Modern Free Online Books about History of India, History of South Asia. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan. British colonial era, modern era.
Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.
Century Past Library
About 260 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “South Asia History”. Be patient as the page loads.
About 2,100 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “India History”. Be patient as the page loads.
About 75 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “India – Politics and Government – 1947-“. Be patient as the page loads.
More than 200 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Pakistan History”. Be patient as the page loads.
Books on Asian history, including East Asia and the Pacific, at History of Asia
Biedermann, Zoltan and Strathern, Alan, eds.
UCL 2017 Dewey Dec. 954
The peoples of Sri Lanka have participated in far-flung trading networks, religious formations, and Asian and European empires for millennia. This interdisciplinary volume sets out to draw Sri Lanka into the field of Asian and Global History by showing how the latest wave of scholarship has explored the island as a ‘crossroads’, a place defined by its openness to movement across the Indian Ocean.
Bennett Jones, Owen
Yale University 2002 Dewey Dec. 954
“Pakistan, a nation for only fifty-five years, has had a turbulent history. Ruled by the military for half its existence, it has seen three wars with India and the loss of much of its territory. The combination of political instability, deep-seated economic and social problems, and access to nuclear weapons has made it one of the most strategically sensitive countries in the world. The war in neighboring Afghanistan has placed it at the very center of global attention and projected its military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, onto the world stage. Musharraf has become the first Pakistani leader in thirty years to dare to confront the country’s Islamic extremists. But can he succeed in controlling the forces that helped create the Taliban in Afghanistan? In this riveting history of Pakistan from 1947 to the present, Bennett Jones describes the many fault lines in Pakistani society. While most Pakistanis have a moderate, tolerant vision of Islam, he argues, the country’s central institutions are so weak that the military regime may prove incapable of rescuing the “failed state” of Pakistan.” -Publisher
London: Smith, Elder 1858 Dewey Dec. 954
Penguin 2003 Dewey Dec. 954
“The cross-cultural romance between Khair un-Nissa and James Achilles Kirkpatrick – the gripping central narrative of this book – is an extraordinary tale… In “White Mughals” [the author] has pulled off a tour de force of scholarly research. Academics rarely let themselves get so close and the result is a veritable travelogue through the past, packed with detail and sense of place. The book breathes. … Mr. Dalrymple researches like a historian, thinks like an anthropologist and writes like a novelist. It is a winning combination.”
De Silva, K. M.
University of California 1981 Dewey Dec. 954
Ancient Sri Lanka – The decline of the Sinhalese Kingdom – Sri Lanka and the western powers – Sri Lanka under British rule – Sri Lanka in the twentieth century – Independence and after
Penguin 2009 Dewey Dec. 954
“A narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world’s oldest major religions, this book elucidates the relationship between recorded history and imaginary worlds. Hinduism does not lend itself easily to a strictly chronological account: many of its central texts cannot be reliably dated; its central tenets–karma, dharma, to name just two–arise at particular moments in Indian history and differ in each era, between genders, and caste to caste; and what is shared among Hindus is overwhelmingly outnumbered by the things that are unique to one group or another. Yet the greatness of Hinduism–its vitality, its earthiness, its vividness–lies precisely in many of those idiosyncratic qualities that continue to inspire debate today. Wendy Doniger, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Hinduism, illuminates those moments within the tradition that resist forces that would standardize or establish a canon.” – Publisher
Edmunds, Tom Owen
Viking 1988 Dewey Dec. 954
Einfeld, Jann, ed.
Greenhaven 2004 Dewey Dec. 954
A volume in the “History of Nations” series. Traces the origin and history of Pakistan and describes the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, rule by the British Raj, the birth of Islamic Nationalism, and the years of war and military rule.
Fisher, James F.
Oxford University 1998 Dewey Dec. 954
“‘Living Martyrs’ details the life-histories of two important Nepalis, Tanka Prasad Acharya, Nepal’s former Prime Minister, and his wife, Rewanta Kumari. In 1936 Tanka Prasad founded Nepal’s first political party and subsequently spent his life working for human rights and democracy. His inspiring and heroic story is coupled with that of Rewanta, who aided her husband in his efforts while keeping the family together during the bleak years of oppression under the tyrannical Rana regime…” – Publisher
Alfred A. Knopf 2011 Dewey Dec. 954
“Combines deep research about the country’s history with a series of vignettes culled from French’s street-level reporting. Taken together, his reading of seminal texts and his interviews with politicians, pimps, businessmen, laborers, farmers, scholars and people from all levels of India’s caste system result in a fittingly vigorous and colorful book about what it means to live in India six decades after the nation freed itself from British rule.” – San Francisco Chron
Books on the history of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island nations, including Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and more, at History of Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands
Sterling 1972 Dewey Dec. 954
Discusses the land, history, government, people, and economy of the three Himalayan kingdoms.
Greystone 1970 Dewey Dec. 954
A volume in the “Illustrated Library of the World and its Peoples”.
University of Alberta 2008 Dewey Dec. 954
Viking 1978 Dewey Dec. 973.91
“Focuses upon the massive Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 which resulted in the ‘swan song of old India’ and the establishment of total British rule over the defeated land.” – Best Sellers
Cambridge University 1999 Dewey Dec. 954
“In a broad-ranging, accessible narrative, Peter Jackson traces the history of the Sultanate from its foundation in 1210 to its demise in 1400 at the sack of Delhi by the Central Asian conqueror, Tamerlane. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Sultanate was the principal bastion of Islam in the subcontinent. While the book focuses on military and political affairs, tracing the Sultanate’s resistance to formidable Mongol invasions from the north-west and the administrative developments that underpinned these exploits, it also explores the Sultans’ relations with their non-Muslim subjects.” – Publisher
Cambridge University 1995 Dewey Dec. 954
Colonial legacy in India and Pakistan – State formation and political processes in India and Pakistan, 1947 to c. 1971 – The ‘populist’ era and its aftermath in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, 1971 to c. 1993 – The state and political economy, 1947 to c. 1993 – Central power and regional dissidence – Societies, cultures and ideologies; hybrids in contrived monoliths – Conclusion
Atlantic Monthly 2000 Dewey Dec. 973.91
Keay’s “history exhibits the complete panoply of cultures that have arisen on, or arrived at, the plain of the Ganges River … Within this mix of cultures, Keay avers, Indian historiography is afflicted with the selective interpretations of nationalist writers: he corrects the defect by example in this evenhanded, informed, and enthusiastic illumination of the vastness of Indian history.” -Booklist
Doubleday 1985 Dewey Dec. 954
An account of life in the most squalid of Calcutta’s (Kolkata’s) slums, Anand Nagar (The City of Joy). The author focuses on the lives of a rickshaw driver, a Polish Catholic priest, an American doctor and an Assamese nurse.
Lapierre, Dominique And Larry Collins
OpenSource2009 Dewey Dec. 973.91
2009 edition of a book originally published in 1975. “At midnight on August 14, 1947, India officially became free of the British Empire … The book actually covers the whole year of 1947 …. It examines [Mountbatten’s] months of delicate negotiations with recalcitrant Hindu, Moslem and Sikh leaders, the difficult planning for the partition of India and Pakistan, the apparent early success of the partition and then the murderous riots that swept the country, and follows through to Gandhi’s assassination in Calcutta in January 1948.” – Publ Wkly
Anchor 2008 Dewey Dec. 954
“As the world’s largest democracy and a rising international economic power, India has long been heralded for its great strides in technology and trade. Yet it is also plagued by poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, and a vast array of other social and economic issues. Here, noted journalist and former Financial Times South Asia bureau chief Edward Luce travels throughout India’s many regions, cultures, and religious circles, investigating its fragile balance between tradition and modernity. From meetings with key political figures to fascinating encounters with religious pundits, economic gurus, and village laborers, ‘In Spite of the Gods’ is a fascinating blend of analysis and reportage that comprehensively depicts the nuances of India’s complex situation and its place in the world.” – Publisher
Links to over 120 magazines free online, from the early 1800s to today, at Old Magazines Online
Norton 1985 Dewey Dec. 973.91
First published in two volumes in 1953-1954. “An interweaving of biographical, political, and social history of British India, 1599-1947. .. As a former member of the Indian Civil Service, Mason unabashedly supports the value of Britian’s impact on India through a series of colorful vignettes of such legendary characters as Warren Hastings, John Malcolm, and Mountstuart Elphinstone. He points to British prohibition of suttee, construction of railroads, etc. as justification for British rule.” -SLJ
Alfred A. Knopf 2005 Dewey Dec. 954
The author “explores various aspects of Bombay life, from setting up residence to exploring the hugely successful domestic film industry; from detailing Bombay’s sex industry to profiling the reasons behind India’s own ‘September 11’, the 1993 riots and bombings that exposed a vast enmity between extremist Hindus and Muslims … Mehta delivers a fresh and unblinking look at contemporary Bombay.” -Booklist
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2006 Dewey Dec. 954
“It is impossible in a short form to do justice to the density and complexity of … [the author’s] arguments, to his comprehensive illustrations, to his scathing demolition of the comfort zones of both East and West, and to the intrepid and endlessly questioning spirit which lies behind his book.” -NY Rev Books
The background, the issues, the people
Mumtaz, Khawar and Mitha, Yameema
Oxfam 2003 Dewey Dec. 954
The land – the four provinces – A turbulent history – Pakistan’s cultural heritage – A land of poetry – The birth of Pakistan – Pakistan and its neighbours – Islam and Islamisation – Economy and development – Women in a changing society – Bounding population – Health services in Pakistan – Pakistan’s environmental problems – NGOs in Pakistan – Up-date: events in Pakistan since 1996 – Facts and figures – Further reading – Oxfam in Pakistan
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives
Cambridge University 1989 Dewey Dec. 954
Selected Articles about History Worldwide
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2006 Dewey Dec. 954
“Sen’s lucid reasoning and thoroughgoing humanism … ensure a lively and commanding defense of diversity and dialogue.” – Publ Wkly
Knopf 2000 Dewey Dec. 973.91
The author “traces Sikh history from its origins in the 15th century through Indira Gandhi’s 1984 storming of the Golden Temple … Sikhs, he argues, have for centuries been an embattled people becauase their culture and religion defy the predominant religions in the region, as well as the Indian caste system with its ruling elite.” – Publ Wkly
Sisson, Richard and Rose, Leo E.
University of California 1990 Dewey Dec. 954
HarperPerennial 1998 Dewey Dec. 954
“Each telling anecdote illuminates some aspect of Indian culture, from politics to religion, creating a mosaic that reflects India’s endless variations on the theme of life.” -Booklist
Scribe 2017 Dewey Dec. 954
In the eighteenth century, India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest and deception, the Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalized racism, and caused millions to die from starvation.
British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial gift from the railways to the rule of law was designed in Britain’s interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain’s Industrial Revolution was founded on India’s deindustrialization and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain’s stained Indian legacy.
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Walsh, Judith E.
Facts on File 2006 Dewey Dec. 954
Land, climate, and prehistory — Caste, kings, and the Hindu world order (1000 B.C.-A.D. 700) — Turks, Afghans, and Mughals (600-1800) — The jewel in the crown (1757-1885) — Becoming modern the colonial way (1800-1900) — Toward freedom (1885-1920) — Gandhi and the nationalist movement (1920-1948) — Constructing the nation (1950-1991) — Bollywood and beyond (1947-2004) — India at the turn of the century (1991-2004)
Watkins, Joanne C.
Columbia University 1996 Dewey Dec. 954
Wheeler, J. Talboys
P.F. Collier & Son1900-01 Dewey Dec. 954
Vol 1: Part I – Hindu India (1500 BC – 1000 AD). Part II – Muhammadan India (1000 AD – 1748). Part III: British India (1700-1785)
Vol 2: Part III: British India (continued) (1785- 1899)
White, John Claude
Longmans, Green 1909 Dewey Dec. 954
Williamson, Margaret D.
Wisdom 1987 Dewey Dec. 954
Wolpert, Stanley A.
University of California 2009 Dewey Dec. 954
4th edition. “This comprehensive history of India begins with the prehistoric cultures, describing early tribal wars, conflicts between Hindu and Islamic religions, and the Mughal rule which gave way to British domination. Continues to the present.
Zwier, Lawrence J.
Lerner 1998 Dewey Dec. 954
The recent conflict and its effects – The conflict’s roots – The present conflict – What’s being done to solve the problem
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