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Books that celebrate Indian History

India has a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years, and many books celebrate various aspects of Indian history. Here are some recommendations across different periods and themes:


Author: John Keay

"India: A History" authored by John Keay, offers a comprehensive and well-researched overview of the Indian subcontinent's history. The book traces its roots back to ancient civilizations and progresses through the medieval period, European colonization, the struggle for independence, and the modern post-independence era. What sets this book apart is its readability and engaging writing style, making it accessible to readers of all levels. It serves as a valuable resource for those seeking an in-depth understanding of India's complex and diverse history.







Author: A.L. Basham

"The Wonder That Was India" written by A.L. Basham is an exceptional literary piece that delves into the cultural, social, and economic history of ancient India. The book offers a comprehensive overview of India's past and covers a vast time span, starting from the earliest Indus Valley Civilization and ending in the medieval period.


While highlighting the unique contributions of India to world civilization, the author emphasizes the nation's early achievements in fields such as mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. "The Wonder That Was India" is celebrated for its scholarly approach, meticulous research, and its ability to present complex historical information in a readable and accessible manner. It remains an important reference for anyone interested in understanding the foundations of Indian civilization.


Author: Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen's book "The Argumentative Indian" is a collection of thought-provoking essays that delve into various aspects of India's cultural and intellectual history. Being a Nobel laureate in economics, Sen uses his expertise to examine the diversity of India's traditions and the role of argumentation in shaping the nation's identity.


The book not only reflects on India's past but also highlights the importance of pluralism and diversity in Indian culture. Sen emphasizes the significance of reasoned discourse in building a fair and inclusive society. "The Argumentative Indian" is a fascinating exploration of India's intellectual heritage and its relevance in the modern world.


Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

"The Palace of Illusions" by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Draupadi, also known as Panchaali. The novel offers a feminist reimagining of this ancient myth and provides a unique and personal lens on the events that unfold.


Divakaruni skillfully combines mythology with a contemporary and feminist perspective, making the characters and events of the Mahabharata accessible to a modern audience. By inviting readers to reconsider the familiar story from a different angle, "The Palace of Illusions" offers a fresh and engaging take on one of the most significant epics in Indian literature.


Author: Shashi Tharoor

"The Great Indian Novel" by Shashi Tharoor is a satirical and imaginative retelling of the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. It is set against the backdrop of the Indian Independence movement and post-independence politics. Tharoor cleverly interweaves mythology with historical events and figures to create a narrative that draws parallels between the ancient epic and the modern political landscape. The novel follows the lives of characters who mirror those from the Mahabharata, with key political figures representing mythological counterparts. Through this clever allegory, Tharoor addresses and critiques various aspects of Indian society, politics, and culture. The story unfolds with humor, wit, and a keen understanding of both the epic and the historical events it mirrors.


"The Great Indian Novel" is a witty and thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of Indian history and politics. It presents an imaginative and satirical commentary on Indian society, culture, and politics, through a clever weaving of mythology and history. Tharoor's writing is both witty and insightful, and the novel offers a compelling allegory for the contemporary political landscape.


These books offer a diverse perspective on Indian history, covering different periods and themes. We hope you found some books worth reading. Do let us know if you have read any of these books!

Thanks a lot for reading!

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