The history of India can be described as rich and turbulent. The south Asian country has faced many invasions and survived through most of them. India is the home to one of the first three civilizations that existed on earth, the Indus Valley Civilization. From ancient times to the Mahajanpadas, rolling down all the way to the Delhi Sultanate, not before the Mughals came, and finally the infamous/famous ‘British Raj’; the country’s history is a tale, that too, a great one!
Parts of this great tale have been recorded in many books, written by several writers. All of them have different approaches, styles of storytelling, and a deep knowledge about ‘India’ as a subject. Here are 10 books you must read if you want to know about Indian history:
ALSO READ: Books, lots and lots of books!
1. Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru
The Discovery of India served as an honour paid to the cultural heritage of India and her history. The book allows you to see through the eyes of a patriot, who is fighting for the independence of his country. It is one of the finest modern works on Indian history. Written by former (and first) Prime Minister Nehru when he was in prison, this book aims to give a snapshot of India’s long history.
2. Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins
The book showcases the series of events that unfolded during India’s independence movement in 1946 and 1948. An extensively researched work that will provide the details you never knew! It’s highly recommended if you wish to study India’s independence and partition. Freedom at Midnight also includes interviews with British India’s last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten.
3. The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen
The Argumentative is a series of essays that narrate India’s history and more importantly, how that history influenced and shaped cultural identity. The book talks about India’s long history of public debate and heterodoxy. It is written by the NobelPrize-winning economist Amartya Sen.
4. India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha
India after Gandhi gives you a picture of the ‘post-independence’ scene i.e. it helps you to understand the evolution of Modern India. From partition to the rise of religion and caste-based politics, the book also covers Nehru’s socialism and Rajiv Gandhi’s impactful career. By writing this 900-page book, Ramachandra Guha proved to be India’s best historian.
5. The Wonder That Was India by A L Basham
The Wonder That Was India covers the period between ancient India and the arrival of Muslims. Details of the Harrapan Civilization along with the Aryan invasion theory of Harrapa’s doom have been covered. AL Basham also talks about Rig Veda and other Sanskrit texts to give a deeper understanding of India’s past.Click here for reuse options!
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