandhi is a magisterial account of the pains, struggles, humiliations and glories of the world’s largest and least likely democracy. A riveting chronicle of the often brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation, and of the extraordinary individuals and institutions who held it together, it established itself as a classic when it was first published in 2007.

    In the last decade, India has witnessed, among other things, two general elections; the fall of the Congress and the rise of Narendra Modi; a major anti-corruption movement; more violence against women, Dalits, and religious minorities; a wave of prosperity for some but the persistence of poverty for others; comparative peace in Nagaland but greater discontent in Kashmir than ever before. This tenth anniversary edition, revised and expanded, brings the narrative up to the present.

    Published to coincide with seventy years of the country’s independence, this definitive history of modern India is the work of one of the world’s finest scholars at the height of his powers.

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  • Book of the Year
    – The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook

    Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award

    Ramachandra Guha’s India after Gandhi is a magisterial account of the pains, struggles, humiliations and glories of the world’s largest and least likely democracy. A riveting chronicle of the often brutal conflicts that have rocked a giant nation, and of the extraordinary individuals and institutions who held it together, it established itself as a classic when it was first published in 2007.

    In the last decade, India has witnessed, among other things, two general elections; the fall of the Congress and the rise of Narendra Modi; a major anti-corruption movement; more violence against women, Dalits, and religious minorities; a wave of prosperity for some but the persistence of poverty for others; comparative peace in Nagaland but greater discontent in Kashmir than ever before. This tenth anniversary edition, revised and expanded, brings the narrative up to the present.

    Published to coincide with seventy years of the country’s independence, this definitive history of modern India is the work of one of the world’s finest scholars at the height of his powers.

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  • WRITTEN IN HISTORY: LETTERS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD celebrates the letter in world history and personal life. Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects letters that have changed the course of global events or touched a timeless emotion – whether passion, rage, humour – from ancient times to the twentieth century: some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling, some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal and coarse. From love letters to declarations of war, ranging from Elizabeth I to Stalin, Seneca to Machiavelli, Oscar Wilde to Balzac, Rameses the Great to Gandhi, Montefiore explores the significance of each piece of correspondence and shows how letters can reveal the personalities of some of history’s most fascinating figures, and in turn offer a unique perspective on the past and a relevance for today.

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  • The Mysteries of History is an entertaining romp through the centuries, uncovering the great mysteries surrounding some of the most inaccurate and misleading parts of our past.

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  • Humanly compelling, beautifully told … brings to light a forgotten chapter of Indian history, one we need to remember in these troubled times’ PRATAP BHANU MEHTA

    ‘Deeply sensitive account of the [Deoli] internment and its aftermath … a timely book’ JONATHAN GIL HARRIS

    ‘The Deoliwallahs reminds us that discrimination and prejudice are a country’s worst vices’ RITA CHOWDHURY

    ‘[Joy Ma and Dilip D’Souza] have seamlessly woven together historical facts with personal stories about how the Chinese- Indians lost the country of their birth’ YIN MARSH

    The untold account of the internment of 3,000 Chinese-Indians after the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

    Just after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, about 3,000 Chinese-Indians were sent to languish in a disused World War II POW camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, marking the beginning of a painful five-year-long internment without resolution. At a time of war with China, these ‘Chinese-looking’ people had fallen prey to government suspicion and paranoia which soon seeped into the public consciousness. This is a page of Indian history that comes wrapped in prejudice and fear, and is today largely forgotten. But over five decades on, survivors of the internment are finally starting to tell their stories.

    As several Indian communities are once again faced with discrimination, The Deoliwallahs records these untold stories through extensive interviews with seven survivors of the Deoli internment. Through these accounts, the book recovers a crucial chapter in our history, also documenting for the first time how the Chinese came to be in India, how they made this country their home and became a significant community, until the war of 1962 brought on a terrible incarceration, displacement and tragedy.

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  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

    A new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.

    Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation – democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall.

    In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history – from the American Revolution to the War of 1898, the New Deal to the election of 2016. For centuries, he shows, America’s constant expansion – fighting wars and opening markets – served as a “gate of escape,” helping to deflect domestic political and economic conflicts outward. But this deflection meant that the country’s problems, from racism to inequality, were never confronted directly. And now, the combined catastrophe of the 2008 financial meltdown and our unwinnable wars in the Middle East have slammed this gate shut, bringing political passions that had long been directed elsewhere back home.

    It is this new reality, Grandin says, that explains the rise of reactionary populism and racist nationalism, the extreme anger and polarization that catapulted Trump to the presidency. The border wall may or may not be built, but it will survive as a rallying point, an allegorical tombstone marking the end of American exceptionalism.

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  • An amazing, brilliant, and incredibly erudite book’ Lee Siegel

    India’s association with magic goes back thousands of years – from the seals of Mohenjodaro that depicted sorcerers and yogis, to the jugglers, mountebanks and acrobats that dazzled audiences at the courts of Hindu maharajas and Mughal emperors. Tales were told of ropes being thrown up in the air, strong enough for a boy to climb and disappear; of fakirs being buried alive for months and brought back to life; and of sanperas charming deadly cobras with their flutes. In the early nineteenth century, touring Indian magicians mesmerized audiences abroad, prompting generations of Western illusionists to emulate their Eastern peers.

    Jadoowallahs, Jugglers and Jinns: A Magical History of India tells us how Indian magic descended from the domain of the gods to become part of daily ritual and popular entertainment, and its transformation from the street to the stage culminating with the rise of the great P. C. Sorcar Sr.

    Drawing on ancient religious texts, colonial records, newspaper reports, journals and the memoirs, diaries and testimonies of Western and Indian magicians, John Zubrzycki offers us a vibrant narrative on Indian magic from ancient times to the present day.

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  • India’s lost emperor Ashoka Maurya has a special place in history. In his quest to govern India by moral force alone he turned Buddhism from a minor sect into a world religion, and set up a new yardstick for government. But Ashoka’s bold experiment ended in tragedy and he was forgotten for almost two thousand years.

    In this beautifully written, multi-layered journey Charles Allen describes how fragments of the Ashokan story were gradually discovered, pieced together by a variety of British Orientalists: antiquarians, archaeologists and epigraphists. In doing so, they did much to recover India’s ancient history itself. The Lost Emperor tells the story of the man who was arguably the greatest ruler India has ever known.

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  • VOICES OF HISTORY celebrates the great speeches of world history and cultural life. In this exuberant collection, acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore takes us on a journey from ancient times to the twenty-first century: some speeches are heroic and inspiring; some diabolical and atrocious; some are exquisite and poignant; others cruel and chilling. The speakers themselves vary from empresses and conquerors to rock stars, novelists and sportsmen, dreamers and killers, from Churchill and Elizabeth I to Stalin and Genghis Khan, and from Michelle Obama and Cleopatra to Bob Dylan, Nehru and Muhammad Ali.

    All human drama is here: from the carnage of battlefields to the theatre of courtrooms, from table-talk to audiences of millions, from desperate last stands to orations of triumph, from noble calls for liberation to genocidal rants, from foolish delusions and strange confessions to defiant resistance and heartbreaking farewells, VOICES OF HISTORY spans centuries, continents and cultures. In the accessible and gripping style of a master storyteller, Montefiore shows why these seventy speeches are essential reading, and how they enlighten our past, enrich our present and inspire – and hold warnings for – our future.

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  • The gripping – and little-known – story of the courtroom drama that was a stunning victory for the young Adolf Hitler and precipitated the rise of the Nazi party.

    Longlisted for the JQ Wingate Prize
    On the evening of November 8, 1923, the thirty-four-year-old Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air, and proclaimed a revolution. Seventeen hours later, all that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction. Hitler was on the run from the police. His career seemed to be over.
    In The Trial of Adolf Hitler, the acclaimed historian David King tells the true story of the monumental criminal proceeding that followed when Hitler and nine other suspects were charged with high treason. Reporters from as far away as Argentina and Australia flocked to Munich for the sensational four-week spectacle. By its end, Hitler would transform the fiasco of the beer hall putsch into a stunning victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. It was this trial that thrust Hitler into the limelight, provided him with an unprecedented stage for his demagoguery, and set him on his improbable path to power.
    Based on trial transcripts, police files, and many other new sources, including some five hundred documents recently discovered from the Landsberg Prison record office, The Trial of Adolf Hitler is a gripping true story of crime and punishment – and a haunting failure of justice with catastrophic consequences.

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  • This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen’s exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region – and how these have influenced contemporary politics.

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  • We all like to think we are pretty smart. New medical advances seem to come along every day; space travel suddenly doesn’t seem so difficult; self-driving cars are no longer a thing of the future … but if we were stranded on a desert island tomorrow most of us wouldn’t know how to catch a fish or start a fire let alone rebuild all that extraordinary technology we now rely on. The truth is that we’re not necessarily more clever than our ancestors we just have an accumulation of centuries of technological progress on which we can rely. As this book shows many of the ancients were much more advanced that we realize – indeed there are recent inventions that had actually been discovered centuries earlier and then forgotten. And what about all those modern day devices and machines that rely on ancient inventions such as paper levers and gears? From brain surgery in the Stone Age to Chinese whisky from the 7th century BC to Damascus steel – once the hardest metal in the world which we no longer know how to make – this insightful book collects together the stories of hundreds of ancient devices inventions and breakthroughs from around the world and across the centuries giving us a fascinating glimpse into past eras that were far more technologically advanced than we sometimes realize.>

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  • ‘One of the great love stories of history, in a league with Napoleon and Josephine, and Antony and Cleopatra … Excellent, with dazzling mastery of detail and literary flair’ Economist

    It was history’s most successful political partnership – as sensual and fiery as it was creative and visionary. Catherine the Great was a woman of notorious passion and imperial ambition. Prince Potemkin – wildly flamboyant and sublimely talented – was the love of her life and her co-ruler.

    Together they seized Ukraine and Crimea, defining the Russian empire to this day. Their affair was so tumultuous that they negotiated an arrangement to share power, leaving Potemkin free to love his beautiful nieces, and Catherine her young male favourites. But these ‘twin souls’ never stopped loving each other.

    Drawing on their intimate letters and vast research, Simon Sebag Montefiore’s enthralling, widely acclaimed biography restores these imperial partners to their rightful place as titans of their age.

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  • A compelling and comprehensive history of opium, a drug that has both healed and harmed since civilization began.

    ‘The only thing that is good is poppies. They are gold.’

    Poppy tears, opium, heroin, fentanyl: humankind has been in thrall to the ‘Milk of Paradise’ for millennia. The latex of papaver somniferum is a bringer of sleep, of pleasurable lethargy, of relief from pain – and hugely addictive. A commodity without rival, it is renewable, easy to extract, transport and refine, and subject to an insatiable global demand.

    No other substance in the world is as simple to produce or as profitable. It is the basis of a gargantuan industry built upon a shady underworld, but ultimately it is a farm-gate material that lives many lives before it reaches the branded blister packet, the intravenous drip or the scorched and filthy spoon. Many of us will end our lives dependent on it.

    In Milk of Paradise, acclaimed cultural historian Lucy Inglis takes readers on an epic journey from ancient Mesopotamia to modern America and Afghanistan, from Sanskrit to pop, from poppy tears to smack, from morphine to today’s synthetic opiates. It is a tale of addiction, trade, crime, sex, war, literature, medicine and, above all, money. And, as this ambitious, wide-ranging and compelling account vividly shows, the history of opium is our history and it speaks to us of who we are.

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