History Books

Discovery of India

The Discovery of India is the result of Jawaharlal Nehru’s three years of solitude during his imprisonment and his love for the written word and Indian history.

Summary Of The Book

The Discovery of India is an honor paid to the rich cultural heritage of India, its history and its philosophy as seen through the eyes of a patriot fighting for the independence of his country. Nehru’s love for this Indian legacy shines through the book’s curious mix of personal essays and reflections, philosophical surmises, and deep prose scattered among historical facts. It is not a book of historical evidence by its very nature, rather, it is the keen observations of a severely intelligent mortal that delves into the philosophical and altruistic aspect of a nation’s history and the groundwork it presents to build a strong future foothold.

The Discovery of India is the realization of a silver lining. At the peak of the nation’s fight against the colonial rule through the “Quit India Movement”, Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned at the Ahmednagar Fort from 1942 to 1946, to keep him away from the political limelight. Forced to this dreary lonesomeness, Jawaharlal Nehru discovered time to re-live his creative passions. He rediscovered his love for gardening, prose, poetry, and badminton.

Encouraged by this vastly stimulating environment and by his fellow inmates, Jawaharlal Nehru decided to pen down his thoughts and experiences living in the country he fiercely loved. He dedicated the book to the prisoners of Ahmednagar jail.

The journey in The Discovery of India begins from ancient history, leading up to the last years of the British Raj. He uses his knowledge of the Upanishads, Vedas, and textbooks on ancient history to introduce to the reader the development of India from the Indus Valley Civilization, through the changes in socio-political scenario every foreign invader brought, to the present day conditions. True to his multifaceted interests, the book is ripe with philosophy, art, social movements, economics, science, and religion.

This journey of discovery of his beloved nation became the nation’s most magnificent historical treatise ever written. It was adapted into the Indian television series titled Bharat Ek Khoj, released in 1988 by director Shyam Benegal.

About Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru, a freedom fighter and independent India’s first Prime Minister, was born on 14 November, 1889. Alongside Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru remained a central figure in India’s independence struggle. His other written works include Glimpses of World History and Toward Freedom.Nehru was born in Allahabad to Motilal Nehru and Swaruprani Thussu. Nehru studied natural science at Trinity College, and later studied law at Inner Temple. He gave the nation the most significant speech, A Tryst with Destiny, when he became the Prime Minister. Jawaharlal Nehru was awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.

History Of Medieval India

History Of Medieval India is the second book in a series written to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the Indian subcontinent.

Summary Of The Book

History Of Medieval India covers the historical landscape of the Indian subcontinent over a period of a thousand years, between the eighth and eighteenth century AD. The book starts off with a bird’s eye view of the state of the world during the medieval period, before dwelling on the rise and fall of empires in the Indian subcontinent.

Writing about the history of India is a daunting task, but the author has attempted to carry out the task with the eye of an inquirer and the pen of a scholar. The book has been written keeping in mind readers who may have some basic knowledge of the political situation in medieval India and would like to pursue the knowledge further. The book elucidates the beginnings, growths and deaths of many a dynasty, including but not limited to the Cholas, Rajputs, Vijayanagara kings, Bahmanids and the Marathas.

History Of Medieval India’s primary merit lies in the fact that it departs from the well worn path of writing about dynastic history alone and looks at the social, political, cultural and economic developments that the period gave rise to. Some of these developments still have significance in contemporary relevance, such as the caste system which seems to have been born around this period.

The author has done a tremendous job in condensing such a large amount of subject matter in such a small space.

About Satish Chandra

Satish Chandra is among India’s most well known historians.He has composed many works and some of them include, Essays on Medieval Indian History, Historiography, Religion and State in Medieval India, State, Pluralism and the Indian Historical Tradition, and The Indian Ocean and its Islands: Strategic, Scientific and Historical Perspectives. Satish Chandra was a reader in history in the Aligarh Muslim University before joining the Jawaharlal Nehru University as a professor and co-founder. He was the first dean of the School of Social Sciences in JNU. He is a Marxist Indian historian. Satish Chandra is best known for his works on Indian medieval history.

India After Gandhi : The History of the World's Largest Democracy

Book of the Year - The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Time Out and Outlook. Winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award

Summary Of The Book

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.

About the Author

Ramachandra Guha was born in Dehradun in 1958 and educated in Delhi and Calcutta. He has taught at the universities of Oslo, Stanford and Yale and at the Indian Institute of Science. He has been a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg Zu Berlin and also served as the Indo-american Community Chair Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

After a peripatetic academic career, with five jobs in ten years in three continents, Guha settled down to become a full-time writer, based in Bengaluru. His books cover a wide range of themes - They include a global history of environmentalism, a biography of an anthropologist-activist, a social history of Indian cricket and a social history of Himalayan peasants. His entire career, he says, seems in retrospect to have been an extended (and painful) preparation for the writing of India After Gandhi.

Guha's books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The prizes they have won include the UK Cricket Society's Literary Award and the Leopold-hidy Prize of the American Society of Environmental History. In 2008, Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines nominated Guha as one of the world's one hundred most influential intellectuals. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for services to literature and education. In 2015, he was awarded the Fukuoka Prize for contributions to Asian culture and scholarship.

Indian Polity : 5 Edition

McGraw Hill is proud to present the fifth edition of Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth. The book itself needs no introduction.

Summary Of The Book

It is one of the most popular and comprehensive books on the subject and has been a consistent bestseller for many years. It has become a must-read book for aspirants appearing in various competitive examinations, especially the civil services examinations. The wide range and scope of issues that it covers also makes it valuable to postgraduates, research scholars, academics and general readers who are interested in the country???s political, civil and constitutional issues. This new, fifth edition, has seven new chapters added, along with four new appendices. The extant chapters have been completely revised and updated with recent developments.

Aurangzeb

"Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658), The sixth Mughal emperor, is widely reviled in India today. Hindu hater, murderer and religious zealot are just a handful of the modern caricatures of this maligned ruler.

Summary Of The Book

While many continue to accept the story-line peddled by colonial-era thinkers that Aurangzeb, a Muslim, was a Hindu - loathing bigot here is an untold side to him as a man who strove to be a just, worthy Indian king. In this bold and captivating biography, Audrey Truschke enters the public debate with a fresh look at the controversial Mughal emperor.",

About the Author

Audrey Truschke is assistant professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. She received her PhD in 2012 from Columbia University. Her teaching and research interests focus on the cultural, imperial and intellectual history of early modern and modern India (c. 1500 Present). Her first book, Culture of Encounters - Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Penguin, 2016) investigates the literary, social and political roles of Sanskrit as it thrived in the Persian - speaking, Islamic Mughal courts from 1560 to 1650.

Culture of Encounters : Sanskrit at the Mughal Court

"Culture of Encounters gives us insight into how and why the Mughals - one of the most powerful imperial powers-poured immense energy into drawing Sanskrit thinkers to their courts, adopted and adapted Sanskrit - based practices, translated dozens of Sanskrit texts into Persian and composed Persian accounts of Indian philosophy."

Summary Of The Book

"The first book to read these Sanskrit and Persian works in tandem, Culture of Encounters recasts the Mughal Empire as a multilingual state that collaborated with its Indian subjects to establish its role as an Indian empire. Revisiting a forgotten part of India's history, Audrey Truschke certifies the critical role of the sociology of empire in building the Mughal polity, which came to shape the literary and ruling cultures of early modern India forever."

About the Author

Audrey Truschke "Is assistant professor of South Asian history at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. She received her PhD in 2012 from Columbia University. Her teaching and research interests focus on the cultural, imperial and intellectual history of early modern and modern India (c.1500 - Present). She is the author of Culture of Encounters - Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Penguin, 2016) and Aurangzeb - The Man and the Myth (Penguin, 2017)."

Europe’s India

When Portuguese explorers first rounded the Cape of Good Hope and arrived in the subcontinent in the late fifteenth century, Europeans had little direct knowledge of India.

Summary Of The Book

The maritime passage opened new opportunities for exchange of goods as well as ideas. Traders were joined by ambassadors, missionaries, soldiers and scholars from Portugal, England, Holland, France, Italy and Germany, all hoping to learn about India for reasons as varied as their particular nationalities and professions. In the following centuries they produced a body of knowledge about India that significantly shaped European thought. Europe's India tracks Europeans' changing ideas of India over the entire early modern period.

About Author

Sanjay Subrahmanyam brings his expertise and erudition to bear in exploring the connection between European representations of India and the fascination with collecting Indian texts and objects that took root in the sixteenth century. European notions of India's history, geography, politics and religion were strongly shaped by the manuscripts, paintings and artifacts--both precious and prosaic--that found their way into Western hands. Subrahmanyam rejects the opposition between "true" knowledge of India and the self-serving fantasies of European Orientalists. Instead, he shows how knowledge must always be understood in relation to the concrete circumstances of its production. Europe's India is as much about how the East came to be understood by the West as it is about how India shaped Europe's ideas concerning art, language, religion and commerce.

Freedom At Midnight

Freedom At Midnight is a historical account of the events that occurred during India’s Independence Movement, leading up to Mahatma Gandhi’s death.

Summary Of The Book

In Freedom At Midnight, authors Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins provide a thoroughly researched account about various events in Indian history which contributed to its independence and the consequences (positive and negative) which ensued.

Readers will get a glimpse into issues such as the final year of the British raj, the reaction of the Princely states to independence, the partition between Pakistan and India, and the violence that followed. Readers will also learn about the details surrounding Gandhi’s assassination and the motives of Nehru and Jinnah’s decisions.The book is a testament to Indian history as it contains deeply researched events and even important maps which lend it additional credibility. For instance, the authors have included maps denoting the boundaries between Pakistan and India that were drawn by Radcliffe, who was the Boundary Commission chairman. The authors have also included descriptions about religious unrest between the Muslims and Hindus, leading up to the massive migration by millions who were victimized by bandits and religious extremists.

In order to lend a humanist perspective to their historical account, the authors have recounted specific incidents experienced by individuals during this massive migration, that will surely flabbergast readers. The book concludes with the events that led up to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, including the assassination plan by Nathuram Godse. Freedom At Midnight was originally published in 1975.

About The Authors

Dominique Lapierre is a bestselling French author who is also internationally acclaimed for his historical writings. City Of Joy, Is Paris Burning, Once Upon A Time In The Soviet Union, and O Jerusalem are some of the other titles by him. Before Lapierre took up a career in journalism, he was drafted into the French army where he met Larry Collins. The pair wrote numerous bestselling books, before Collins’ death in 2005. Lapierre is well known for his humanitarian efforts in Calcutta. Here, he is actively involved in educating slum children, curing TB patients, rescuing children who are handicapped, and providing villages with tube wells in order to improve access to drinking water. Lapierre was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2008. He is married to Dominique Conchon-Lapierre.

Larry Collins was a bestselling author, who hailed from Hartford, Connecticut. He authored titles such as Is Paris Burning, O Jerusalem!, Black Eagles, Tomorrow Belongs To Us, and The Fifth Horseman. Collins graduated from Yale University. He briefly served in the U.S. Army. Collins’ writing career spanned over a 43 year period. He passed away in June of 2005.

India's Ancient Past

India’s Ancient Past deals with a comprehensive historical account of early India. R.S Sharma guides the readers through the formation and evolution of Indian civilizations over time.

Summary Of The Book

The term history is generally associated with mundane and uninteresting recording of facts. Fortunately, R.S Sharma provides a radically vivid and captivating narrative through his work, India’s Ancient Past. This book deals specifically with the origin of various empires and religious cultures in the growing periods of India. It also charts the beginnings of different geographical, linguistic, and ecological phenomenon.

Sharma also gives information regarding the cultures dominating in the Neolithic, Vedic periods and during the Harappan Civilization. The book provides insights about the rise of religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, and others along with the development of territorial states.

Breaking away from the traditional factual recording seen in history, India’s Ancient Past provides an easy-to-comprehend reading structure as it deals with several topics such as urbanization, Varna system, commerce, science, and much more.Sharma also assesses the transition periods from Ancient to Medieval and the changes that occurred as a result.

About R. S. Sharma

Professor Ram Sharan Sharma was born on 26th November, 1919. He was a noted historian dealing with Ancient and Medieval India. He had also been associated with several academic institutions such as Delhi University, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and the University of Toronto. In 1975, he was the President of Indian History Congress.

He is known for works such as Aspects of Political Ideas and Institutions in Ancient India published in 2005, Looking for the Aryans published in 1995 and Indian Feudalism published in 2005.

When it comes to Professor Sharma’s writing style, he has been known for his literary and epigraphic works where he demolishes several myths that deal with imperialism and colonialism in history. He has also banished the notions of cultural chauvinists and provided counter studies dealing the scientific evolution of Indian society.

He was known for his humility and scholarly fervor and constantly strove to provide new dimensions within Indian history. Sharma is also the founding Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. He died on 21st August, 2011 and on his death a memorial function was held by the Indian Council of Historical Research wherein the famed Professor Bipan Chandra called Sharma the greatest historian of India.

History of the World from the Late Nineteenth to the Early Twenty-First Century

History Of The World takes readers right into the major events that have taken place from World War I to 9/11. Well researched and informative, this book comprehensively covers events that changed the course of history.

Summary Of The Book

History Of The World comprehensively covers historical events that took place from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century. Published in 2009, this book has been written by two renowned Indian historians. They trace back the history of the world, and focus on incidents that have impacted millions of lives.

History Of The World throws light on World War I and II. It showcases why and how these wars took place. Starting off with WW I, this historic account goes all the way upto the terrorist attacks on 11th September 2001. Without being American or European centric, the authors have explained many major watershed events. The Civil Rights Movement in America to put an end to discrimination against African Americans has been meticulously covered. It shows how the non-white population struggled to end racial segregation and fight for their right to vote.

The book also speaks of the numerous nationalist movements that spread across Asia and Africa during the 1950s and 1960s. Anti-imperialist ideas played a major role in bringing about an end to colonization, and freeing many countries. Another interesting topic covered in History Of The World is the birth of the United Nations in 1945. Furthermore, the book also discusses the Cold War between the Soviet Union and United States of America. Arjun Dev and Indira Arjun Dev have developed an interlink between all the events and forces, which helps in understanding the progress of world history.

This book is designed for undergraduate students of history and international relations. However, anyone keen on knowing more about events that have altered the world, should definitely be reading History Of The World.

About The Authors

Arjun Dev is a historian, an author, and a professor. He has co-authored Contemporary World History Part I A History Textbook for Class XII, and has edited Towards Freedom Documents On the Movement for Independence in India, 1941: Part 1.

He had been associated with the National Council of Educational Research and Training from 1963-2000. He was a History professor, and the head of NCERT”s Humanities and Social Science Department. He played a major role in developing syllabi, and has also published numerous NCERT textbooks. He is currently the Coordinator of the Towards Freedom Project, an Indian Council for Historical Research.

Indira Arjun Dev is also a historian, author, and professor. She was a History professor at the National Council of Educational Research and Training. She helped in planning curriculums, and evaluating textbooks for various classes.The author has written and edited books on various topics like the Indian Independence Movement, World History, and Human Rights Movements. Some of her books are Kavitayen : Subramanya Bharati, and Social Science Part I Modern India Textbook in History for Class VIII.