Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300 Hardcover – February 5, 2003


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$74.30 $16.98

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 586 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (February 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520238990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520238992
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,133,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Romila Thapar is the most eminent Indian historian. This superb book is not only the basic history of how India came to be and an introduction to how the writing of history takes shape, but also, not the least, a deconstruction of the historical myth and inventions on which is based the present intolerant and exclusivist Hindu nationalism. It is essential reading today."--Eric Hobsbawm

"One of the world's most eminent historians of India, Thapar gives us a thoroughly revised edition of her authoritative general history. This one contains the accumulated research of the last thirty years and includes richly textured accounts of life in ancient India. Like its predecessor, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in India's long and complex history."--Thomas R. Metcalf, Professor of History and Sarah Kailath Professor of Indian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of A Concise History of India

"Incorporating newer findings, methods, and interpretations, this thorough and outstandingly written addition to the author's highly acclaimed History of India, Volume One manifests her long and distinguished service to the study of Indian history. Thapar's skillful analysis of how India's past has been interpreted not only brings greater clarity to the understanding of contemporary India, but also contributes usefully to a broader study of history and historiography."--Peter L. Schmitthenner, Associate Professor of History, Virginia Tech

From the Back Cover

"Romila Thapar is the most eminent Indian historian. This superb book is not only the basic history of how India came to be and an introduction to how the writing of history takes shape, but also, not the least, a deconstruction of the historical myth and inventions on which is based the present intolerant and exclusivist Hindu nationalism. It is essential reading today."-Eric Hobsbawm "One of the world's most eminent historians of India, Thapar gives us a thoroughly revised edition of her authoritative general history. This one contains the accumulated research of the last thirty years and includes richly textured accounts of life in ancient India. Like its predecessor, this is indispensable reading for anyone interested in India's long and complex history."-Thomas R. Metcalf, Professor of History and Sarah Kailath Professor of Indian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of A Concise History of India "Incorporating newer findings, methods, and interpretations, this thorough and outstandingly written addition to the author's highly acclaimed History of India, Volume One manifests her long and distinguished service to the study of Indian history. Thapar's skillful analysis of how India's past has been interpreted not only brings greater clarity to the understanding of contemporary India, but also contributes usefully to a broader study of history and historiography."-Peter L. Schmitthenner, Associate Professor of History, Virginia Tech

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Raveesh Varma on March 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having recently finished reading Ms. Thapar's work on Indian History up to AD 1300 (Penguin), I must conclude that it is a very impressive volume. A great deal of research and study must have gone into the creation of such a remarkable opus. I thought it was all-in-all, very respectful of its subject, and especially effective in peeling away centuries of pre- and mis-conceptions imposed by colonial/western commentators. I did not consider the book, in any way, anti-India or anti-Hindu. Anyway, a few points I will make are as follows:

1. Ms. Thapar introduces many remarkable and unusual ideas at the very start of her book (in my opinion, the best part), such as race being a colonial construction. But, she fails to discuss these adequately, and very often allows her thoughts to pass on to oblivion, rather than to a definite conclusion. Maybe, a "definite conclusion" does not exist, at this point-of-time, but a more in-depth approach would have been preferred (even if it added pages to the book).

2. Secondly, the quotes used on the back cover seem to imply, that this book should be primarily taken as rebuttal to farfetched claims made about Indian history, within India today. I don't think this is how this book should be advertised. It is so much more than just that.

3. The material presented deals primarily with the social, and even economic, history of India. There is a great deal to be found on art, literature, science and architecture. But, my impression was off cultural, social and religious history, rather than political history. I understand that kings do not constitute the alpha and omega of history, but Ms. Thapar barely even mentions kings of influence, such as Kanishka, or even travelers and chroniclers, such as Fa-Hein, in any detail.

4.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Pactor VINE VOICE on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is something I've learned about Indian history: It is pretty controversial to write anything about Indian History. There is very little you can actually say or write about Indian history without angering someone who cares very passionately about the subject your are speaking or writing about. Undoubtably, the single biggest factor in aggravating the debate on Indian historical subjects is the "Hindu Nationalism Movement." People in the US who are even aware of this phenomenon typically describe it in political terms, for example, when writing about the actions of the BJP or "Bharatiya Janata Party" but it should surprise no one that Hindu Nationalist ideas extend directly into historical research, writing and debate. Hindu Nationalism inspired ideas take many forms in the discussion of Early Indian History.

First, there is the debate, now largely won, by the way, over whether the initial Vedic migration into India was an "invasion" or not. Obviously, Hindu Nationalists would rather have it be said that there was no invasion, and many would further argue that India is the home of ALL Indo European Languages. Well, the good news: No Aryan invasion, more like small scale migration over many years. The bad news: There is no way that the Indo European language family originated in North West India, so call that one a draw. Even finding a "neutral" source on this subject is difficult, but Romila Thapar does a good job of presenting the current historical facts in a non-inflammatory fashion.

Another major area of dispute colored by Hindu Nationalism are the pre-Mughal Turkish led raids into Western India, which allegedly resulted in temple destruction and the building of a mosque over said temple location.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lakshmi Srinivas on March 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's an excellent work despite the detractors who would view Thapar's works judgmentally, considering she has made no efforts to hide her Marxian credentials.
As someone said, it's not a revision but a totally rewritten work. While I agree with this, it would bear pointing out that there is a basic unity of purpose in the two works viz., her stress on the study of the evolution and growth of polities by means of analysis of larger socio economic trends, supported by study of material and other evidence. To this end, there is a long first chapter on historiography incl sources. Her approach is a contrast to the royal chronicle style of writing Indian history, a legacy of the British colonial times still in evidence in the new nationalist histories.
It's a riveting narration of facts and interpretation. The book is of uniform quality although there are one or two aspects where it could do with improved treatment.
I have the chapter titled "The Peninsula: Emerging Regional Kingdoms" in mind. The current work still carries the treatment of the Tamil bhakti movement over from the original Penguin edition. This is in effect a retrofitting of the character of medieval north Indian bhakti onto Tamilnadu of almost a millennium before. Inadequate knowledge of the Tamil bhakti texts on the part of Thapar as well as her informants such as R Champakalakshmi, refered to in the author's preface, might be to blame here. Some insight into religious traditions and practice might have helped here to place the bhakti movement in appropriate socio economic context and thus evaluate its contribution to the emerging polity.
Barring a few blemishes, it is a magisterial presentation and is unlikely to be bettered for quite a while.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?