The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

Free PDF The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

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The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

Free PDF The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

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The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate, by Abraham Eraly

The Delhi Sultanate period (1206-1526) is commonly portrayed as an age of chaos and violence-of plundering kings, turbulent dynasties, and the aggressive imposition of Islam on India. But it was also the era that saw the creation of a pan-Indian empire, on the foundations of which the Mughals and the British later built their own Indian empires. The encounter between Islam and Hinduism also transformed, among other things, India s architecture, literature, music and food. Abraham Eraly brings this fascinating period vividly alive, combining erudition with powerful storytelling, and analysis with anecdote.

  • Sales Rank: #1774192 in Books
  • Published on: 2015-04-01
  • Dimensions: 6.61″ h x 1.18″ w x 9.25″ l, 1.20 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 464 pages

Review
Wonderfully well researched … engrossing, enlightening. –The Hindu

Provocative; a must-read. –Mint

An insightful perspective … Eraly has a unique ability to create portraits which come to life on the page. –Time Out

About the Author
Abraham Eraly is the author of four acclaimed volumes on premodern Indian history— The Last Spring: The Lives and Times of the Great Mughals (later published in two volumes, as Emperors of the Peacock Throne and The Mughal World), Gem in the Lotus: The Seeding of Indian Civilisation, The First Spring: The Golden Age of India and The Age of Wrath: A History of the Delhi Sultanate. He was born in Kerala and educated there and in Chennai. He has taught Indian history in colleges in India and the United States, and was the editor of a current affairs magazine for several years.

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
A case of editorial negligence
By Critical faculty
I have enjoyed Eraly’s past publications about the Mughals and have long been intrigued by the five dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate based on previous reading in Wolsley Haig and Majumdar’s monumental history of India. So I was delighted that he had taken on this complex and confusing period in his latest work of popular history. I was very eager to obtain a copy. To his credit, the book did hold my attention throughout and I was able to follow the complex cast of characters with very little confusion. I give him high marks for his narrative abilities. Unfortunately, I thought his analytical comments were frequently less than insightful and seemed to reflect the antiquated notions of an earlier generation of historians — particularly in his assessments of tyrannical behavior, the sexual proclivities of certain sultans (which apparently sapped their potency as political figures — an apparent holdover from Victorian prudery and prurient Orientalist fascination) and the remarkably juvenile explanation for the Islamic subjugation of India (in part, enervating climatic effects on the Hindus!). Also, his editors have failed him with this volume. It is cheaply produced on poor quality paper with nothing in the way of illustration (no photographs, genealogical charts or maps). Such things are very necessary to the novice in this period and this book is clearly pitched to that audience. Probably, the editors had no faith in its marketability and wanted to save on production costs. But worst of all, there are many mechanical errors in the text along with annoying misuse of words. There is a large-scale repetition of text from the intro in a later part of the book. Any author will have such errors and oversights in an initial manuscript but a good editor can be counted on to catch most of them. Not in this case. I feel very badly for Mr. Eraly. This book’s overall failure is probably not his fault. I have enjoyed reading this book, but for me, it is not a “keeper.”

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Signficant, but needs rewrite
By Sceptique500
A full-length treatment of the history of the Delhi Sultanate (over 400 pages) is a welcome addition to the general history of India. The author’s style is fresh and engaging and is eminently readable. These are big points in its favor, and one would like to recommend it. Unfortunately, the text is poorly structured and full of repetitions. A substantial rewrite would significantly improve it. Cutting out the redundancies would probably reduce the word count by one quarter, which would be a major boon. Tightening and deepening the arguments would enhance the quality of the work.

This book consists of two major sections. Section I (Part II – VI) is a chronicle of the of “India’s medieval history,” but in fact from before the Delhi Sultanate at the time of Gazni to the Moghuls (at times, the author goes beyond the original scope of recording the Sultanate, and seems intent on making the book a history of India altogether; his forays are however half-hearted). It is sultans and battles (plus their ghoulish tortures) all the way. Some of these rulers were good, others appalling – but one wonders why one is sheepishly to follow them and their armies as they reduce rebellions, conquer kingdoms, slaughter infidels, or go about the raiding business with abandon.

Part II is far more interesting: it is a political, cultural, economic (albeit in limited way) and socio-religious history of the age. Had Part II been Part I, one would have better understood the dynamics between the people of Hindustan and their conquerors. I’d urge the prospective reader to start with Part II, and skim over Part I until the interest weakens.

The author paints with broad brush strokes the image of a rigorist Islam and an accommodationist Hinduism. The image of the two civilizations being “oil and water” (and never mixing) recurs. First of all, the statement should be qualified: as the author himself argues, mystical religious movements on both sides did have commonalities (see e.g. his treatment of Kabir on pg. 411 ff.), albeit at the popular rather than the elite level. History no longer is religious elite history. Secondly, Hinduism’s accommodationism was limited by the twin pillars of metempsychosis and caste. If Islam was politics of violence, Hinduisms’ was politics of disgust. Both were equally absolutist, though by different means, and with different outcomes. So the analysis remains somewhat superficial.

The categorizing in terms of diads and triads, and juxtaposition of opposites, sometimes takes the author to make statements that are unsupported, facile, or contradictory. “Windshield wiper history” of recurrent opposites makes good reading and is easily remembered, but it might hide complexities and path-dependent outcomes. There is much interesting information in this book, but one should pick through the stack with great caution.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Good example of how not to write history
By Mirza Yawar Baig
Interesting book but with a heavy dose of the author’s prejudice which colors the narrative. Highly repetitive. Needs major editing. Was looking to read a history of that period. Instead read an opinion. Not particularly useful. Or enjoyable.

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