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A History of Nepalby John Whelpton
Synopses & Reviews
While John Whelpton's history of Nepal focuses on the period since the overthrow of the Rana family autocracy in 1950-51, the early chapters are devoted to the origins of the kingdom and the evolving relations of its diverse peoples. Whelpton portrays a country of extraordinary contrasts, whose history has been buffeted constantly by its neighbors, China and India. Economic and political turmoil over the last fifty years came to a climax with the massacre of the royal family in 2001, when the country erupted into civil war. This book is the most comprehensive and accessible English-language one-volume history of Nepal. John Whelpton, who works as a teacher in Hong Kong, is an historian and linguist. He has worked and traveled extensively in Nepal, and has written numerous articles and books on the subject. These include Nationalism &Ethnicity in a Hindu Kingdom: The Politics and Culture of Contemporary Nepal (Routledge, 1997), and Kings, Soldiers and Priests: Nepalese Politics and the Rise of Jang Bahadur Rana, 1830-1857 (South Asia Books, 1992).
Book News Annotation:
Writing for the general reader, historian and linguist Whelpton offers a history of Nepal that emphasizes the importance of long-term processes of change, even in a country marked by sudden and violent political change. He covers the period from the late 17th century expansion of the hill kingdom of Gorkha to the 1951 fall of the Rana family (hereditary prime ministers roughly analogous to the Japanese Shoguns) in a relatively standard chronological format. Switching to a thematic structure for the remaining material covering 1951 to the 2001 massacre of the royal family and the ongoing Maoist rebellion, he devotes chapters to the economy, the environment, and development; demographic, ideological, and other social changes; and political developments.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The first comprehensive and accessible single-volume history of Nepal. Early chapters are devoted to the origins of the kingdom, while the focus of the book is on the last fifty years when economic and political turmoil climaxed in the massacre of the royal family and the resulting civil war.
The first single-volume history of Nepal to be written in English.
The first comprehensive and accessible one-volume history of Nepal to be written in English.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Environment, state and society in the central Himalayas to 1743; 2. Unification and Sanskritisation, 1743-1885; 3. Nepal under the Shamsher Ranas, 1885-1951; 4. The monarchy in ascendance: domestic politics and foreign relations, 1951-91; 5. The quest for 'development': economy and environment, 1951-91; 6. Lifestyles, values, identities: changes in Nepalese society, 1951-91; 7. Democracy and disillusionment: Nepal since 1991.
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History and Social Science » Asia » General