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Ocean of ChurnNagar; medieval Arab empires and Chinese ‘treasure fleets’; the rivalries of European colonial powers and a new dawnSanjeev 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 flo. Another brilliant book by Sanjeev Sanyal

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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 Vijaya. I did hope to be impressed which unfortunately I wasn't while reading this one I did hope to find some intensive if not extensive history of the diasporic movement around and across the Indian Ocean what I did get was a uick tour of the region and those beyond it spreading across centuries and civilizations right from the Prehistoric times to the recent pastI did hope to read of those unknown sailors pirates local merchants lascars what I gotwell I did not get what the author had hinted in his first chapter This still appeared to be a narrative from the top not of the subalternsHaving said that if you want to know about the whats and whos without being bogged down by conjectures and analysis or theories then go for this bookOhh and I am definitely going to check out the references from which the author has cited a lot of information in the book

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review Ocean of Churn Ð eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ 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 W of history Adventurers merchants explorers monks swashbuckling pirates revolutionaries and warrior princesses populate this colourful and multifaceted narrativeThe 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 beginni. There aren’t many books which make you feel thankful that you came across them The Ocean of Churn by Sanjeev Sanyal is definitely one of them For uite some time I’ve wanted to read a book which would give an accurate and vivid description of how civilization came to be especially around the Indian subcontinent Few people could tell the story in such a concise manner as has the author as we wade through the origin of Homo Sapiens right up to the bustling cosmopolitan 21st century behemoth that the area has now become Choosing to focus on how the Indian Ocean has been “churning” civilization is what makes this book stand out When we read history we focus a lot on wars and politics happening on land and tend to overlook the vast role that the oceans play be it exchange of ideas maritime trade or enabling migrations back and forth across centuries resulting in a cocktail of culture and ecosystems and technological advancements It was fascinating to read how humanity overcame a variety of odds ever since the ice ages and expanded in ways we can scarcely imagine We learn how migrations out of Africa led to a variety of settlements from Ira to Australia and India to Indonesia We read about the rise and fall of the Harappan civilization Alexander’s conuests which led to rise of the Mauryan empire the golden age of the Guptas the rise of Islam the Turkish invasions the southern kingdoms of Cheras Cholas Pandyas and Pallavas and their breadth of influence across East Asia the reoccupation of Sri Lanka by various Tamil kings and later European colonizers the colonization process which started with the establishment of Dutch and English trading companies and how we finally achieved Independence and helped other colonies achieve their own independence as wellThroughout these eras maritime trade is a constant theme and has largely impacted how history was shaped in these places It is what explains the presence of the largest religious building in the world Angkor Wat in Cambodia as it does of the voyages of Fa Xien and Vasco da Gama Easily reading about the sea faring enterprises was the best part of this book I was particularly pleased with the larger perspective that the book emphasizes throughout People and events in history are judged by different standards and what shaped their actions then might not be looked at kindly by people from a different era The converse is also true Hence we find out that Ashoka wasn’t as “great” as we think he was just as we learn Netaji wasn’t as “fascist” as history makes him look for joining hands with the Germans and Japanese It was also heartening to note the role of various revolutionaries who were as much if not responsible for our freedom than Gandhi and Nehru were and leaves one with a bitter taste when we realize how little we actually learn about them in contemporary history Going through so many layers of history leaves one with a sense of awe disbelief and a certain measure of sadness over the constant pursuit of wealth and the destruction that human greed has caused but in spite of that the very fact that millennia old traditions continue to survive and thrive in this subcontinent is a testament to the lesson which the author concludes with that time devours the greatest of men and the mightiest of empires