Nepal: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present (Hardback)
  • Nepal: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present (Hardback)
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Nepal: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present (Hardback)

(author)
£22.99
Hardback 432 Pages
Published: 19/06/2024
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Until 1951 Nepal was closed to the world, landlocked between the strongest Asian powers, India and China. With its exceptional landscape, it touts the highest mountains and the greatest biodiversity on earth. It is best known as the home of Mt. Everest and holds particular fascination for those interested in climbing the Himalayas. Having long maintained its self-imposed isolation, the nation is one of the least developed in the world. Yet it is inhabited by a remarkably diverse population of 125 ethnic groups, 123 languages, and numerous religions, most notably Hinduism and Buddhism.

In this book, South Asia expert Axel Michaels covers the history of Nepal from prehistoric times and the period of the Licchavi dynasty through more recent developments, such as the rise of the republic, the first elections challenged by the Maoist insurgency (1996-2006), and the royal massacre in 2001. Chapters discuss the different principalities on the territory, among them the mysterious and legendary Mustang and Sherpa realms. Since the eighteenth century, these domains have been bundled into a contentious national history. Thus, going well beyond the center of power in the Kathmandu Valley, the book examines Nepal's relations with neighboring cultures in India, Tibet, and China, as well as the influence of British colonial power. It particularly focuses on its rich history of arts, architecture, and handicrafts. Although the Buddha was born in Nepal, the country is the world's last Hindu kingdom and is also a stronghold of Tantric traditions, shamanism, and many folk religions whose festivals and rituals mark daily life.

Based on a wealth of primary sources in Nepali, Sanskrit, and other indigeneous languages, Nepal offers a comprehensive and updated history of this unique culture and history.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780197650936
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 726 g
Dimensions: 168 x 229 x 46 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Few of those who have tried to write the history of Nepal are equally competent in handling ancient Sanskrit inscriptions, medieval chronicles, priestly handbooks, and contemporary politics. Axel Michaels - polymath, founder of Ethno-Indologie, and long at the heart of the German scholarly community working on Nepal - has all these competencies and more, so a new history of Nepal from his hand is both highly welcome and likely to stand for a long time as an essential guide to the country. - David N. Gellner, University of Oxford

Kaleidoscopic and comprehensive, this cultural history of Nepal is a triumph. From prehistory to the current political moment, this extraordinary and multidisciplinary monograph engages with primary and secondary sources in a great number of languages to tell the story of Nepal in a way that invites deeper understanding and prompts critical reflection. Readers are indeed fortunate to have Axel Michaels as their expert guide, as he navigates complex terrain with agility and insight. In no short time, Nepal: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present will be a core text for all scholars in the humanities and social sciences interested in South Asia. - Mark Turin, University of British Columbia

This book presents a refreshing new look at Nepal's development from heterogeneous ethnicities and traditions into an emerging nation state, situated both inside and outside the Indian 'Great Tradition.' Axel Michaels excels in deliberating alternative views of many contested points, frequently adding his own decades-long personal experiences. - Michael Witzel, Harvard University

Drawing on the author's own extensive Indological and ethnographic research, this book provides an excellent survey of Nepal's culture and history and is particularly valuable for its treatment of religion and art. - John Whelpton, Author of A History of Nepal

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