The Shortest History of India


by Zubrzycki, John | Humanities
Hardback | 288 pages

SKU: '9781913083342 Categories: ,


by Zubrzycki, John | Humanities
Published 07/03/2023 by Old Street Publishing in the United Kingdom
Hardback | 288 pages

From the tantalising traces of ancient Harappan civilisation to today’s emerging superpower, here is India’s story, expertly condensed and brimming with colour.
John Zubrzycki transforms five millennia of gods and kings, conquerors and colonisers into an epic tale, teeming with personalities both legendary and largely unknown outside India. Gautama Buddha, Alexander the Great and Gandhi share the stage with Nizam Saqqa, the slave made king for a day, and Raziyya, the first Muslim woman to rule the subcontinent.
The later chapters reveal a modern India riven by contrasts: the brutal reality of partition and the fantasies of Bollywood, the call centres and the expanding slums. Five thousand years of history are no guarantee of the future, and as he concludes his story, Zubrzycki asks whether internal challenges – from religious tensions to an increasingly undemocratic government – could thwart India’s rise to dominance.

‘A masterpiece of compression… manages to convey India’s 5,000 years of exciting history with flair and authority’—John Keay

‘To convey all this complexity in a brief book seems impossible. But John Zubrzycki has pulled off this remarkable feat with an excellent, well-researched narrative which whets the appetite for more.’—Mihir Bose

‘Highly recommended to anyone trying to understand India’s colossal and chaotic history’—Hindustan Times

‘An accessible and absorbing portal to the subcontinent’s 5,000-year-old history’—SMH

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