Best Historical India & South Asia Biographies Books

Here you will get Best Historical India & South Asia Biographies Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books for you.

1. Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Author: by Ruby Lal B076MKGCBK July 3, 2018 English

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Finalist for the 2018 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History”A luminous biography.” Rafia Zakaria, GuardianFour centuries ago, a Muslim woman ruled an empire. Nur Jahan, daughter of a Persian noble and widow of a subversive official, became the twentieth and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir.

Nur ruled the vast Mughal Empire alongside her husband, leading troops into battle, signing imperial orders, and astutely handling matters of the state. Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal and Orientalist clichs of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire.

In Empress, Nur Jahan finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens us to a fascinating history.


2. Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II

Author: by Vicki Croke English 368 pages 0812981650

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKThe remarkable story of James Howard Billy Williams, whose uncanny rapport with the world’s largest land animals transformed him from a carefree young man into the charismatic war hero known as Elephant BillIn 1920, Billy Williams came to colonial Burma as a forest man for a British teak company.

Mesmerized by the intelligence and character of the great animals who hauled logs through the jungle, he became a gifted elephant wallah. In Elephant Company, Vicki Constantine Croke chronicles Williams’s growing love for elephants as the animals provide him lessons in courage, trust, and gratitude.

Elephant Company is also a tale of war and daring. When Japanese forces invaded Burma in 1942, Williams joined the elite British Force 136 and operated behind enemy lines. His war elephants carried supplies, helped build bridges, and transported the sick and elderly over treacherous mountain terrain.

As the occupying authorities put a price on his head, Williams and his elephants faced their most perilous test. Elephant Company, cornered by the enemy, attempted a desperate escape: a risky trek over the mountainous border to India, with a bedraggled group of refugees in tow.


3. 8 MIRACULOUS MONTHS IN THE MALAYAN JUNGLE: A WWII Pilot's True Story of Faith, Courage, and Survival

Author: by Donald J. "DJ" Humphrey II English 237 pages 1735845108

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A Grueling Survival Story About a WWII Hero’s Fight for FreedomOn January 11, 1945, Major Donald J. Humphrey had his B-29 Superfortress directed at Singapore Island. After navigating the 1900-mile trip from India through dangerous weather, they had just successfully bombed their target.

And that’s when Japanese Zeroes shot off the wing and sent the mighty aircraft death-spiraling into the Malayan jungle. Jumping to safety, Humphrey and a few of his remaining crewmates found themselves lost in the middle of occupied territory. Enduring vicious crocodiles, deadly snakes, and crippling malaria, the Americans battled just to stay alive.

And though they made contact with Malayan resistance fighters, they could never be sure their benefactors weren’t pulling them even deeper into danger… In this harrowing true account, Major Humphrey’s son shares the extraordinary story of his father’s grueling ordeal.

Told in the first person, this highly personal narrative puts you inside the mind of a man fighting for his country while struggling to survive. 8 Miraculous Months in the Malayan Jungle is a gripping memoir about overcoming unexpected peril. If you like World War II heroes, incredible stories of courage, and inspirational reads, then you’ll love Donald “DJ” Humphrey II’s captivating biography of his father.


4. Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest

Author: by Wade Davis Vintage English 688 pages

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The definitive story of the British adventurers who survived the trenches of World War I and went on to risk their lives climbing Mount Everest. On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber.

Sandy Irvine was a twenty-two-year-old Oxford scholar with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned. Drawing on more than a decade of prodigious research, bestselling author and explorer Wade Davis vividly re-creates the heroic efforts of Mallory and his fellow climbers, setting their significant achievements in sweeping historical context: from Britain’s nineteen-century imperial ambitions to the war that shaped Mallory’s generation.

Theirs was a country broken, and the Everest expeditions emerged as a powerful symbol of national redemption and hope. In Davis’s rich exploration, he creates a timeless portrait of these remarkable men and their extraordinary times.


5. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth

Author: by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Dover Publications English 494 pages

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“My purpose,” Mahatma Gandhi writes of this book, “is to describe experiments in the science of Satyagraha, not to say how good I am.” Satyagraha, Gandhi’s nonviolent protest movement (satya = true, agraha = firmness), came to stand, like its creator, as a moral principle and a rallying cry; the principle was truth and the cry freedom.

The life of Gandhi has given fire and fiber to freedom fighters and to the untouchables of the world: hagiographers and patriots have capitalized on Mahatma myths. Yet Gandhi writes: “Often the title [Mahatma, Great Soul] has deeply pained me….

But I should certainly like to narrate my experiments in the spiritual field which are known only to myself, and from which I have derived such power as I possess for working in the political field.” Clearly, Gandhi never renounced the world; he was neither pacifist nor cult guru.Who was Gandhi?

In the midst of resurging interest in the man who freed India, inspired the American Civil Rights Movement, and is revered, respected, and misunderstood all over the world, the time is proper to listen to Gandhi himself in his own words, his own “confessions,” his autobiography.


6. Daughter of Empire: My Life as a Mountbatten

Author: by Pamela Hicks Simon & Schuster English 256 pages

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Lady Pamela Hicks’s joyously entertaining new memoir, arguably the poshest book that ever has or will be written (Newsweek), is a privileged glimpse into the lives and loves of some of the twentieth century’s leading figures. Pamela Mountbatten entered a remarkable family when she was born in Madrid at the very end of the Roaring Twenties.

Daughter of the glamorous heiress Edwina Ashley and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Pamela spent much of her early life with her sister, nannies, and servantsnot to mention a menagerie of animals that included, at different times, a honey bear, chameleons, a bush baby, and a mongoose.

Her parents’ vast social circle included royalty, film stars, celebrities, and politicians. Noel Coward invited Pamela to watch him film, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. dropped in for tea. However when war broke out Pamela and her sister were sent to New York to live with Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, while the prime minister appointed her father to be the last Viceroy of India.


7. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace – One School at a Time

Author: by Greg Mortenson 0143038257 English 349 pages

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The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard Anyone who despairs of the individual’s power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school.

Over the next decade he built fifty-five schoolsespecially for girlsthat offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit.


8. If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home

Author: by Tim O'Brien Crown English 240 pages

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A classic from the New York Times bestselling author of The Things They Carried “One of the best, most disturbing, and most powerful books about the shame that was / is Vietnam.”Minneapolis Star and TribuneBefore writing his award-winning Going After Cacciato, Tim O’Brien gave us this intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam.

The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman’s rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong.

Beautifully written and searingly heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre. Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content.


9. Mother Teresa (Revised Edition): An Authorized Biography

Author: by Kathryn Spink 0062026143 HarperOne English

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Manyhave called her a saint. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India’shighest civilian honor, the Jewel of India, in 1980. Pope John Paul II declaredher Blessed, beatifying her in 2003. For nearly fifty years at the head ofCalcutta’s Missionaries of Charity, the Albanian-born Agnes GonxhaBojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa, advocatedfor the poor and homeless, ministered to the sick, provided hospice for theafflicted, and embodied the very essence of humanitarianism.

Now, revised andupdated, Kathryn Spink’s definitive, authorized biography is simply the best … Around, according to James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to(Almost) Everything. Thoroughly researched, sensitively written andunfailingly inspiring, Kathryn Spink’s book should be, after Mother Teresa’sown writings, your first resource for understanding one of the greatest saintsin Christian history.”

10. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932

Author: by William Manchester Bantam English 992 pages

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An altogether absorbing popular biography … The heroic Churchill is in these pages, but so is the little boy writing forlorn letters to the father who all but ignored him. PeopleWhen Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace in 1874, Imperial Britain stood at the splendid pinnacle of her power.

Yet within a few years the Empire would hover on the brink of catastrophe. Against this backdrop, a remarkable man began to build his legacy. From master biographer William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory reveals the first fifty-eight years of the life of an adventurer, aristocrat, soldier, and statesman whose courageous leadership guided the destiny of his darkly troubled timesand who is remembered as one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century.

Praise for The Last Lion: Visions of Glory Absolutely magnificent …A delight to read … One of those books you devour line by line and word by word and finally hate to see end. Russell Baker Bedazzling. Newsweek Manchester has read further, thought harder, and told with considerable verve what is mesmerizing in [Churchill’s] drama….

11. The Babur Nama (Everyman's Library Classics Series)

Author: by Babur Everyman's Library English 1032 pages

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If you only read one autobiography from a sensitive 16th-century warlord this year, make it this one. The New York Times A hardcover edition of the colorful memoirs of Baburfounder and first emperor of the Mughal dynastythat is “justly considered a masterpiece” (The Wall Street Journal).

Zahiru’d-din Muhamad Babur (14831530), a poet-prince from Central Asia, was the author of one of the most remarkable autobiographies in world literature. The Babur Nama reveals him as not only a military genius but also a ruler unusually magnanimous for his time, cultured, witty, and possessing a talent for poetry, an adventurous spirit, and an acute eye for natural beauty.

Babur ascended the throne of Fergana, in what is now Uzbekistan, when he was twelve years old. He eventually invaded India and founded the Mughal dynasty, which would dazzle the world for three centuries. Babur left behind a detailed and colorful record of his life, written in simple and unpretentious prose, that has fascinated readers for hundreds of years.

12. Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture

Author: by Gaiutra Bahadur English 312 pages 022621138X

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE In 1903, a young woman sailed from India to Guiana as a “coolie”the British name for indentured laborers who replaced the newly emancipated slaves on sugar plantations all around the world. Pregnant and traveling alone, this woman, like so many coolies, disappeared into history.

In Coolie Woman, her great-granddaughter Gaiutra Bahadur embarks on a journey into the past to find her. Traversing three continents and trawling through countless colonial archives, Bahadur excavates not only her great-grandmother’s story but also the repressed history of some quarter of a million other coolie women, shining a light on their complex lives.

Shunned by society, and sometimes in mortal danger, many coolie women were either runaways, widows, or outcasts. Many of them left husbands and families behind to migrate alone in epic sea voyagestraumatic “middle passages”only to face a life of hard labor, dismal living conditions and sexual exploitation.

Coolie Woman is a meditation on survival, a gripping story of a double diasporafrom India to the West Indies in one century, Guyana to the United States in the nextthat is at once a search for one’s roots and an exploration of gender and power, peril and opportunity.

13. The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State

Author: by Declan Walsh English 360 pages 0393249913

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A New York Times New Book to Watch For (November 2020) The former New York Times Pakistan bureau chief paints an arresting, up-close portrait of a fractured country. Declan Walsh is one of the New York Times’s most distinguished international correspondents.

His electrifying portrait of Pakistan over a tumultuous decade captures the sweep of this strange, wondrous, and benighted country through the dramatic lives of nine fascinating individuals. On assignment as the country careened between crises, Walsh traveled from the raucous port of Karachi to the salons of Lahore, and from Baluchistan to the mountains of Waziristan.

He met a diverse cast of extraordinary Pakistanisa chieftain readying for war at his desert fort, a retired spy skulking through the borderlands, and a crusading lawyer risking death for her beliefs, among others. Through these nine lives he describes a country on the brinka place of creeping extremism and political chaos, but also personal bravery and dogged idealism that defy easy stereotypes.

15. Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City

Author: by Dr Edmund Richardson English 1526603780 978-1526603784

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‘This is a jewel of a book’ – SUNDAY TIMES’One of the great stories of archaeology, exploration and espionage’ – William Dalrymple’Immensely enjoyable’ – BBC HISTORY MAGAZINEFor centuries the city of Alexandria Beneath the Mountains was a meeting point of East and West.Then it vanished.

In 1833 it was discovered in Afghanistan by the unlikeliest person imaginable: Charles Masson, an ordinary working-class boy from London turned deserter, pilgrim, doctor, archaeologist and highly respected scholar. On the way into one of history’s most extraordinary stories, Masson would take tea with kings, travel with holy men and become the master of a hundred disguises; he would see things no westerner had glimpsed before and few have glimpsed since.

He would spy for the East India Company and be suspected of spying for Russia at the same time, for this was the era of the Great Game, when imperial powers confronted each other in these staggeringly beautiful lands. Masson discovered tens of thousands of pieces of Afghan history, including the 2,000-year-old Bimaran golden casket, which has upon it the earliest known face of the Buddha.