A History of India (Blackwell History of the World), 2nd by Burton Stein, David Arnold

By Burton Stein, David Arnold

I'm a certified background instructor who acquired this publication whereas trying to find an excellent, scholarly, monstrous, one-volume historical past of India. It was once a waste of $40. the writer was once an American Marxist historian who, whereas he taught in a British collage, continues all through a virulently anti-British drumbeat. He even manages to tug digs on the British into discussions of India within the seventh. century. It turns into very tedious. He additionally focuses seriously at the historical past of southern India, his most popular sector of analysis, whereas minimizing assurance of a few very important components of northern history.

In many situations, he's so fixated on arguing particular points-of-view, he fails to provide an entire photo of the civilization he's supposedly describing. He talks in regards to the conquest of the Gupta empire, for instance, and discusses social alterations in the course of that interval; yet does not pause to inform the reader whatever approximately Gupta tradition and achievements. Later, he repeats the accusations opposed to Warren Hastings, supplies totally NO description of Hastings' activities as Governor-General, yet makes transparent his assumption that Hastings used to be accountable by way of a sour little connection with his suicide.

In brief, stay away from this ebook. I want I had my $40 again to shop for whatever else. i'm nonetheless trying to find that scholarly and reliable historical past of India. this isn't it.

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Extra info for A History of India (Blackwell History of the World), 2nd Edition

Example text

Although historians may view and even create their histories back-to-front, the results of this view are presented here, for readability, as a kind of narrative, perhaps even as an epic drama nine thousand years long, with a monumental setting, cast of characters and even a denouement: the present. By way of prologue, this chapter will first introduce the setting by discussing India as a physical landform. We shall then consider the characters by looking, not at individuals, but at the roles they play when organized into communities and states and the ways in which community and state exclude, coexist with and modify each other.

From the most ancient times downwards, all nations have directed their wishes and longings to gaining access to the treasures of this land of marvels, the most costly which the Earth presents; treasures of Nature – pearls, diamonds, perfumes, rose-essences, elephants, lions, etc. – as also the treasure of wisdom. 3 The Romans had sought the ‘treasures of nature’ and those created by Indian craftsmen so assiduously that their emperor, Hadrian, banned the export of precious metals to pay for Indian products lest Rome’s gold and silver be drained away.

However, taking a somewhat more literal gloss and mindful of R. S. Sharma’s distinctions, I prefer ‘great community’; that is, a conjoint sense of people and place, the governance of which was often carried out by sophisticated and religiously legitimated collegial institutions. For this reason, I identify a long era – lasting from 800 bce to 300 ce – as one during which communities were states. To hold that communities as states continued to exist in much of the subcontinent until the founding of the Gupta regime, and only then did a different style of monarchy take hold, one in which communities and monarchies simultaneously formed the basis of state regimes, contradicts much old and some new wisdom to be sure.

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