On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia
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On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In this travelogue, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist journeys through the tumultuous lands of South Asia--India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Afghanistan. 15,000 first printing.
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published December 28th 1993 by Crown (first published 1993)
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This is a reprint of a book Coll published in the early 90s after several years covering the region (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) for The Washington Post. The reprint includes an Epilogue that picks up with Bhutto's assassination in 2007.

The writing is slightly demanding--the reader must pay attention. But the reader is also rewarded for his efforts (sorry i'm just not into feminist linguistics; English should develop a neutral pronoun) because Steve Coll is fu...more
Grindy Stone
Unexpectedly good read. Part travelogue, part current events primer, the situation in South Asia may have evolved dramatically since the book was initially published, but they're written so well that one can still come away with a grasp on the forces and dynamics at play on the subcontinent.
Naila Hameed
To understand the historic, political
,social and cultural roots of the present day problems of South Asia, a must read !
Makes you smile, laugh out loud ,and tugs at your heart strings .
Even though it was written in the 80s and reprinted nearly two decades later, Coll's overview of South Asian politics is still relevant today. Good background on the roots of the conflict in Sri Lanka, as well as the assassinations of Indira and Rajiv Ghandi and Benazir Bhutto, and the suspicious death of Pakistani President Zia al-Haq. Also, if you want a concrete explanation for the religious riot at the beginning of "Slumdog Millionaire," I think you'll find it here.
Ellis Katz
The book was originally published in 1994, nineteen years ago, and so much is changed in those nineteen years. That is the problem with this book. It is too much an analysis of contemporary trends and happenings. That is to say, 1994 trends and happenings. While the author's descriptions are often colorful, and his comments sometimes insightful, too much has happened and too many other books on this topic have been published to make this one a high priority.
Catherine  Mustread
Jun 02, 2009 Catherine Mustread marked it as to-read-after  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catherine by: PEN
Sounds like an interesting travel book including trains -- how will it compare with Theroux? Author won PEN award for The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
A fascinating and charming look at the Indian subcontinent, its life and politics and traffic, from before S. Coll got all serious and grown-up and wrote the far less interesting "Ghost Wars".
Aug 05, 2009 Elissa is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Embarrassing how little I know about S. Asia!
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Steve Coll is President & CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper's managing editor from 1998 to 2004.

He is author six books, including The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on t...more
More about Steve Coll...
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century The Deal of the Century: The Breakup of AT&T The Taking of Getty Oil: The Full Story of the Most Spectacular & Catastrophic Takeover of All Time

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