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The Sikhs of the Punjab (The New Cambridge History of India) [Paperback]

J. S. Grewal
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 28, 1998 0521637643 978-0521637640 Reprint
This important new contribution to the New Cambridge History of India examines chronologically the entire span of Sikh history from prehistoric times to the present day. In an introductory chapter, Professor Grewal surveys the changing pattern of human settlements in the Punjab until the fifteenth century and the emergence of the Punjabi language as the basis of regional articulation. Subsequent chapters explore the life and beliefs of Guru Nanak--the founder of Sikhism; the extension and modification of his ideas by his successors; the increasing number and composition of their followers and the development of Sikh self identity. Professor Grewal also analyzes the emergence of Sikhism in relation to the changing historical situation of Turko-Afghan rule, the Mughal empire and its disintegration, British rule and independence.

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Editorial Reviews


"J. S. Grewal's book is an extremely valuable reference work for Sikh and Punjabi history from Guru Nanak's day down to the present." American Historical Review

"This contribution to The New Cambridge History of India provides the most balanced account of the Sikhs of the Punjab. It is certain to become a classic....[A]n example of fine scholarship, reflecting both the author's maturity and his lifetime's work in the field." Pashaura Singh, Pacific Affairs

Book Description

A revised edition of the original book traces the history of the Sikhs from the time of its founder, Guru Nanak, right up to the present. It offers a comprehensive statement on one of the largest and most important communities in India today.

Product Details

  • Series: The New Cambridge History of India (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (October 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521637643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521637640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sikh History Book November 9, 2000
By A Customer
The task of writing any religious group's history is like walking on a mine field. Grewal has come out of this walk unscathed, nothing less than a miracle. Many historians have burnt their fingers doing what Grewal has done so well. This books starts with the evolution of Sikh philosophy and traces the Sikh history as it went through many twists and turns. The noticable difference is that author doesn't treat Sikhs in isolation from their surroundings. It puts the Sikhs and their history in full social context of those times. In fact, the book also offers the best history of Mughal period as it coincides with Sikh Gurus very well. It dwells upon the political, cultural and religious unfolding of this period. The internal conflict among various Sikh sects and communities is represented very well. The language is very crisp, concise and without any repetition or unwanted opinion pieces. Anyone trying to understand the modern political upheaval in the region must start with this book. It covers the period from well before Guru Nanak to 1980s. One can easily see why it took author 10 years to write it. A must for anyone having anything to do with Sikhs or Punjab. Worth every cent of its price.
A caution. The recent events brought out many "pop" books on Sikh history. Most, if not all, are just long op-ed articles, sprinkled with catchy photos, glossy papers and hot politcal buttons. Just a waste of your money.
J.S. Grewal's is truly the first professional history of Sikhs. It sets bar quite high fo future historians.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dense, Fact-Packed Read May 19, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a dense, fact-packed book. It is not lightly written, but a rigorous and serious academic study of the Sikh people from their inception with the Guru Nanak up to the period of political turmoil that both preceded and followed the Operation Bluestar raid in Amritsar. Academics will no doubt find this a valuable treasure to have on their shelves, but the reader who is not anointed in the history or religion of the Sikhs will find this a difficult, arduous read. So, for the initiated I would give it five stars, but for the novice more like three - so I have compromised on four. If you want to know about the Sikhs and their history, you should read this book, but if you don't know anything about them, you should start elsewhere and work your way towards this book.
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