Historical Dictionary of India

1) Historical Dictionary of India (2nd Ed) – Surjit Mansingh
Scarecrow Press | 2006 | PDF

The Republic of India is the second most populous, the seventh largest by geographical area, and has the fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity in the world. While it has always been an important country, it has often been neglected. Of late, however, there has been much talk of the “new” India, one with greater economic dynamism, a more active foreign policy, and the emergence of a huge middle class.

With over a hundred new cross-referenced dictionary entries-the majority of which pertain to the last decade-and updating others, the second edition of the Historical Dictionary of India illustrates the rapidly evolving situation without neglecting the country’s ancient past. The chronology has been brought up to date, the introduction expanded, and the bibliography includes numerous new titles.

2) Historical Dictionary of Pakistan (3rd Ed) – Shahid Javed Burki
Scarecrow Press | 2006 | PDF

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan gained its independence from the United Kingdom on August 14, 1947 and since then it has become the sixth most populous country in the world. Furthermore, Pakistan has the seventh largest army in the world, and is one of eight nations that have declared themselves nuclear powers. Pakistan’s tense relations with its neighboring country of India, the recent earthquake that killed tens of thousands of its people, and the trouble it’s had with the Taliban are all covered in this third edition of the Historical Dictionary of Pakistan.

This extensively expanded and updated edition covers this country’s history through a chronology, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and some 500 cross-referenced dictionary entries presenting the more important persons, places, and events as well as salient aspects of the economy, society, culture, and religion.

3) Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan (3rd Ed) – Ludwig W. Adamec
Scarecrow Press | 2003 | PDF

During almost 250 years of its existence, Afghanistan has evolved from rule by a tribal aristocracy to constitutional monarchy and people’s democratic republic, culminating in the establishment of a theocracy in which power rests with the religious establishment, the ulama. A civil war, subsequent to the communist defeat in 1992, resulted in the emergence of the Taliban who intended to establish a “true Islamic state.” Taliban misrule, support for terrorist groups, and alliance with Osama bin Laden led to American intervention resulting in a renewed attempt to establish a broad-based democratic government. This third edition of the Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan provides researchers with updated information and considerable new material. It includes entries on major historical events, important places, leading personalities – past and present – and significant aspects of the country’s culture, religion, and economy. The introduction contains an outline of Afghanistan’s political history, an appendix includes a number of documents, and a comprehensive bibliography introduces the reader to additional sources.

4) Historical Dictionary of Nepal – Nanda R. Shrestha, Keshav Bhattarai
Scarecrow Press | 2003 | PDF

Nepal is a land of contrasts-a marvelous vista. It rises impressively like a giant stairway from the northern exentions of the Gangetic plain, just a notch above sea level, to the majestic heights of snow-capped mountains. No less fascinating, however, is its sociocultural landscape. Still tightly chained to its past, Nepal has been, for more than four decades, staggering along the path of pseudo modernization. In recent years, this tiny nation of some 21 million has seen the dawn of democracy but is now mired in the murky waters of feudal politics as its various clans wage internecine battles to reap the spoils of power.

Often viewed as an exotic curio shop, Nepal is a popular destination for a growing number of western tourists and mountaineers. Yet the country is generally relegated to the fringes of most westerners’ mental maps of the world. Nepal, is however, more than an exotic back-country with a magnificent gallery of mountains made for National Geographic and television documentaries. It is a country right in diverse cultural traditions that often reflect its geographical diversity as well as historical longevity.

Lucid and jargon-free in style, this volume is designed to offer a concise account of Nepal’s history and political evolution, especially focusing on the period since the rise of Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1743 and on the developments that have taken place in the last 50 years. In addition, the volume provides valuable information on the country’s economy, population dynamics, social systems, and cultural continuity and change in order to highlight the interface between traditional values and the forces of modernity and globalization, i.e., growing western influence. This resource is a highly informative book for both specialists and non-specialists interested in Nepal.

5) Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka – S.W.R.DeA Samarsinghe, Vidyamali Samarsinghe
Scarecrow Press | 1997 | PDF

The island nation of Sri Lanka possesses a rich and sometimes troubled history that stretches back over 2,500 years. According to the nation’s “origin myth,” it was first settled by a band of 700 young men led by a Bengal prince who was banished from his homeland by his father, the king in 483 B.C. The civilization grew upon the economic prosperity of rice and tea cultivation that inspired the creation of one of the most sophisticated hydraulic systems in the ancient world. Sri Lanka’s history has not been entirely idyllic, however. The cultural and technological advances enriched lives, but also created a weakness that outside invaders could exploit. As a result, the Singhalese have been ruled by Southern Indian invaders, as well as the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The Historical Dictionary of Sri Lanka provides a one-stop resource for the history of this intriguing country. Dictionary entries cover the people, places, and events that have shaped this country and are further supplemented by a detailed chronology, statistical tables, graphs and appendices. Includes bibliography.