Empires of the Indus
The Story of a River
The Indus rises in Tibet to flow west across India before turning south through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries it has been a route of imperial conquest. Following the mighty river upstream, this award-winning travelogue takes the reader on a voyage through 2,000 miles of spectacular landscapes and fiercely contested territory, and back through 5,000 years.
A Brief History of the Martial Arts
East Asian Fighting Styles, from Kung Fu to Ninjutsu
Many of the martial arts of East Asia claim a history dating back thousands of years; this introduction to the subject traces the evidence to the Middle Ages and unravels the legends that claim a more ancient provenance.
The King Never Smiles
A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej
When he died, King Bhumibol (1927–2016) was the world’s longest serving monarch, having reigned since 1946. Seen by his people as the living Buddha, he was hailed as the saviour of democracy after a coup in 1991. Subsequently, criticism of his lucrative links to business and the military was firmly suppressed. Defying the ban on investigating the monarchy, this 2006 biography profiles a shrewd political operator who veiled autocracy beneath an egalitarian public image.
The Military History of China
This history of China’s military conflicts spans from Genghis Khan’s rule to today’s presidency of Xi Jinping, and includes the Sino-French war, the Boxer Rebellion, the occupation of Tibet and the Korean War. Descriptions of each conflict are written as concise short stories.
The Battle of Plassey 1757
The Victory That Won an Empire
When Clive of India and his tiny detachment of army officers and mercenaries defeated the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in a mango grove near Plassey, he secured all of Bengal and, eventually, the whole of India for the East India Company. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of private papers, this study of the battle and the 13 months of campaigns leading up to it commemorates the men on both sides who fought and died in the conflict.
Blood and Sand
Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
This detailed account of 16 days in late 1956 juxtaposes the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis (or Second Arab-Israeli War) which, though thousands of miles apart, were both driven by Cold War tensions and threatened the precarious stability between the USA and USSR. Alex Von Tunzelmann’s tense narrative, which switches rapidly between locations (London, Tel Aviv, Washington, Budapest, etc.), describes the powerplay between protagonists, including Ben-Gurion, Eden, Eisenhower, Nasser and Nagy, which resulted in conspiracy, assassination and bloodshed.
A Short History
Dismayed by historians’ focus on the British imperial era, Andrew Robinson, the author of books on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, presents a non-academic study of India, from the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium BCE, to the present day. Robinson tackles significant aspects in India’s story, rather than aiming to be comprehensive, and treats individuals, ideas and cultures as equal in importance to the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties and economies.
A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
The city of Hu? was of major strategic importance to the US Army in Vietnam, but the January 1968 offensive against the city by the North Vietnamese Army led, as the Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden shows, to the war’s costliest campaign. Slightly off-mint.