Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger


Stanley Wolpert (Author)

Not available in South Asia

Paperback, 264 pages
ISBN: 9780520260320
August 2009
$34.95, £28.00
This new edition brings Stanley Wolpert's brilliantly succinct and accessible introduction to India completely up to date for a new generation of readers, travelers, and students. In crisp detail, Wolpert gives a panoramic overview of the continent on which the world's most fascinating ancient civilization gave birth to one of its most complex modern democratic nations. India now includes new sections on the country's current global economic development, the recent national elections, and on its international relations, including those with Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka, and the United States, India's new strategic global partner.
Preface to the 2009 Edition

1. The Environment
The River
Monsoon Rains
Mountain Walls

2. Historical Prologue
Pre-Aryan Urbanization
Aryan Conquests and Emerging Synthesis
Ancient Imperial Unification and Its Limits
Islamic Conquests
Westernization and Modernization
Young India's Revolutions and Reforms
The Impact of Mahatma Gandhi

3. Religion and Philosophy
Yoga and Shaivism
Mother Goddess Worship
Nonviolent Buddhism and Jainism
Laws of Action and Reincarnation
Devotional Vaishnavism
Higher Hindu Philosophy
Islam in India
Modernist Religious Movements

4. Society
Caste and Class
The Family
Roles of Women
Village Life
The Urban Revolution

5. Arts and Sciences
Dance, Drama, and Music
Worship in Bronze and Stone
Caves, Temple and Regal Art, and Architecture
The Art of Literature
Scientific Contributions

6. Polity and Foreign Policy
Kingship and Democracy
Economic Planning and Development

Foreign Policy
Indo-U.S. Relations
Indo-Pak Relations
Sino-Indian Relations
Indo-Sri Lankan Relations

The Future


Suggested Additional Reading

Stanley Wolpert is the author of fourteen books, including A New History of India, now in its eighth edition, and Gandhi's Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. He has taught the history of India and Pakistan at the University of California, Los Angeles, since 1958.
“Wolpert is a masterful storyteller. . . . The work reflects the wisdom and global vision of someone who has dedicated a career to the study of South Asian history and more.”—Pamela Lothspeich Journal Of Contemporary Asia
Praise for previous editions:

“To all of us who delightedly and sometimes repetitively call ourselves Old India hands, Stanley Wolpert is the acknowledged authority. This book tells why. Indian history, art, culture, and contemporary politics are here in accurate, wide-ranging, and lucid prose."—John Kenneth Galbraith

“Wolpert understands India. . . . . Fluent, wide-ranging and often wise, this volume is a useful addition to a shelf of books on India.”—Washington Post Book World

“A superb distillation of a lifetime's learning by UCLA's great historian of India. Refreshingly concrete and detailed, [and] vibrantly written, Wolpert's overview repeatedly succeeds at explaining a culture that gave us little things like the decimal system, chess, cotton cloth, meditation, and two religions called Buddhism and Hinduism.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

“If one were to read a single book about India in a lifetime, this should be it.”—Library Journal

Join UC Press

Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more