Author: Sanjeev Sanyal
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2012-11-15
DID THE GREAT FLOOD OF INDIAN LEGEND ACTUALLY HAPPEN? WHY DID THE BUDDHA WALK TO SARNATH TO GIVE HIS FIRST SERMON? HOW DID THE EUROPEANS MAP INDIA? The history of any country begins with its geography. With sparkling wit and intelligence, Sanjeev Sanyal sets off to explore India and look at how the country’s history was shaped by, among other things, its rivers, mountains and cities. Traversing remote mountain passes, visiting ancient archaeological sites, crossing rivers in shaky boats and immersing himself in old records and manuscripts, he considers questions about Indian history that we rarely ask: Why do Indians call their country Bharat? How did the British build the railways across the subcontinent? Why was the world’s highest mountain named after George Everest? Moving from the geological beginnings of the subcontinent to present-day Gurgaon, Land of the Seven Rivers is riveting, wry and full of surprises. It is the most entertaining history of India you will ever read.
Could you be related to a blonde Lithuanian? Did you know that India is the only country that has both lions and tigers? Who found out how tall Mt Everest is? If you've ever wanted to know the answers to questions like these, this is the book for you. In here you will find various things you never expected, such as the fact that we still greet each other like the Harappans did and that people used to think India was full of one-eyed giants. And, sneakily, you'll also know more about India's history and geography by the end of it. Full of quirky pictures and crazy trivia, this book takes you on a fantastic journey through the incredible history of India's geography.
Much of human history has played itself out along the rim of the Indian Ocean. In a first-of-its-kind attempt, bestselling author Sanjeev Sanyal tells the history of this significant region, which stretches across East Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to South East Asia and Australia. He narrates a fascinating tale about the earliest human migrations out of Africa and the great cities of Angkor and Vijayanagar; medieval Arab empires and Chinese ‘treasure fleets’; the rivalries of European colonial powers and a new dawn. Sanjeev explores remote archaeological sites, ancient inscriptions, maritime trading networks and half-forgotten oral histories, to make exciting revelations. In his inimitable style, he draws upon existing and new evidence to challenge well-established claims about famous historical characters and the flow of history. Adventurers, merchants, explorers, monks, swashbuckling pirates, revolutionaries and warrior princesses populate this colourful and multifaceted narrative. The Ocean of Churn takes the reader on an amazing journey through medieval geopolitics and eyewitness accounts of long-lost cities to the latest genetic discoveries about human origins, bringing alive a region that has defined civilization from the very beginning.
Author: M. J. Morgan
Publisher: SIU Press
Release Date: 2010-07-06
Drawing on research from a variety of academic fields, such as archaeology, history, botany, ecology, and physical science, M. J. Morgan explores the intersection of people and the environment in early eighteenth-century Illinois Country—a stretch of fecund, alluvial river plain along the Mississippi river. Arguing against the traditional narrative that describes Illinois as an untouched wilderness until the influx of American settlers, Morgan illustrates how the story began much earlier. She focuses her study on early French and Indian communities, and later on the British, nestled within the tripartite environment of floodplain, riverine cliffs and bluffs, and open, upland till plain/prairie and examines the impact of these diverse groups of people on the ecological landscape. By placing human lives within the natural setting of the period—the abundant streams and creeks, the prairies, plants and wildlife—she traces the environmental change that unfolded across almost a century. She describes how it was a land in motion; how the occupying peoples used, extracted, and extirpated its resources while simultaneously introducing new species; and how the flux and flow of life mirrored the movement of the rivers. Morgan emphasizes the importance of population sequences, the relationship between the aboriginals and the Europeans, the shared use of resources, and the effects of each on the habitat. Land of Big Rivers is a unique, many-themed account of the big-picture ecological change that occurred during the early history of the Illinois Country. It is the first book to consider the environmental aspects of the Illinois Indian experience and to reconsider the role of the French and British in environmental change in the mid-Mississippi Valley. It engagingly recreates presettlement Illinois with a remarkable interdisciplinary approach and provides new details that will encourage understanding of the interaction between physical geography and the plants, animals, and people in the Illinois Country. Furthermore, it exhibits the importance of looking at the past in the context of environmental transformation, which is especially relevant in light of today’s global climate change.
One thousand years ago, India was at the height of its power, influencing the world with its ideas and trade. Now, ten centuries later, India’s recent economic performance is once again attracting world attention as the country re-awakens not just as an economy but as a civilization. In The Indian Renaissance: India’s Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline, Sanjeev Sanyal looks at the processes that led to ten centuries of decline. He also examines the powerful economic and social forces that are working together to transform India beyond recognition. These range from demographic shifts to rising literacy levels and, the most important revolution, the opening of minds and changed attitude towards innovation and risk—fundamental, if India is to take advantage of the twenty-first century.
A spiritual history of India draws on more than a decade of work by a Harvard University scholar and provides coverage of its sacred places, its core tenets and the historical events of specific regions while sharing a basic introduction to Hindu religious ideas and how they have influenced modern India. Reprint.
Author: Buddy Levy
Release Date: 2011
Chronicles the efforts of conquistador Francisco Orellana, a lieutenant of Gonzalo Pizarro, to locate the fabled El Dorado, tracing how Orellana became the first European to discover and navigate the Amazon.
Author: Michel Danino
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Release Date: 2010
The Indian subcontinent was the scene of dramatic upheavals a few thousand years ago. The Northwest region entered an arid phase, and erosion coupled with tectonic events played havoc with river courses. One of them disappeared. Celebrated as Sarasvati in the Rig Veda and the Mahabharata, this river was rediscovered in the early nineteenth century through topographic explorations by British officials. Recently, geological and climatological studies have probed its evolution and disappearance, while satellite imagery has traced the river s buried courses and isotope analyses have dated ancient waters still stored under the Thar Desert. In the same Northwest, the subcontinent s first urban society the Indus civilization flourished and declined. But it was not watered by the Indus alone: since Aurel Stein s expedition in the 1940s, hundreds of Harappan sites have been identified in the now dry Sarasvati s basin. The rich Harappan legacy in technologies, arts and culture sowed the seeds of Indian civilization as we know it now. Drawing from recent research in a wide range of disciplines, this book discusses differing viewpoints and proposes a harmonious synthesis a fascinating tale of exploration that brings to life the vital role the lost river of the Indian desert played before its waters gurgled to a stop.
Author: Jeffrey F. Mount
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1995-11-08
California Rivers and Streams provides a clear and informative overview of the physical and biological processes that shape California's rivers and watersheds. Jeffrey Mount introduces relevant basic principles of hydrology and geomorphology and applies them to an understanding of the differences in character of the state's many rivers. He then builds on this foundation by evaluating the impact on waterways of different land use practices—logging, mining, agriculture, flood control, urbanization, and water supply development. Water may be one of California's most valuable resources, but it is far from being one we control. In spite of channels, levees, lines and dams, the state's rivers still frequently flood, with devastating results. Almost all the rivers in California are dammed or diverted; with the booming population, there will be pressure for more intervention. Mount argues that Californians know little about how their rivers work and, more importantly, how and why land-use practices impact rivers. The forceful reconfiguration and redistribution of the rivers has already brought the state to a critical crossroads. California Rivers and Streams forces us to reevaluate our use of the state's rivers and offers a foundation for participating in the heated debates about their future.
Just a thousand years ago, India was dotted with universities across its length and breadth, where international students flocked to gain credentials in advanced education. This illustrated book describes how these multi-disciplinary centers of learning existed in several forms such as forest universities, brick-and-mortar universities and temple universities. It examines the funding for these citadels of learning and their graduation ceremonies. The process by which India’s ancient systems of education helped to fuel a knowledge revolution around the world with its manuscripts, forming the basis for monographs and academic papers, is explained with references. The marauding incursions by Muslim invaders, which disrupted the idyllic world of university learning in India, followed by European colonization, which led to further erosion and degeneration of India’s traditional learning systems, have been taken up in some detail. Readers will get a snapshot view of India's education system down the ages from ancient to modern times.
Author: Krista Schlyer
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Release Date: 2018-11-12
Incorporating seven years of photography and research, Krista Schlyer portrays life along the Anacostia River, a Washington, DC, waterway rich in history and biodiversity that has nonetheless lingered for years in obscurity and neglect in our nation’s capital. River of Redemption offers an experience of the river that reveals its eons of natural history, centuries of destruction, and decades of restoration efforts. The story of the Anacostia echoes the story of rivers across America. Inspired by Aldo Leopold’s classic book, A Sand County Almanac, Krista Schlyer evokes a consciousness of time and place, taking readers through the seasons in the watershed as well as through the river’s complex history and ecology. As with rivers nationwide, the ways we’ve changed the Anacostia affect the people and wildlife that inhabit its shores, from the headwaters in Maryland, past its confluence with the Potomac River, and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay. Centuries of abuse at the hands of people who have altered the landscape and mistreated the waterway have transformed it into a polluted, toxic soup unfit for swimming or fishing. The forgotten river is both a reminder of the worst humanity can do to the natural landscape and a wellspring of memory that offers a roadmap back to health and well-being for watershed residents, human and non-human alike. Blending stunning photography with informative and poignant text, River of Redemption offers the opportunity to reinvent our role in urban ecology and to redeem our relationship with this national river and watersheds nationwide.
Author: David S. Faldet
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Release Date: 2009-04-01
Whether profiling the chief of the last hunter-gatherers on the river, an early settler witnessing her first prairie fire and a modern wildlife biologist using fire to manage prairies, the manager of the Granger Farmer’s Co-op Creamery, or a landowner whose bottomlands are continually eaten away by floods, Faldet steadily develops the central idea that people are walking tributaries of the river basin in which they make their homes. Faldet moves through the history of life along the now-polluted Upper Iowa, always focusing on the ways people depend on the river, the environment, and the resources of the region. He blends contemporary conversations, readings from the historical record, environmental research, and personal experience to show us that the health of the river is best guaranteed by maintaining the biological communities that nurture it. In return, taking care of the Upper Iowa is the best way to take care of our future.
“In his long career of exploration and scholarship, Hemming has become a powerful advocate for the Amazon.”—The New York Times, John Hemming Amazonia is one of the most magnificent habitats on earth. Containing the world’s largest river, with more water and a broader basin than any other, it hosts a great expanse of tropical rain forest, home to the planet’s most luxuriant biological diversity. The human beings who settled in the region 10,000 years ago learned to live well with its bounty of fish, game, and vegetation. It was not until 1500 that Europeans first saw the Amazon, and, unsurprisingly, the rain forest’s unique environment has attracted larger-than-life personalities through the centuries. John Hemming recalls the adventures and misadventures of intrepid explorers, fervent Jesuit ecclesiastics, and greedy rubber barons who enslaved thousands of Indians in the relentless quest for profit. He also tells of nineteenth-century botanists, fearless advocates for Indian rights, and the archaeologists and anthropologists who have uncovered the secrets of the Amazon’s earliest settlers. Hemming discusses the current threat to Amazonia as forests are destroyed to feed the world’s appetite for timber, beef, and soybeans, and he vividly describes the passionate struggles taking place in order to utilize, protect, and understand the Amazon.
Told from the frank and refreshing perspective of a practicing Hindu, this book analyses the importance of Hinduism as the secular, plural middle path in the battle between Islam and Christianity that is playing out across the globe. Being Hindu presents a faith of peace, liberation, and understanding in an increasingly violent world.