Editorial Reviews for this title:
In the 13th Century, Marco Polo described India as a land of wonders, and his observation is no less true today. India is the worlds largest democracy, a nuclear power, and a rising economic giant-but also the worlds most ancient surviving civilization, with unbroken continuity stretching back into prehistory. It is a land of tremendous spirituality punctuated by terrible religious violence, of vast deserts and Himalayan peaks that disappear into the sky, of remote Mughal forts and jam-packed megacities, and of the worlds most glorious architectural splendors: the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and Luytens Delhi. An epicenter of trade and a land of extraordinary riches, India has played a prominent role in world history. At the beginning of the 21st century, India has once again become a leading player on the world stage. In India, Michael Wood leads his audience on six eye-opening journeys into the subcontinent, where he uncovers the fabulous sights and sounds, the dazzling achievements, and the dramatic history of the worlds most influential civilization. This sumptuously illustrated book is a magical mix of history and travelogue, and an unforgettable portrait of India-past, present, and future.
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 Forshaw
"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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