In this lavishly illustrated companion to his BBC TV series, Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.
From the Khyber Pass and the Himalayas to the tropical jungles of India's Deep South, this original and striking survey of Indian history provides vivid portraits of India's regions and cultures, and new insights into some of history's greatest figures: the Buddha and Ashoka, Samudragupta and Akbar the Great, Nehru and Gandhi. It explores the ways in which Indian ideas and inventions have shaped the history of the world, and shows how some of ancient India's conclusions about the nature of civilization have lost none of their relevance for our own times.
Dazzling colour photographs capture an extraordinary spectrum of landscapes, architectural splendours, customs, rituals and festivals. This sumptuously illustrated book from one of Britain's best-loved historians and broadcasters is a magical mixture of history and travelogue, and an unforgettable portrait of India, past, present - and future.
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Michael Wood’s approachable (but highly informed) manner is a gift for TV presentation of a diverse selection of subjects, ranging from archaeology to foreign countries to Shakespeare, and as the book to accompany the epic BBC history series The Story of India comprehensively proves, those attributes transfer smoothly to the printed page. In this sumptuously illustrated volume, Wood tells a fascinating, turbulent story -- nothing less than the 10,000 year history of India. Over a fifth of the world's population is crammed into a subcontinent which was the initial progenitor of one of the most significant civilisations on the planet. And in a period when India becomes a global economic force to be reckoned with, it is the perfect time for Wood to show us how this massively achieving country relates to the demands of the modern world, while celebrating the awe-inspiring riches of the country's past. Taking us from the Himalayas to the sultry jungles of India's deep South, Michael Wood presents every aspect of the country, from its cultures, regions, religions and major historical figures (such as Gandhi and Nehru). The influence of Indian ideas on the rest of the world has long been a potent force, and Wood takes that on in a clear-sighted way; some might wish he tackle more rigorously the more controversial aspects of Indian society and religion, but this is not that kind of book. And the remarkable colour photographs perfect complement this ambitious and enlightening history and travelogue of one of the world's great countries. -- Barry ForshawReview:
"Michael Wood is the maker of some of the best television documentaries ever made on history and archaeology" ( Times Literary Supplement)
"Wood is a perceptive, entertaining and enthusiastic companion" ( Sunday Times)
"Michael Wood is a superb teacher and story teller ... confirmation of the fact that history, well told, can be alive and compelling" ( Los Angeles Times)
"A marvellously vivid portrait of India's 10,000-year-old cultural and religious history...Gorgeously illustrated and intelligently written, this is both an erudite and entertaining history" (Clover Stroud Sunday Telegraph)
"This is a beautifully illustrated cultural history, a traveller's tale and a compelling and readable guide to the rise and rise of a civilisation" ( The Good Book Guide)
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