From the Vedas to the BJP

An outstanding short history of India
by
July 2022, no. 444
Buy this book

The Shortest History of India by John Zubrzycki

La Trobe University Press, $26.99 pb, 288 pp

From the Vedas to the BJP

An outstanding short history of India
by
July 2022, no. 444
Skyline of Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India (photograph by Jan Wlodarczyk/Alamy)
Skyline of Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India (photograph by Jan Wlodarczyk/Alamy)

It takes genuine courage to attempt a synoptic history of India and considerable skill to abridge the story of more than five thousand years into a book of fewer than three hundred pages. For a start, the evidence we have for what occurred during the first forty centuries is scarce and uneven. Archaeologists have unearthed planned towns, figurines, seals, pots, and tools that attest to the existence of a sprawling and successful society flourishing in the Indus Valley from around 3300 BCE until 1300 BCE. But as John Zubrzycki explains in this clever book, we know little if anything about how this Harappan civilisation was ruled or organised, partly because its script has not been deciphered and partly because no buildings akin to palaces or temples have yet been found.

Ian Hall reviews 'The Shortest History of India' by John Zubrzycki

The Shortest History of India

by John Zubrzycki

La Trobe University Press, $26.99 pb, 288 pp

Buy this book

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.