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Mad About the Mekong - Exploration and Empire in South East Asia (Paperback): John Keay Mad About the Mekong - Exploration and Empire in South East Asia (Paperback)
John Keay
R299 R207 Discovery Miles 2 070 Save R92 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The story of both a dramatic journey retracing the historic voyage of France's greatest 19th-century explorer up the mysterious Mekong river, and a portrait of the river and its peoples today. Any notion of sailing up the Mekong in homage to Francis Garnier has been unthinkable until now. From its delta in Vietnam up through Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma and on into China, the Mekong has been a no-go river, its turbulent waters fouled by ideological barriers as formidable as its natural obstacles. But recently the political obstacles have begun to be dismantled - river traffic is reviving. John Keay describes the world of the Mekong as it is today, rehabilitating a traumatised geography while recreating the thrilling and historic voyage of Garnier in 1866. The French expedition was intended to investigate the `back door' into China by outflanking the British and American conduits of commerce at Hong Kong and Shanghai. Two naval gunboats headed upriver into the green unknown, bearing crack troops, naturalists, geologists and artists. The two-year expedition's failures and successes, and the tragedy and acrimony that marked it, make riveting reading.

China - A History (Paperback): John Keay China - A History (Paperback)
John Keay 1
R355 R250 Discovery Miles 2 500 Save R105 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Three thousand years of Chinese history in an accessible and authoritative single volume. Despite the recent rise of China to a position of dominance on the world economic stage, Chinese history remains an elusive subject. Yet it is this vast narrative of appalling loss, superhuman endeavour and incredible invention that has made China the superpower it is today. From the dawn of legend to the succession of great dynasties, from Confucius to Chairman Mao and from the clamour of revolution to the lure of slick capitalism, John Keay takes the reader on a sweeping tour through Chinese history. This is a definitive and indispensable account of a country set to play a major part in our future.

India - A History (Paperback, Revised edition): John Keay India - A History (Paperback, Revised edition)
John Keay
R349 R226 Discovery Miles 2 260 Save R123 (35%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A new edition of the most authoritative and highly-regarded single-volume history of India. Fully revised to include the most recent research and to cover events from partition to the present day. In `India: A History' five millennia of the sub-continent's history are interpreted by one of our finest writers on India and the Far East. This definitive work combines narrative pace and skill with social, economic and cultural analysis. India's history begins with a highly advanced urban civilisation in the Indus valley, regressing to a tribal and pastoral nomadism, and then evolving into a uniquely stratified society. The pattern of inward invasion plus outward migration was established early: from Alexander the Great via the march of Islam and the great Moghuls to the coming of the East India Company and the establishment of the British Raj. Older, richer and more distinctive than almost any other, India's culture furnishes all that the historian could wish for in the way of continuity and diversity. The peoples of the Indian subcontinent, while sharing a common history and culture, are not now, and never have been, a single unitary state; the book accommodates Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as other embryonic nation states like the Sikh Punjab, Muslim Kashmir and Assam. In this brilliant new edition, John Keay continues the narrative of India's history - covering events from partition to the present day and examining the very different fortunes of the three successor states: Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Republic of India. Based on the latest research, this is an indispensible history of a country set to be a definitive influence on the future of world economics, politics and culture.

China - A History (Paperback, First Trade Paper Edition): John Keay China - A History (Paperback, First Trade Paper Edition)
John Keay
R479 R386 Discovery Miles 3 860 Save R93 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people; China defines itself in terms of history. Taking into account the country's unrivaled, voluminous tradition of history writing, John Keay has composed a vital and illuminating overview of the nation's complex and vivid past. Keay's authoritative history examines 5,000 years in China, from the time of the Three Dynasties through Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country. Crisp, judicious, and engaging, "China" is the classic single-volume history for anyone seeking to understand the present and future of this immensely powerful nation.

The Honourable Company (Paperback, New Ed): John Keay The Honourable Company (Paperback, New Ed)
John Keay
R307 R216 Discovery Miles 2 160 Save R91 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Over two centuries, the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into 'the Grandest Society of Merchants in the Universe' – a huge commercial enterprise which controlled half the world's trade and also administered an embryonic empire. A tenth of the British exchequer's total revenue derived from customs receipts on the Company's UK imports; its armed forces exceeded those of most sovereign states. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire.

John Keay reconstructs this epic of expansionist endeavour from the journals and records of the Company's employees: the first experimental voyages to the East; the earliest, often disastrous, settlements; the later, often inglorious, wars; and the often venal administrations. The story sweeps from southern Africa to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, abounding in bizarre locations and roguish personalities. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong, the political geography of today is undeniably the creation of the Company.

"The first accessible narrative history of the English East India Company which has appeared for some time…Keay recounts his story with the sweep of a James Michener, but one anchored in the meticulous scholarship of historians…Commercial successes and failures, battles and politics from Table Bay to Tokyo Bay are treated with verve and clarity."
CHRISTOPHER BAYLY, 'The Observer'

"Keay tells the story with skill and anecdotal lightness…Spices are aromatic, mosquitoes bite, the seas roar in Keay's fact-crammed book, and the narrative races as in a novel."
ANTHONY BURGESS, 'The Independent'

"Lively and thoroughly literate…an outstandingly wise and balanced account."
PROFESSOR B. H. FARMER, 'Geographical Journal'

"Enough rumbustious adventure stories to shock and delight any armchair reader."
RACHEL BILLINGTON, 'Financial Times 'Books of the Year''

The Tartan Turban - In Search of Alexander Gardner (Hardcover): John Keay The Tartan Turban - In Search of Alexander Gardner (Hardcover)
John Keay 1
R591 R440 Discovery Miles 4 400 Save R151 (26%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Among the many gripping tales of travel and exploration the tale of Alexander Gardner is surely one of the most extraordinary. Master storyteller John Keay deftly sifts truth from myth-making to uncover fascinating new evidence, revealing an amazing tale worthy of Kipling or Flashman of a life lived further out on the edge than most could even imagine' MICHAEL WOOD Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either this Scots-American is the nineteenth century's most intrepid traveller or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more sceptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner's story enlarged man's understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration. Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone traveller had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world's most fearsome knot of mountains and fought, as the first American in Afghanistan, 'for the good cause of right against wrong'.From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog. Historians were more intrigued by what followed. After thirteen years as a white-man-gone-native in Central Asia, Gardner re-emerged as a colonel of artillery in the employ of India's last great native empire. He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh Empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of 'Alick' Gardner in the 'Flashman' series). Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, this investigative biography by John Keay, bestselling author of India: A History, takes the reader on a quest from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.

India - A History. Revised and Updated (Paperback, None): John Keay India - A History. Revised and Updated (Paperback, None)
John Keay
R394 R325 Discovery Miles 3 250 Save R69 (18%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Fully revised with forty thousand new words that take the reader up to present-day India, John Keay's "India: A History" spans five millennia in a sweeping narrative that tells the story of the peoples of the subcontinent, from their ancient beginnings in the valley of the Indus to the events in the region today. In charting the evolution of the rich tapestry of cultures, religions, and peoples that comprise the modern nations of Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, Keay weaves together insights from a variety of scholarly fields to create a rich historical narrative. Wide-ranging and authoritative, "India: A History" is a compelling epic portrait of one of the world's oldest and most richly diverse civilizations.

Midnight's Descendants - South Asia from Partition to the Present Day (Paperback): John Keay Midnight's Descendants - South Asia from Partition to the Present Day (Paperback)
John Keay 1
R303 R184 Discovery Miles 1 840 Save R119 (39%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

An epic narrative history that compares and contrasts the fortunes of all the countries that make up South Asia. If British India had not been partitioned in 1947, its population would today be the world's largest. At c1.5 billion, Midnight's Descendants (the offspring of those affected by `the midnight hour' Partition) already outnumber Europeans and Chinese; and they are growing faster than either. They comprise all the peoples of what is now called `South Asia' (the preferred term for the partitioned subcontinent of modern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, plus Nepal and Sri Lanka). `Midnight's Descendants' is the first history of the region as a whole. Correlating and contrasting the fortunes of all the constituent nations over the last six decades affords unique insights into what is hailed as one of the world's most dynamic regions. John Keay is an expert on the region and the book will be the first account to incorporate the rich story of South Asia's transnational, or `diasporic', peoples - from the overlooked narratives of the subcontinent to the rise of India as a global force, `Midnight's Descendants' will be expansive and tumultuous in the great tradition of India's narrative epics.

The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) (Hardcover, 3rd Revised edition): Christopher Hibbert, Ben Weinreb, John Keay, Julia Keay The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) (Hardcover, 3rd Revised edition)
Christopher Hibbert, Ben Weinreb, John Keay, Julia Keay 2
R1,228 R901 Discovery Miles 9 010 Save R327 (27%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

`There is no one-volume book in print that carries so much valuable information on London and its history.' Illustrated London News The London Encyclopaedia is the most comprehensive book on London ever published. In its first new edition in over ten years, completely revised and updated, it comprises some 6,000 entries, organised alphabetically, cross-referenced and supported by two large indexes - one for the 10,000 people mentioned in the text and one general - and is illustrated with over 500 drawings, prints and photographs. Everything that is important in the history and culture of the capital is documented, whether vanished or extant, from its first settlement to the present day. `Written in very accessible prose with a range of memorable quotations and affectionate jokes...a monumental achievement written with real love.' Financial Times `If I had my way this book would be in every cab in London.' London Cabbie News

The Tartan Turban - In Search of Alexander Gardner (Paperback): John Keay The Tartan Turban - In Search of Alexander Gardner (Paperback)
John Keay 1
R251 R210 Discovery Miles 2 100 Save R41 (16%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveler or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more skeptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone Scots-American had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains and fought in Afghanistan ‘for the good cause of right against wrong’. From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.

Historians were more intrigued by what followed. After thirteen years as a white-man-gone-native in Central Asia, Gardner reemerged as a colonel of artillery in the employ of India’s last great native empire. He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of ‘Alick’ Gardner in the ‘Flashman’ series).

Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.

Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, this investigative biography by renowned historian John Keay takes the reader on a quest from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.

Sowing the Wind - The Seeds of Conflict in the Middle East (Paperback): John Keay Sowing the Wind - The Seeds of Conflict in the Middle East (Paperback)
John Keay
R528 R443 Discovery Miles 4 430 Save R85 (16%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Sowing the Wind tells of how and why this happened. The subject is painful and essentially sombre, but John Keay illuminates it with lucid analysis and anecdotes. This is that rarest of works, a history with humour, an epic with attitude, a dirge that delights. Here are unearthed a host of unregarded precedents, from the Gulf's first gusher to the first aerial assault on Baghdad, the first of Syria's innumerable coups, and the first terrorist outrages and suicide bombers. Little known figures--junior officers, contractors, explorers, spies--contest the orthodoxies of Arabist giants like T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, Glubb Pasha and Loy Henders Four Roosevelts juggle with the fate of nations. Authors as alien as E.M. Forster and Arthur Koestler add their testimony. And in Antonius and Weizmann, the Mufti and Begin, Arab is inexorably juxtaposed with Jew. Pertinent, scholarly and irreverent, Sowing the Wind provides an ambitious insight into the making of the world's most fraught arena.

China - A History (MP3 format, CD, Unabridged edition): John Keay China - A History (MP3 format, CD, Unabridged edition)
John Keay; Narrated by Anne Flosnik
R687 R523 Discovery Miles 5 230 Save R164 (24%) Special order
China - A History (Paperback): John Keay China - A History (Paperback)
John Keay
R234 R191 Discovery Miles 1 910 Save R43 (18%) Special order
The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) (Paperback, 3rd Revised edition): Christopher Hibbert, Ben Weinreb, John Keay, Julia Keay The London Encyclopaedia (3rd Edition) (Paperback, 3rd Revised edition)
Christopher Hibbert, Ben Weinreb, John Keay, Julia Keay 1
R786 R631 Discovery Miles 6 310 Save R155 (20%) Special order

`There is no one-volume book in print that carries so much valuable information on London and its history' Illustrated London News The London Encyclopaedia is the most comprehensive book on London ever published. In its first new edition in over ten years, completely revised and updated, it comprises some 6,000 entries, organised alphabetically, cross-referenced and supported by two large indexes - one for the 10,000 people mentioned in the text and one general - and is illustrated with over 500 drawings, prints and photographs. Everything of relevance to the history, culture, commerce and government of the capital is documented in this phenomenal book. From the very first settlements through to the skyline of today, The London Encyclopaedia comprehends all that is London. `Written in very accessible prose with a range of memorable quotations and affectionate jokes...a monumental achievement written with real love' Financial Times

Midnight's Descendants - A History of South Asia since Partition (Hardcover): John Keay Midnight's Descendants - A History of South Asia since Partition (Hardcover)
John Keay
R554 R498 Discovery Miles 4 980 Save R56 (10%) Special order

Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Midnight's Descendants--the generations born since the 1947 "midnight hour partition" of British India--are the world's fastest growing population. This vast region and its peoples wield an enormous influence over global economics and geopolitics, yet their impact is too often simplified by accounts that focus solely on one nation and ignore the intricate web of affiliations that shape relations among British India's successor states. Now, in "Midnight Descendants," celebrated historian John Keay presents the first comprehensive history of this complex and interconnected region, delving deep into the events that have shaped its past and continue to guide its future.
The 1947 partition was devastating to the larger of the newly created states, and it continues to haunt them to this day. Joined by their common origin and the fear of further partition, the five key nations of South Asia have progressed in tandem to a large degree. These countries have been forced to grapple with common challenges, from undeveloped economies and fractured societies to foreign interventions and the fraught legacy of imperialism, leaving them irrevocably intertwined. Combining authoritative historical analysis with vivid reportage, Keay masterfully charts South Asia's winding path toward modernization and democratization over the past sixty years. Along the way, he unravels the volatile India-Pakistan relationship; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the wars that raged in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the fortunes of millions of South Asia migrants dispersed throughout the world, creating a full and nuanced understanding of this dynamic region.
Expansive and dramatic, "Midnight's Descendants" is a sweeping narrative of South Asia's recent history, from the aftermath of the 1947 partition to the region's present-day efforts to transcend its turbulent past and assume its rightful role in global politics.

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