Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River

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W. W. Norton & Company, Apr 5, 2010 - History - 368 pages

“Alice Albinia is the most extraordinary traveler of her generation. . . . A journey of astonishing confidence and courage.”—Rory Stewart

One of the largest rivers in the world, the Indus rises in the Tibetan mountains and flows west across northern India and south through Pakistan. It has been worshipped as a god, used as a tool of imperial expansion, and today is the cement of Pakistan’s fractious union. Alice Albinia follows the river upstream, through two thousand miles of geography and back to a time five thousand years ago when a string of sophisticated cities grew on its banks. “This turbulent history, entwined with a superlative travel narrative” (The Guardian) leads us from the ruins of elaborate metropolises, to the bitter divisions of today. Like Rory Stewart’s The Places In Between, Empires of the Indus is an engrossing personal journey and a deeply moving portrait of a river and its people.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing

Nominally a travel book, this book attempts to incorporate, very unsuccessfully in my view, dollops of history and anthropology into its sluggish course. It's a turgid book in which both the author ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bezoar44 - LibraryThing

This is a complex, beautiful book by a bright, young-at-the-time writer. Albinia structures this combined history / travel book as a trip up the Indus from its mouth to its headwaters, and through its ... Read full review

Contents

Conquering the Classic River
26
Ethiopias First Fruit
52
River Saints
79
The Gurus Army
109
Up the Khyber
130
Buddha on the Silk Road
155
Alexander at the Outer Ocean
177
Indras Beverage
216
Alluvial Cities
243
Huntress of the Lithic
261
The Disappearing River
284
Glossary
310
Select Bibliography
333
Acknowledgements
350
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Alice Albinia’s honors include a Somerset Maugham Award, the Royal Society of Literature / Jerwood Prize, and the Dolman Travel Prize 2009. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, the Financial Times, and elsewhere. She lives in England.

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