Book Review: ‘The Indians’ by G. N. Devy, Tony Joseph & Ravi Korisettar

Informative and engrossing!


Book Title: The Indians: Histories of a Civilization
Authors: G. N. Devy, Tony Joseph & Ravi Korisettar
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Number of Pages: 648
ISBN: 978-9395853095
Date Published: Jul. 05, 2023
Price: INR 993

The Indians by GN Devy, Tony Joseph & Ravi Korisettar Book Cover

Book Review

Contemporary Indian culture is a captivating tapestry of diversity, so multifaceted that it defies singular categorization. Its origins trace back to ancient times and have evolved through the mingling of various races and societies. Consequently, distinguishing between the indigenous and foreign elements, the expressions of affectionate borrowing, and the relics of coercive imposition becomes an intricate challenge. In the quest to chart the origins, evolution, and contemporary reality of India’s civilization and its people, one embarks on a fascinating journey spanning approximately 12,000 years – from the epoch of the last Ice Age to the modern twenty-first century.

In this connection, “The Indians: Histories of a Civilization,” a captivating book contains a remarkable collaboration of over 90 historians, led by author and literary critic GN Devy, journalist Tony Joseph, and archaeologist Ravi Korisettar, unfolds the fascinating tapestry of Indian culture through the millennia. Drawing from various disciplines and perspectives, the volume offers an unprecedented exploration of the Indian subcontinent’s history, spanning 12,000 years.

At the heart of this ambitious project lies the intention to provide an authentic and comprehensive account of India’s history, free from any ideological agenda. It is a response to the concern over recent attempts to rewrite history by certain institutions. Prof. Korisettar stressed the importance of a conversation about the past, rooted in truth and justice while steering clear of fanciful narratives and wistful nostalgia.
The book’s scope is vast and ambitious, covering many themes, from biology and ecology to language, culture, and sociology. With contributors from different generations and various corners of the world, the book ensures a diverse and specialized approach to each subject.

While the current volume provides a concise overview of these themes, Prof. Korisettar envisions expanding each topic into full-length articles for future publications. The aim is to produce a magnum opus, consisting of 30-40 expanded volumes, meticulously researched with the latest data and findings, and adhering rigorously to the scientific method.

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In conclusion, “The Indians: Histories of a Civilization” offers a thought-provoking and comprehensive exploration of the vibrant and multifaceted tapestry of Indian culture, presented by a diverse group of renowned historians. This collaborative effort is a testament to the dedication and commitment to give an accurate and unbiased portrayal of India’s rich heritage over millennia. The book promises to be an invaluable resource for those seeking to delve deeper into the complexities and nuances of this ancient civilization.