Book cover of Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville by Akash Kapur
Asia

Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville

It’s the late 1960s, and two lovers converge on an arid patch of earth in South India. John Walker is the handsome scion of a powerful East Coast American family. Diane Maes is a beautiful hippie from Belgium. They have come to build a new world—Auroville, an international utopian community for thousands of people. Their faith is strong, the future bright. […Learn More]

Book cover of Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-Century Conflict by Sumantra Bose
Asia

Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-Century Conflict

An authoritative, fresh, and vividly written account of the Kashmir conflict—from 1947 to the present

The India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir is one of the world’s incendiary conflicts. Since 1990, at least 60,000 people have been killed—insurgents, civilians, and military and police personnel. In 2019, the conflict entered a dangerous new phase. India’s Hindu nationalist government, under Narendra Modi, repealed Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomous status and divided it into two territories subject to New Delhi’s direct rule. […Learn More]

Book cover of Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India by Suchitra Vijayan
Asia

Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India

The first true people’s history of modern India, told through a seven-year, 9,000-mile journey along its many contested borders

Sharing borders with six countries and spanning a geography that extends from Pakistan to Myanmar, India is the world’s largest democracy and second most populous country. It is also the site of the world’s biggest crisis of statelessness, as it strips citizenship from hundreds of thousands of its people–especially those living in disputed border regions. […Learn More]

Book cover of War of Empires, A: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45 by Robert Lyman
Asia

A War of Empires: Japan, India, Burma & Britain: 1941–45

In 1941 and 1942 the British and Indian Armies were brutally defeated and Japan reigned supreme in its newly conquered territories throughout Asia. But change was coming. New commanders were appointed, significant training together with restructuring took place, and new tactics were developed. A War of Empires by acclaimed historian Robert Lyman expertly retells these coordinated efforts and describes how a new volunteer Indian Army, rising from the ashes of defeat, would ferociously fight to turn the tide of war. […Learn More]

Book cover of Underground Asia: Global REvolutionaries and the Assault on Empire by Tim Harper
Asia

Underground Asia: Global Revolutionaries and the Assault on Empire

A major historian tells the dramatic and untold story of the shadowy networks of revolutionaries across Asia who laid the foundations in the early twentieth century for the end of European imperialism on their continent.

This is the epic tale of how modern Asia emerged out of conflict between imperial powers and a global network of revolutionaries in the turbulent early decades of the twentieth century. […Learn More]

Book cover of Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond by William Dalrymple & Anita Anand
Asia

Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond

From the internationally acclaimed and bestselling historians William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, the first comprehensive and authoritative history of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, arguably the most celebrated jewel in the world.

On March 29, 1849, the ten-year-old leader of the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab was ushered into the magnificent Mirrored Hall at the center of the British fort in Lahore, India. There, in a formal Act of Submission, the frightened but dignified child handed over to the British East India Company swathes of the richest land in India and the single most valuable object in the subcontinent: the celebrated Koh-i-Noor diamond […Learn More]

Book cover of Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire by Sujit Sivasundaram
Asia

Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire

This is a story of tides and coastlines, winds and waves, islands and beaches. It is also a retelling of indigenous creativity, agency, and resistance in the face of unprecedented globalization and violence. Waves Across the South shifts the narrative of the Age of Revolutions and the origins of the British Empire; it foregrounds a vast southern zone that ranges from the Arabian Sea and southwest Indian Ocean across to the Bay of Bengal, and onward to the South Pacific and the Tasman Sea. As the empires of the Dutch, French, and especially the British reached across these regions, they faced a surge of revolutionary sentiment. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Loss of Hindustan the Invention of India by Manan Ahmed Asif
Asia

The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India

A field-changing history explains how the subcontinent lost its political identity as the home of all religions and emerged as India, the land of the Hindus.

Did South Asia have a shared regional identity prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late fifteenth century? This is a subject of heated debate in scholarly circles and contemporary political discourse. Manan Ahmed Asif argues that Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Republic of India share a common political ancestry: they are all part of a region whose people understand themselves as Hindustani. Asif describes the idea of Hindustan, as reflected in the work of native historians from roughly 1000 CE to 1900 CE, and how that idea went missing. […Learn More]

Asia

She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India 1600 – 1900

The first British women to set foot in India did so in the very early seventeenth century, two and a half centuries before the Raj.

Women made their way to India for exactly the same reasons men did – to carve out a better life for themselves. In the early days, India was a place where the slates of ‘blotted pedigrees’ were wiped clean; bankrupts given a chance to make good; a taste for adventure satisfied – for women. They went and worked as milliners, bakers, dress-makers, actresses, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, boarding house proprietors, midwives, nurses, missionaries, doctors, geologists, plant-collectors, writers, travellers, and – most surprising of all – traders. […Learn More]