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On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  119 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In this stirring travelogue, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter journeys through the tumultuous nations of South Asia--India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Afghanistan. This is a land where the 10th and 20th centuries uneasily intermix--and often explode.
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published December 28th 1993 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published 1993)
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Marieke
Dec 07, 2010 Marieke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
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
Seema
This book is meant to be Steve Coll's
on-the-ground view of the state of things in post-Cold War South Asia (where he was a reporter at the time for the Washington Post). Some of the most interesting parts of this book were personal anecdotes or conversations Coll had with corrupt politicians or everyday people trying to survive (there is no doubt he was on-the-ground and had no fear whatsoever). But those more interesting parts were more towards the beginning.

The book started out strong, but ult
...more
Grindy Stone
Jul 12, 2014 Grindy Stone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2014 Naila Hameed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 .
Evan
Feb 17, 2010 Evan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2013 Ellis Katz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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.
Jennifer
Jun 15, 2015 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish. He was trying to cover too much and it just wasn't engaging.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 07, 2016 Catherine Mustread marked it as to-read  ·  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
Matthew
Jan 05, 2008 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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".
Elissa
Aug 05, 2009 Elissa is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Embarrassing how little I know about S. Asia!
Tanvir
Oct 07, 2013 Tanvir rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not like it
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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
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