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Kashmir, Gujarat, and the Punjab

The Ancient and Modern History of India's Politically Divided States on the Border with Pakistan
Narrated by: Jim Johnston
Length: 3 hrs and 32 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Gujarat is one of the most storied sites in a storied area. Many groups and empires ruled India or tried to, and Gujarat was the power center for the region’s oldest of all, the Indus Valley Civilization. It also played an instrumental role in India’s greatest ancient empire. During the last centuries of the first millennium BCE, most of the Mediterranean basin and the Near East were either directly or indirectly under the influence of Hellenism. Although some of the Hellenistic kingdoms proved to be powerful in their own rights, no single one ever proved to be dominant. They battled each other for supremacy and attempted to claim new lands, especially to the east, in lands that the Greeks referred to generally as India. But a dynasty came to power that put most of the Indian subcontinent under the rule of one king.

At less than 20 percent of the population, Indian Muslims would inevitably find themselves overwhelmed by the Hindu majority, and as the British prepared to divest themselves of India, ancient enmities between Hindu and Muslim began once again to surface. At the heart of the geopolitical dispute that resulted is Kashmir, which has often been described as the most beautiful place on earth, but also the most dangerous. Nestled between the Karakoram mountains to the north and the Himalayas to the south, the Vale of Kashmir is a place of mythic beauty, in part the inspiration for James Hilton’s Shangri-La, and certainly one of the most unspoiled and lovely regions of South Asia. It also, however, happens to be the fault line of a bitter conflict between two major regional powers, India and Pakistan.

While the conflict is multifaceted, there has always been great division over the Punjab. The word Punjab derives from the Persian words Punj, meaning “five”, and äb, meaning river, combined into the “Land of the Five Rivers”. These rivers are the five major tributaries of the River Indus - the Jehlum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej. This is the valley of the Indus River, the site of some of the oldest and most accomplished civilizations in the world. The Punjab is defined by the floodplains of the five rivers that give the area its name, and as a result, it is one of the most fertile regions of South Asia. However, since the 1947 partition of India, the “Land of Five Rivers” is something of a misnomer, as the partition not only divided India, but also the Punjab. The Eastern part of Punjab remained a province of India, while the Western section was ceded to the newly created Pakistan.

Kashmir, Gujarat, and the Punjab: The Ancient and Modern History of India’s Politically Divided States on the Border with Pakistan examines the various regions, the different civilizations that lived there, and what took place there over the last 5,000 years. You will learn about Kashmir, Gujarat, and the Punjab like never before.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2019 Charles River Editors

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It's OK....Kindle version is better.

Overall, I liked this audiobook. it had a lot of good information about a topic I didn't know too much about before.

The opening and closing credits were a computerized voice, and every time the voice said "Charles River Editors," the Editors was said as Editor, then a pause, then s.

The actual reading of the book was fine. The reader sounded like an audio program or tour guide at a museum or a radio broadcaster.....I'm not sure how else to describe it. I kinda like it.

A few mistakes, once the reader said situation when he was supposed to say solution. And once he said years instead of wars. That changes the meaning of the sentence quite a bit in both instances. I noticed because I was reading the book along with listening to the audio. The last mistake I noticed.....The last chapter before the conclusion titled The Insurgency appears after the Conclusion in the audio. It is in the correct order in the book. I skipped forward to listen to the Insurgency, the backward to listen to the conclusion.

This next part is not a mistake, just an FYI to anyone trying to read while listening. This audiobook is an abridged version of the book. The introduction is missing completely, the section on Alexander the Great is rewritten with different information, and several paragraphs are missing from some of the chapters. It makes it difficult to follow if you are trying to go through both the Kindle book and audiobook.

I think if you are listening to this audio without the accompanying book, you may enjoy it more than I did. It would certainly be less frustrating, since you wouldn't notice the parts that don't match. I do think overall, it is a good audiobook.

That being said, I will always recommend the Kindle book over the audio for anything by Charles River Editors. The various books are full of pictures, maps, drawings, and/or paintings. You miss out on all of that by getting the audiobook instead of the Kindle version.