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India is a large country, with more than a dozen official languages, and a multiplicity of cultures. There are several good surveys on the history of India and, more generally, South Asia. A few of them are listed here.
One of the most famous histories of the subcontinent was written by the Cambridge-educated first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. It is written in the fashion of statesmen writing national histories.
One of the most enduring textbooks for the study of Indian civilization and history has been the two volume set by Romila Thapar and Percival Spear. This work has been in print continuously since 1966.
Army and Nation: The Military and Indian Democracy by Steven I. Wilkinson
Publication Date: 2015
Wilkinson looks at the unusual circumstances of India's inherited colonial army. In this book he explores how India has maintained it's army and maintained a democratically elected government contrary to the experiences of many postcolonial nations.
This is a richly illustrated anthology of the great hunter and conservationist's best writing, selected from his many popular works. The collection is meant to represent all phases of the great tiger hunter's life and adventures. (From the Publisher)
The Second Oxford India Illustrated Corbettis another collection of Corbett's best-loved writings complemented by gripping illustrations. The stories reflect Corbetts involvement with India, her people, and her flora and fauna, and this collection includes several written for children. (From the Publisher)
The royal Bengal tiger is on the verge of extinction. There have been other moments in the past when the tiger in India has been threatened. This book traces the history of such crises and conservation efforts to battle them from the nineteenth century right up to the present crisis. (From the Publisher)
The tiger has always evoked awe, fear, and fascination.Ranthambhore: 10 Days in the Tiger Fortresscreates an engrossing, unforgettable portrait of this magnificent creature, featuring many images of tigers in the wild never before captured on film. (From the Publisher)
After a lifetime devoted to the study and conservation of the tiger, Valmik Thapar turns his attention to the plants and animals that share the tiger's domain. Thapar links the region's tremendous diversity to the reverence shown to nature by Eastern religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. (From the Publisher)
The guide includes cutaways, floor plans, and reconstructions of sights such as Humayun's Tomb, the Rajput Fort-Palace and the Taj Mahal. Also included are street-by-street maps of cities and towns, travel tips and local information religious beliefs and practices, wildlife, temples, bazaars, museums. In the DK fashion, this guide includes hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps.
First published in 1989, this title is intended both for first-time visitors and experienced travelers to India. It provides a thoughtful companion to India’s preeminent attractions, exploring the intricacies of art, architecture and everyday life in modern north-west India.
The wealth of literature about the Taj Mahal is overwhelming, but an excellent essay by Wayne Begley, explaining an alternative meaning of the Taj can be found in the Art Bulletin of March 1979 (vol. 61 no. 1).
Otherwise, a good stock guide to the Taj (of which there are plenty) can be supplemented with this heavily illustrated volume. Most guides to the Taj Mahal will have notes and a small piece on the Agra fort.
Written by an award-winning scholar of popular culture and postcolonial modernity, Bollywood's India analyzes the role of the cinema's most popular blockbusters in making, unmaking, and remaking modern India. From the publisher.
The book looks specifically at the films, Awara (1951), Ab Dilli Dur Nahin (1957), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Dil Se (1998), A Wednesday (2008), and 3 Idiots (2009).