A 15 Minute Trip Around the World via the Internet

The beautiful Cloud People of Peru are positioned at the point where the first rays of sun will appear over the Utcubamba Valley. Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/58828338854713124/

The beautiful Cloud People of Peru are positioned at the point where the first rays of sun will appear over the Utcubamba Valley. Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/58828338854713124/

Weekly Web Links:

Historical Book Review for the Week:

India: A History by John Keay

India: A History by John Keay

While it hasn’t been an intentional decision on my part, my historical education has, for the most part, been contained to three major sections:

  1. Pre-history
  2. North American
  3. Western European

As a result of this, I am really quite ignorant about even the basic history of countries in other parts of the world and so I decided that I needed to expand my knowledge in order to have at least a general understanding.  John Keay’s book covering the whole of Indian history from its pre-historic origins to its modern incarnation is my first reading of Indian history for its own sake rather than this bits that I have previously encountered through its interactions with the histories of more familiar countries (in India’s case this was typically Britain).  While the author is clearly highly knowledgeable of his topic and the text itself is laid out in as straight a form and chronology as is possible I do have to admit that I did have some difficulty with this history.  Now, I will fully acknowledge that this is guaranteed to be more of a fault of my own rather than the authors; my lack of experience with the history of the country meant that I often struggled with keeping regions, places, people, and dates straight in my head and there was so much unfamiliar information presented that I’m not sure if I’ve actually retained anything read.

This book provides a fantastic overview along with a ton of detail but rather than it be a a good starting place for information about India’s history, I think its something that would definitely read better for someone who already had at least a little bit of prior knowledge about the region.  I had a much easier time with the first sections which covered the ancient pre-history of the region which would go on to become India and the latter parts of the book which focuses on more modern event as I had some background with this through news articles, current events, and the interaction between India and other countries in its more recent periods.

 

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