The Shortest History of India: From the World's Oldest Civilization to Its Largest Democracy - A Retelling for Our Times (Paperback)

The Shortest History of India: From the World's Oldest Civilization to Its Largest Democracy - A Retelling for Our Times By John Zubrzycki Cover Image

The Shortest History of India: From the World's Oldest Civilization to Its Largest Democracy - A Retelling for Our Times (Paperback)


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5,000 years of history—from the Bhagavad Gita to Bollywood—fill this masterful portrait of the world’s most populous nation and a rising global power. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.

India—a cradle of civilization with five millennia of history, a country of immense consequence and contradiction—often defies ready understanding. What holds its people together—across its many cultures, races, languages, and creeds—and how has India evolved into the liberal democracy it is today?

From the Harappan era to Muslim invasions, the Great Mughals, British rule, independence, and present-day hopes, John Zubrzycki distills India’s colossal history into a gripping true story filled with legendary lives: Alexander the Great, Akbar, Robert Clive, Tipu Sultan, Lakshmi Bai, Lord Curzon, Jinnah, and Gandhi. India’s gifts to the world include Buddhism, yoga, the concept of zero, the largest global diaspora—and its influence is only growing. Already the world’s largest democracy, in 2023, India became the most populous nation.

Can India overcome its political, social, and religious tensions to be the next global superpower? As the world watches—and wonders—this Shortest History is an essential, clarifying read.
John Zubrzycki is an Australian author with a PhD in Indian history from the University of New South Wales. A former foreign news editor with The Australian, he has worked as a correspondent in India and as a diplomat in New Delhi and Jakarta. He is the author of four books on India, most recently House of Jaipur: The Inside Story of India’s Most Glamorous Royal Family.
Product Details ISBN: 9781615199976
ISBN-10: 1615199977
Publisher: The Experiment
Publication Date: November 7th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English
Series: Shortest History
A fine read. . . . Buy this book if you want a concise version of the 5,000-year-old history of the country told in a simple manner without the heavy linguistic jargon and to experience the cultural variety and the diverse societal evolution that has been India’s strongest suit.
— India Today

Throughout his accessible narrative, Zubrzycki spotlights the origins of Indian innovations such as the decimal system, yoga, and vegetarianism. This is a fantastic resource for educators.
— Publishers Weekly

An accessible and absorbing portal to the subcontinent’s 5,000-year-old history.
— Sydney Morning Herald

Astounding. . . . A compelling and delightful read. . . . Effortlessly brings to life ancient civilizations and famed dynasties, taking readers on a roller-coaster spanning five millennia.
— Hindustan Times

The best short history of India yet produced.
— Australian Book Review

As a journalist, diplomat, and teacher . . . Zubrzycki’s ability to straddle diverse professional boundaries . . . enables [him] to pull off what many might think to be impossible: The Shortest History of India compresses 5,000 years of the country’s history—from the Harappan period to the ‘New India’ being shaped by the current political dispensation—in less than 300 pages.

— Indian Express

The author’s willingness to engage in historical debate is crucial because it means shortness doesn’t equate to shallowness.
— The Saturday Paper

Zubrzycki has risen to the occasion and offers us a fascinating insight into the creation and development of . . . the most populous democracy in the world.
— Queensland Reviewers Collective