The Shortest History of India

by John Zubrzycki





Published by Old Street Publishing

Published February 2024

Books > History

From the tantalising traces of ancient Harappan civilisation to the emerging superpower of today, here is India’s story in all its contradictions, drama and splendour.

In The Shortest History of India, John Zubrzycki distils five millennia of gods and kings, conquerors and colonisers into an epic tale teeming with personalities both legendary and largely unknown outside India. Gautama Buddha, Alexander the Great and Mahatma Gandhi share the stage with Candragupta (‘India’s Julius Caesar’), Nizam Saqqa, the water-carrier who became king for a day, and Raziyya, the first Muslim woman to rule in the subcontinent.

The later chapters reveal a modern India riven by contrasts: the brutal reality of partition and the fantasies of Bollywood, booming IT businesses and expanding slums. In conclusion, Zubrzycki asks whether internal challenges – from religious tensions to an increasingly undemocratic regime – might still thwart India’s rise to wealth and power.

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