From the Buddha and Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, Akbar the Great and Mahatma Gandhi, an acclaimed historian offers a sumptuously illustrated history of five-thousand years of India
A companion volume to a BBC documentary series coming to PBS in 2008, this "traveler's eye view" of Indian history provides an excellent introduction to the subject. Author and TV presenter Wood (In Search of England: Journeys into the English Past), a frequent visitor to the subcontinent, traverses "tens of thousands of miles and tens of thousands of years." In his account, discoveries of recent years, e.g., the excavations in Mehrgarh, Pakistan, of a site dating back to 7000 B.C.E., shed new light on Indian history. Artifacts found in Turkmenistan are similar to those used in Vedic rites; a recently uncovered inscription in Afghanistan throws new light on the Kushan kings. The M130 gene of early man is present in the DNA of an entire village in southern India. The book covers most of the major empires (including the Dravidian empires of southern India) and emperors, as well as founders of world religions such as the Buddha. A highly enjoyable book on Indian history, this is recommended for general audiences.