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HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ASIA > HISTORY OF SOUTHERN ASIA -INTRODUCTION

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 22, 2010 07:35AM) (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
This is a folder which will deals with Southern Asia (its countries, culture, peoples, etc) and the history of these areas.

Please feel free to add books, websites, blogs, urls with deal with this subject matter. However, be mindful that no self promotion or spam is allowed.

This folder will discuss the following countries/areas/regions:

SOUTHERN ASIA

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
British Indian Ocean Territory
Burma (officially Myanmar)
India
Iran
Maldives
Nepal
Pakistan
PRC - Tibet Autonomous Region
Sikkim
Sri Lanka


South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities (see below), also includes the adjoining countries on the west and the east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is surrounded (clockwise, from west) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia and the Indian ocean.

South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and most densely populated geographical region in the world.

The region has often seen conflicts and political instability,[citation needed:] including wars between the region's two nuclear-armed states, Pakistan and India. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organization in the region.


The UN Subregion of South Asia includes:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) includes:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asia


message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Sep 09, 2010 09:40PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a recent release covering some military aspects to this area:


Britain's Gurkha War TheiInvasion of Nepal, 1814-16 by John Pemble by John Pemble
Publishers blurb:
The British love affair with the Gurkhas began during the early nineteenth century clash of the expanding English East India Company and Nepalese hillmen.
The remarkable fighting abilities of the Nepalese contrasted against the most incredible British ineptitude. But on both sides, the war was harder fought than either the Afghan War or even the struggle with the Sikhs. And on both sides, the most colourful characters were involved - such as the drinker, dicer, duellist Rollo Gillespie or the legendary Gurkha hero Bhakti Thapa.

In the end, the British wrested key hill tracts from the Gurkhas. As Sir David Ochterlony - perhaps the only figure who saved the British reputation - was poised to attack Kathmandu, the Gurkhas prudently made peace which maintained their kingdom as an independent state.

John Pemble's account is a comprehensive history of the conflict, detailing the origins of the war, the consequences of strategic errors, and the enduring impact of the final victory. Even before the campaign had finished, the nucleus of the Gurkha Bridgade had joined the East India Company's Forces.

This is a thrilling telling of a little-known war. John Pemble has fully authenticated his work from original sources and on-the-spot research, all presented in a lively, engaging style.


message 3: by Patricrk (new)

Patricrk patrick | 475 comments Afghanistan A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban by Stephen TannerStephen Tanner I thought this was a great read about that area.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
This looks very good Patricrk.

Thank you for the add.


message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a book I picked up today and it looks very interesting:


Shah Jahan The Rise and Fall of the Mughal Emperor by Fergus Nicoll by Fergus Nicoll
Description:
Shah Jahan was the ruler of the Mughal empire, his name translating literally from the Persian as ‘King of the World’. After ruthlessly suppressing his rivals, he went on to promote Mughal artistic and architectural achievements to the zenith of their creativity. He is responsible not only for the Taj Mahal - the tomb to his beloved wife Mumtaz - but also for the Pearl Mosque, the Red Fort, Jama Masid in Delhi, the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir and the priceless Peacock Throne.

Review:
"But his [Nicoll's] real claim to novelty is in providing the first book-length study of this remarkable emperor since R. N. Saksena in 1932, and doing so in manner which deserves to bring a new following to Mungal history." - Francis Robinson (TLS)


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Thank you very much for the on line translation; very much appreciated; this book is also a classic at all of the major business schools.

However, please be mindful that we have a standard for citations: always the book cover (which you have done, thank you), then the author's photo if available, and always the author's link which is the author's name in linkable text.

Your citation should look like this: (all three were available)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu by Sun TzuSun Tzu


message 7: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11630 comments Mod
This has some military bent to it, but it sounds good:

Arc of Empire: America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam

Arc of Empire America's Wars in Asia from the Philippines to Vietnam by Michael H. Hunt

Synopsis

Although conventionally treated as separate, America's four wars in Asia were actually phases in a sustained U.S. bid for regional dominance, according to Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine. This effort unfolded as an imperial project in which military power and the imposition of America's political will were crucial. Devoting equal attention to Asian and American perspectives, the authors follow the long arc of conflict across seventy-five years from the Philippines through Japan and Korea to Vietnam, tracing along the way American ambition, ascendance, and ultimate defeat. They show how these wars are etched deeply in eastern Asia's politics and culture.

The authors encourage readers to confront the imperial pattern in U.S. history with implications for today's Middle Eastern conflicts. They also offer a deeper understanding of China's rise and Asia's place in today's world.


message 8: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5516 comments I know nothing about this part of the world but am intrigued.

The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka & the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers
The Cage The Fight for Sri Lanka & the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers by Gordon Weiss by Gordon Weiss
Synopsis
“An excellent account . . . scrupulously fair.”—Economist

“This powerful book is a haunting reminder of the price countries in the developing world pay for the flawed choices of their founders.” —Wall Street Journal

“The Cage is a tightly-written and clear-eyed narrative about one of the most disturbing human dramas of recent years. . . . a riveting, cautionary tale about the consequences of unchecked political power in a country at war. A must-read.” —JON LEE ANDERSON, New Yorker staff writer and author of The Fall of Baghdad

“This shattering, heartbreaking tale of savagery and suffering not only lifts the veil that conceals one of the most awful tragedies of the current era, but also helps us understand what should be done, not just in this sad and beautiful land, but long before other such horrors spiral out of control.” —NOAM CHOMSKY, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics, MIT, and author of Hopes and Prospects

In the closing days of the thirty-year Sri Lankan civil war, tens of thousands of civilians were killed, according to UN estimates, as government forces hemmed in the last remaining Tamil Tiger rebels on a tiny sand spit, dubbed “The Cage.” Gordon Weiss, a journalist and UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka during the final years of the war, pulls back the curtain of government misinformation to tell the full story for the first time. Tracing the role of foreign influence as it converged with a history of radical Buddhism and ethnic conflict, The Cage is a harrowing portrait of an island paradise torn apart by war and the root causes and catastrophic consequences of a revolutionary uprising caught in the crossfire of international power jockeying.

Gordon Weiss has lived in New York and worked in numerous conflict and natural disaster zones including Bosnia, Afghanistan, Darfur, and Haiti. Employed by the United Nations for over twelve years, he is now a visiting scholar at Sydney University and a correspondent for Australia’s Global Mail, where he continues his investigative reporting on Sri Lanka.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Thank you for the add Alisa.


message 10: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
Bangladesh has had a rather sad history, beginning as East Pakistan and struggling to find its identity as an independent nation in spite of poverty and starvation.

A History of Bangladesh

A History of Bangladesh by Willem Van Schendel by Willem Van Schendel (no photo)

Synopsis:

Bangladesh is a new name for an old land whose history is little known to the wider world. A country chiefly famous in the West for media images of poverty, underdevelopment, and natural disasters, Bangladesh did not exist as an independent state until 1971. Willem van Schendel's history reveals the country's vibrant, colourful past and its diverse culture as it navigates the extraordinary twists and turns that have created modern Bangladesh. The story begins with the early geological history of the delta which has decisively shaped Bangladesh society. The narrative then moves chronologically through the era of colonial rule, the partition of Bengal, the war with Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh as an independent state. In so doing, it reveals the forces that have made Bangladesh what it is today. This is an eloquent introduction to a fascinating country and its resilient and inventive people.


message 11: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 1060 comments Quite a diverse region!

It includes the most densely populated countries in the world (at least, if you exclude tiny city states and islands) and one of the least. Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_... Bangladesh has 2678 people per square mile while Bhutan has 50.

It includes a stable (well, fairly stable) democracy (India), some very unstable democracies, some states that are emerging into democracy, and some dictatorships.

And I haven't added it up, but I think it includes about 1/4 of the world's population


message 12: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
I did not realize that it was that heavily populated. I can still remember those pictures of starving children but it appears that it has stabilized somewhat. No matter what country it is, there is always a period of total confusion when one becomes independent. I remember Quebec voting on independence and suddenly realizing what it involved.........not an easy process.


message 13: by Christopher (new)

Christopher A friend of mine from university is from Bhutan and when I see the photos he uploads to Facebook I'm left speechless. Beautiful, beautiful country.


message 14: by Mansoor (new)

Mansoor Azam (azam69) | 23 comments Here is a blog I've started about my recent travels to northern areas of Pakistan on a motor bike. Came across some amazing landscapes n historical places. Sharing it for all. Have a look

http://travelcrazypakistan.blogspot.com


message 15: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
The mostly unknown land of Tibet is beautifully described in this history by an author who loves the country.

Tibet, Tibet: A Personal History of a Lost Land

Tibet, Tibet A Personal History of a Lost Land by Patrick French by Patrick FrenchPatrick French

Synopsis:

At different times in its history Tibet has been renowned for pacifism and martial prowess, enlightenment and cruelty. The Dalai Lama may be the only religious leader who can inspire the devotion of agnostics. Patrick French has been fascinated by Tibet since he was a teenager. He has read its history, agitated for its freedom, and risked arrest to travel through its remote interior. His love and knowledge inform every page of this learned, literate, and impassioned book.

Talking with nomads and Buddhist nuns, exiles and collaborators, French portrays a nation demoralized by a half-century of Chinese occupation and forced to depend on the patronage of Western dilettantes. He demolishes many of the myths accruing to Tibet–including those centering around the radiant figure of the Dalai Lama. Combining the best of history, travel writing, and memoir, Tibet, Tibet is a work of extraordinary power and insight.


message 16: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
Written by the grandson of the late UN Secretary General U Thant, this book adds a personal touch to the history of Burma as experienced by his family.

The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma

The River of Lost Footsteps Histories of Burma by Thant Myint-U by Thant Myint-UThant Myint-U

Synopsis:

For nearly two decades Western governments and a growing activist community have been frustrated in their attempts to bring about a freer and more democratic Burma--through sanctions and tourist boycotts--only to see an apparent slide toward even harsher dictatorship. But what do we really know about Burma and its history? And what can Burma's past tell us about the present and even its future?

In "The River of Lost Footsteps," Thant Myint-U tells the story of modern Burma, in part through a telling of his own family's history, in an interwoven narrative that is by turns lyrical, dramatic, and appalling. His maternal grandfather, U Thant, rose from being the schoolmaster of a small town in the Irrawaddy Delta to become the UN secretary-general in the 1960s. And on his father's side, the author is descended from a long line of courtiers who served at Burma's Court of Ava for nearly two centuries. Through their stories and others, he portrays Burma's rise and decline in the modern world, from the time of Portuguese pirates and renegade Mughal princes through the decades of British colonialism, the devastation of World War II, and a sixty-year civil war that continues today and is the longest-running war anywhere in the world.

"The River of Lost Footsteps" is a work both personal and global, a distinctive contribution that makes Burma accessible and enthralling.


message 17: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3487 comments Midnight's Descendants: A History of South Asia since Partition

Midnight's Descendants A History of South Asia since Partition by Keay John by John KeayJohn Keay

Synopsis:

Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Midnight’s Descendants—the generations born since the 1947 midnight hour partition of British India—are the world’s fastest growing population. This vast region and its peoples wield an enormous influence over global economics and geopolitics, yet their impact is too often simplified by accounts that focus solely on one nation and ignore the intricate web of affiliations that shape relations among British India’s successor states. Now, in Midnight Descendants, celebrated historian John Keay presents the first comprehensive history of this complex and interconnected region, delving deep into the events that have shaped its past and continue to guide its future.

The 1947 partition was devastating to the larger of the newly created states, and it continues to haunt them to this day. Joined by their common origin and the fear of further partition, the five key nations of South Asia have progressed in tandem to a large degree. These countries have been forced to grapple with common challenges, from undeveloped economies and fractured societies to foreign interventions and the fraught legacy of imperialism, leaving them irrevocably intertwined. Combining authoritative historical analysis with vivid reportage, Keay masterfully charts South Asia’s winding path toward modernization and democratization over the past sixty years. Along the way, he unravels the volatile India-Pakistan relationship; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the wars that raged in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the fortunes of millions of South Asia migrants dispersed throughout the world, creating a full and nuanced understanding of this dynamic region.

Expansive and dramatic, Midnight’s Descendants is a sweeping narrative of South Asia’s recent history, from the aftermath of the 1947 partition to the region’s present-day efforts to transcend its turbulent past and assume its rightful role in global politics.


message 18: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (last edited Mar 16, 2014 11:12AM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
British Indian Ocean Territory



The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia. The territory comprises the six atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands – many tiny – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi).

The largest island is Diego Garcia, 44 km2 (17 sq mi), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States. Following the eviction of the native population (Chagossians) in the 1960s, the only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors, who collectively number around 4,000 (2004 figures).

Mauritius sought to regain sovereignty, lost to the UK in 1965, over the Chagos Archipelago. Between 1968 and 1973, the Chagossians, then numbering about 2,000 people, were expelled by the British government to Mauritius and Seychelles to allow the United States to establish a military base on the island. Today, the exiled Chagossians are still trying to return, claiming that the forced expulsion and dispossession was illegal


message 19: by Barry (new)

Barry Sierer | 6 comments I am searching for good, objective (if that's possible) biography of Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto. Can anyone give me some recommendations ?


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Maybe this one:

Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan His Life & Times by Stanley Wolpert by Stanley WolpertStanley Wolpert


message 21: by Barry (new)

Barry Sierer | 6 comments thanks


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
You are welcome.


message 23: by Libby (last edited Apr 05, 2014 10:34PM) (new)

Libby Barry wrote: "I am searching for good, objective (if that's possible) biography of Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto. Can anyone give me some recommendations ?"

Hello Barry--Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his family are of significant interest to me, especially after viewing the film, "Bhutto. It is currently a available on Netflix. Have you seen this documentary? Zulfikar Ali Bhutto authored several pieces, and there are several books that cover the family's history and legacy, sometimes in a replete manner and other times with just a few paragraphs. Please find several examples, across different age groups, below:

1. If I Am Assasinated
If I Am Assasinated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (no photo)

2. A Judiciary in Crisis, Trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
(No image) A Judiciary in Crisis, Trial of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by Sani H. Panhwar (no photo)

To be continued.... :)


message 24: by Libby (new)

Libby Libby wrote: "Barry wrote: "I am searching for good, objective (if that's possible) biography of Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto. Can anyone give me some recommendations ?"

Hello Barry--Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his family ..."


Continued...

3. The Discourse And Politics Of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
(No image) The Discourse And Politics Of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by Anwar Hussain Syed (no photo)

4. The Quest For Peace: Selections from speeches and writings, 1963-66
(No image) The Discourse And Politics Of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto by Anwar Hussain Syed (no photo)

5. Nations in Transition - Pakistan (hardcover edition) (Nations in Transition)
Note:
. Juvenile Target Audience; however, my experience with this piece uncovered a wealth of information in an enjoyable format.
Nations in Transition - Pakistan (hardcover edition) (Nations in Transition) by Adrian Sinkler by Adrian Sinkler (no photo)

6. Human Rights in Pakistan: From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Musharraf
Human Rights in Pakistan From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Musharraf by M.H. Syed by M.H. Syed (no photo)

7. Civil Military Relations In Pakistan: From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto To Benazir Bhutto
Civil Military Relations In Pakistan From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto To Benazir Bhutto by Saeed Shafqat by Saeed Shafqat (no photo)

Hopefully this can help you get started; please advise if you require additional recommendations.


message 25: by Barry (new)

Barry Sierer | 6 comments Libby. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I am fairly fascinated by Pakistani politics which I think makes it essential to learn more about Bhutto. I will be starting with just his biography for now though. Also I have read Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within. Its dry but very informative if you are interested.


message 26: by Martin (last edited Apr 15, 2014 08:36AM) (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments It seems to me that any list of current history of South Asia, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, has got to include the work of Ahmed Rashid, for several reasons.

1) He has access to the players that no other reporter on Spaceship Earth can claim.

2) He writes directly. Where the bulk of writing by western journalists is anecdotal in an attempt to appeal to readers, it's straight up with Rashid. No wading through hundreds of pages on how people's intestines felt when they found out about events.

3) He's from the area and knows it like no interloper can.

Taliban Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid by Ahmed RashidAhmed Rashid

Pakistan on the Brink The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan by Ahmed Rashid

Jihad The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid

Descent into Chaos The United States & the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid


message 27: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments Also top-drawer worthy is Peter Hopkirk's work, especially The Great Game, the first history of the region I read at the behest of a friend who'd worked in the state department. It's not only good history of the 19th century dynamics underlying current events, but at times the exploits of the intelligence officers puts Ian Flemming's James Bond to shame.

The Great Game The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia (Kodansha Globe) by Peter Hopkirk by Peter HopkirkPeter Hopkirk

Foreign Devils on the Silk Road by Peter Hopkirk

Trespassers on the Roof of the World The Secret Exploration of Tibet (Kodansha Globe) by Peter Hopkirk

Like Hidden Fire The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire by Peter Hopkirk

Setting the East Ablaze by Peter Hopkirk


message 28: by Peter (last edited Apr 07, 2014 11:08AM) (new)

Peter Flom | 1060 comments A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif

SYNOPSIS

Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying its damnedest to happen.

Ali Shigri, Pakistan Air Force pilot and Silent Drill Commander of the Fury Squadron, is on a mission to avenge his father's suspicious death, which the government calls a suicide. Ali's target is none other than General Zia ul-Haq, dictator of Pakistan. Enlisting a rag-tag group of conspirators, including his cologne-bathed roommate, a hash-smoking American lieutenant, and a mango-besotted crow, Ali sets his elaborate plan in motion. There's only one problem: the line of would-be Zia assassins is longer than he could have possibly known.


Although this is a novel, it's excellent. I've seen it recommended as an essential read about Pakistan (I think that was in an article in New York Review of Books, but I'm not certain).


message 29: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments Of the several single volume histories of India that I've read, I have found John Keay's India to be the best, if for no other reason he demonstrates how India as we know it today never existed until the modern era. In great detail for a single volume, he describes the various migrations and conquests by tribes, principalities, and Muslim conquers that lead up to India as we understand it today.

India A History by John Keay by John KeayJohn Keay


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 06, 2014 02:19PM) (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Hello Peter - thank you very much - I think you are trying out the moderator standard but I think there are a few issues.

Did you mean to add a Harry Potter book cover - last time I checked that was not shot in Pakistan and was not the location of the events. (smile).

If you get that fixed and add the author's photo which you may have and the author's link then I can work with you to get it right.


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Thank you Martin - I will look into that book on my challenge.


message 32: by Libby (new)

Libby Barry wrote: "Libby. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I am fairly fascinated by Pakistani politics which I think makes it essential to learn more about Bhutto. I will be starting with just his biography for ..."

Hi Barry--I apologize for the delayed response. I am in complete agreement with you that one must study Bhutto to understand Pakistan's politics; in fact, the entire Bhutto family has given its life (in almost every way possible) to the country of Pakistan. It has proven to sport both a volatile and tragic history as well. Thank you for the input regarding, Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and Wars Within; the piece is of certain interest to me.

Crossed Swords Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within by Shuja Nawaz by Shuja Nawaz (no photo)


message 33: by Libby (new)

Libby Barry wrote: "Libby. Thanks so much for your suggestions. I am fairly fascinated by Pakistani politics which I think makes it essential to learn more about Bhutto. I will be starting with just his biography for ..."

Just a quick note: GoodReads prefers for us to get fancy with our book citations, so I must ask that you please add the book cover and author info as follows:

Crossed Swords Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within by Shuja Nawaz by Shuja Nawaz (no photo)

The process takes just a few seconds, once you get the hand of it. When you've made the revision, I'll delete this comment.


message 34: by Libby (new)

Libby Martin wrote: "Also top-drawer worthy is Peter Hopkirk's work, especially The Great Game, the first history of the region I read at the behest of a friend who'd worked in the state department. It's not only good ..."

Hi Martin--I was not previously aware of this author's works; thank you for sharing them with us.

Peter Hopkirk Peter Hopkirk


message 35: by Libby (last edited Apr 14, 2014 03:39PM) (new)

Libby Peter wrote: "A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif

SYNOPSIS

Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, bet..."


Hi Peter--I had to add A Case of Exploding Mangoes to my shelves due to the fact that it deals with the assassination of General Zia Al-Haq. It was my understanding that his assassination, and that of an American diplomat who was also aboard the plane, was engineered by the Pakistani military due to being the only party allowed access to the plane. Is this consistent with what you have read?

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif Mohammed Hanif


message 36: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 1060 comments Libby wrote: "Peter wrote: "A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif

SYNOPSIS

Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut a..."


Yes. To the extent that nything is planned or engineered in that country (at least as portrayed in the novel).


message 37: by Libby (new)

Libby Peter wrote: "Libby wrote: "Peter wrote: "A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif

SYNOPSIS

Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly..."


Very interesting. I may have mentioned this film to you before; and, if I have I apologize, have you seen the movie "Bhutto?"


message 38: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 1060 comments Libby wrote: "Peter wrote: "Libby wrote: "Peter wrote: "A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif by Mohammed Hanif

SYNOPSIS

Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good ..."


I have not seen Bhutto


message 39: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
Some really good recommendations, Martin and Peter. Thanks.


message 40: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments Libby - thanks for catching the errant title. A little to chaotic with so many books with the same title. Rashid's wasn't even on the first page of books entitled Descent Into Chaos.

I'd forgotten about the exploding mangoes. I've been meaning to read that one.

Explosions, mangoes what's not to like?


message 41: by Libby (new)

Libby Martin wrote: "Libby - thanks for catching the errant title. A little to chaotic with so many books with the same title. Rashid's wasn't even on the first page of books entitled Descent Into Chaos.

I'd forgotten..."


Thank you Martin; I have deleted my comment. Looking forward to reading Rashid's, Descent into Chaos.

Descent into Chaos The United States & the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid by Ahmed Rashid Ahmed Rashid


message 42: by Martin (new)

Martin Zook | 615 comments In addition to previously mentioned access to leaders in the region, he has some interesting insights into Dick Cheney's contributions to armed conflict policy in the area.


message 43: by Jeannine (new)

Jeannine (jmloftus13) | 34 comments A site with colorful murals in India that I discovered while participating in the India challenge.

http://sobadsogood.com/2013/07/26/bol...


message 44: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31535 comments Mod
Thanks Jeannine - they are quite beautiful with all of the bright colors that India loves.


message 45: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3487 comments Demokrasi: Indonesia in the 21st Century

Demokrasi Indonesia in the 21st Century by Hamish McDonald by Hamish McDonald (no photo)

Synopsis:

Indonesia, a nation of thousands of islands and almost 250 million people, straddles the junction of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has presided over 6 per cent average yearly growth of its economy, to surpass $1 trillion. If this rate continues, Indonesia will join the world’s ten biggest economies in a decade or so, just behind the so-called BRIC countries. The much-discussed recent documentary The Act of Killing revived some of its darker past, and Barack Obama’s reminiscences about the childhood years he spent there briefly shone the spotlight on a country many Americans know little about. Yet as Indonesia approaches its 2014 parliamentary and presidential elections, its future is wide open. Though the largest Muslim nation by population, it remains a receiver of wisdom from the Arab world, rather than a messenger of multi-religious tolerance. Its pursuit of trade agreements with Japan and South Korea have burnished its economic ambitions, but its diplomacy is long on so-called “soft power,” and short on sanctions or force.

So what does the future hold for this pivotal place? Award-winning Asia-Pacific journalist Hamish McDonald’s Demokrasi is an accessible and authoritative introduction to the modern history and politics of this fascinating country.


message 46: by Peter (new)

Peter Flom | 1060 comments The Blood Telegram Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. BassGary J. Bass (no photo)

SYNOPSIS
A riveting history--the first full account--of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh that led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia, and left in its wake a host of major strategic consequences for the world today.

Drawing on recently declassified documents, unheard White House tapes, and investigative reporting, Gary Bass gives us an unprecedented chronicle of a crucial but little-known chapter of the Cold War. He shows how Nixon and Kissinger supported Pakistan's military dictatorship as it brutally quashed the results of a historic free election. The Pakistani army launched a crackdown on what was then East Pakistan (today an independent Bangladesh), killing hundreds of thousands of people, and sending ten million refugees fleeing into India--one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. It soon sparked a major war. But Nixon and Kissinger remained untroubled by Pakistan's massacres, secretly encouraged China to mass troops on the Indian border, and illegally supplied weapons to the Pakistani military--an unknown scandal that presages Watergate. And Bass makes clear how the United States's embrace of the military dictatorship in Islamabad would affect geopolitics for decades. A revelatory, compulsively readable work of essential recent history.

.....
I reviewed this book in my "50 books" page but, briefly, I concur. This is a great book.


message 47: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (last edited Jan 01, 2015 12:45PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 11491 comments Mod
This memoir of an American who chose to live in isolated and mysterious Bhutan gives the reader an armchair traveler's view of a country that is basically unknown to the outside world.

Married to Bhutan

Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming by Linda LeamingLinda Leaming

Synopsis:

Tucked away in the eastern end of the Himalayas lies Bhutan—a tiny, landlocked country bordering China and India. Impossibly remote and nearly inaccessible, Bhutan is rich in natural beauty, exotic plants and animals, and crazy wisdom. It is a place where people are genuinely content with very few material possessions and the government embraces “Gross National Happiness” instead of Gross National Product.

In this funny, magical memoir, we accompany Linda Leaming on her travels through South Asia, sharing her experiences as she learns the language, customs, and religion; her surprising romance with a Buddhist artist; and her realizations about the unexpected path to happiness and accidental enlightenment.

As one of the few Americans to have lived in Bhutan, Leaming offers a rare glimpse into the quirky mountain kingdom so many have only dreamed of. For over ten years, Leaming has lived and worked in the town of Thimphu, where there are no traffic lights and fewer than 100,000 people. “If enlightenment is possible anywhere,” she writes, “I think it is particularly possible here.”

The Bhutanese way of life can seem daunting to most Westerners, whose lives are consumed with time, efficiency, and acquiring things. But Leaming shows us that we don’t necessarily have to travel around the world to appreciate a little Bhutan in our own lives, and that following our dreams is the way to be truly happy.


message 48: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3487 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: April 28, 2015

Great Game East: India, China, and the Struggle for Asia's Most Volatile Frontier

Great Game East India, China, and the Struggle for Asia�s Most Volatile Frontier by Bertil Lintner by Bertil Lintner (no photo)

Synopsis:

Since the 1950s, China and India have been locked in a monumental battle for geopolitical supremacy. Chinese interest in the ethnic insurgencies in northeastern India, the still unresolved issue of the McMahon Line, the border established by the British imperial government, and competition for strategic access to the Indian Ocean have given rise to tense gamesmanship, political intrigue, and rivalry between the two Asian giants.

Former Far Eastern Economic Review correspondent Bertil Lintner has drawn from his extensive personal interviews with insurgency leaders and civilians in remote tribal areas in northeastern India, newly declassified intelligence reports, and his many years of firsthand experience in Asia to chronicle this ongoing struggle. His history of the “Great Game East” is the first significant account of a regional conflict which has led to open warfare on several occasions, most notably the Sino-India border war of 1962, and will have a major impact on global affairs in the decades ahead.


message 50: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11630 comments Mod
Great job on the citations. Since you have a bookcover, you don't need a title link:

India A History by John Keay by John KeayJohn Keay


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