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William Dalrymple

author
historian
journalist

Recommended Books

William Dalrymple is a Scottish historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a broadcaster and critic. His books have won numerous awards and prizes, including the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Hemingway, the Kapuściński and the Wolfson Prizes. He is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.
11 books on the list
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Haunting the Buddha
Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism
Robert Decaroli - Sep 30, 2004
Goodreads Rating
Early European histories of India frequently reflected colonialist agendas. The idea that Indian society had declined from an earlier Golden Age helped justify the colonial presence. It was said, for example, that modern Buddhism had fallen away from its original identity as a purely rational philosophy that arose in the mythical 5th-century BCE Go...
William Dalrymple
Apr 12, 2021
@SVOjha Robert Decaroli's excellent Haunting the Buddha, p74-5. Its a brilliant book and I highly recommend it.      source
The Tale of the Horse
A History of India on Horseback
Yashaswini Chandra - Jan 01, 2021
Goodreads Rating
The Tale of the Horse: A History of India on Horseback...
William Dalrymple
Jan 30, 2021
@maryanntheresa Try The Tale of the Horse by @Yashaswini_Ch or Akbar by @mukhoty Both fabulous books      source
Inglorious Empire
What the British Did to India
Shashi Tharoor - Sep 01, 2017 (first published in 2016)
Goodreads Rating
Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India — from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj — and reveals how Britain’s rise was built upon its plunder of India.In the eighteenth century, India’s share of the world economy was as large as Europe’s. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased ...
William Dalrymple
Dec 07, 2020
@MonsieurBenger @historychappy I think its a very important book nonetheless, and has done more to alter the narrative than whole libraries of dustier and duller books on colonialism. I'm a big fan of the author and his basic argument is not only correct but forcefully, eloquently and stylishly laid out.      source
Stealing from the Saracens
How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe
Diana Darke - Nov 01, 2020
Goodreads Rating
Against a backdrop of Islamophobia, Europeans are increasingly airbrushing from history their cultural debt to the Muslim world. But this legacy lives on in some of Europe's most recognizable buildings, from Notre-Dame Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament. This beautifully illustrated book reveals the Arab and Islamic roots of Europe's architectur...
William Dalrymple
Nov 14, 2020
It's a fabulous book!      source
Crossing the Bay of Bengal
The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants
Sunil S. Amrith - Oct 05, 2015 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead....
William Dalrymple
Aug 28, 2020
@ReshmiDG @sanjeevsanyal @JLFLitfest My favourite book on that subject is Crossing the Bay of Bengal by Sunil S Amrith, a young Harvard historian, who we also had @JLFLitfest One of the very best books on Indian history I've read in the last decade- pretty close to a full-out masterpiece. You'd love it.      source
AKBAR
The Great Mughal
Ira Mukhoty - Apr 10, 2020
Goodreads Rating
Abu’l Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, is widely regarded as one of the greatest rulers in India’s history. During his reign, the Mughal Empire was one of the wealthiest in the world, and covered much of the Indian subcontinent. Although there are dozens of books on the empire, there are surprisingly few full-length accou...
William Dalrymple
Jul 19, 2020
@srikramanam How ignorant you are! Can I humbly suggest you spend less time on Twitter and more time reading history? To take three recent books, Supriya Gandhi's Dara Sikoh, @mukhoty Akbar or @UnamPillai 's Rebel Sultans. All very accessible for non-historians. Just try a little learning...      source
The Emperor Who Never Was
Dara Shukoh in Mughal India
Supriya Gandhi - Jan 07, 2020
Goodreads Rating
The definitive biography of the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan, whose death at the hands of his younger brother Aurangzeb changed the course of South Asian history.Dara Shukoh was the eldest son of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, best known for commissioning the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Although the Mughal...
William Dalrymple
Jul 19, 2020
@srikramanam How ignorant you are! Can I humbly suggest you spend less time on Twitter and more time reading history? To take three recent books, Supriya Gandhi's Dara Sikoh, @mukhoty Akbar or @UnamPillai 's Rebel Sultans. All very accessible for non-historians. Just try a little learning...      source
Rebels sultans
The deccan from Khilji to Shivaji
Manu S. Pillai - Jan 01, 2018
Goodreads Rating
BRAND NEW, Exactly same ISBN as listed, Please double check ISBN carefully before ordering. ...
William Dalrymple
Jul 19, 2020
@srikramanam How ignorant you are! Can I humbly suggest you spend less time on Twitter and more time reading history? To take three recent books, Supriya Gandhi's Dara Sikoh, @mukhoty Akbar or @UnamPillai 's Rebel Sultans. All very accessible for non-historians. Just try a little learning...      source
The Corporation That Changed the World
How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational
Nick Robins - Oct 11, 2012 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
The English East India Company was the mother of the modern multinational. Its trading empire encircled the globe, importing Asian luxuries such as spices, textiles and teas. But it also conquered much of India with its private army and broke open China's markets with opium. The Company’s practices shocked its contemporaries and still reverberate t...
William Dalrymple
Sep 29, 2019
@SheryHyder Nick Robin's womderful book was a huge influence on me      source
The Hidden History of Burma
Race, Capitalism, and the Crisis of Democracy in the 21st Century
Thant Myint-U - Nov 12, 2019
Goodreads Rating
Precariously positioned between China and India, Burma’s population has suffered dictatorship, natural disaster, and the dark legacies of colonial rule. But when decades of military dictatorship finally ended and internationally beloved Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from long years of house arrest, hopes soared. World leaders such as Bara...
William Dalrymple
Sep 05, 2019
Another book I hugely enjoyed is the forthcoming Hidden History of Burma by Thant Myint-U. It should be read for the pleasure of the author's prose, but it is also vital background reading to anyone trying to understand the Rohingya crisis or the complexities of South Asia.      source
Also recommended by
Samantha Power
India Discovered
The Recovery of a Lost Civilization
John Keay - Sep 30, 2001 (first published in 1981)
Goodreads Rating
Two hundred years ago, India was seen as a place with little history and less culture. Today it is revered for a notable prehistory, a magnificent classical age and a cultural tradition unique in both character and continuity. How this extraordinary change in perception came about is the subject of this book by the author of India: A History....
William Dalrymple
Jan 11, 2019
@rajatub I love that book! It was the first non-fiction book I read when I first came to India aged 18 in 1984      source