Cover: Ashoka in Ancient India, from Harvard University PressCover: Ashoka in Ancient India in HARDCOVER

Ashoka in Ancient India

Product Details


$35.00 • £30.95 • €31.95

ISBN 9780674057777

Publication Date: 08/05/2015


408 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

7 color illustrations, 38 halftones, 3 maps

Not for sale in Indian subcontinent

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Fascinating.—Chandrahas Choudhury, The Wall Street Journal

Where Lahiri really scores is in the field of Ashokan archaeology, where she brings together all the work that has been undertaken in the years since 1997… These advances have all been woven seamlessly into Lahiri’s narrative, so as to give the clearest chronology yet assembled of the life of Ashoka and what Lahiri calls ‘his trajectory as a communicator’ and his ‘intellectual evolution,’ most notably the quite extraordinary change of heart that followed Ashoka’s conquest of Kalinga and how this transformed his concept of kingship.—Charles Allen, Literary Review

[Lahiri’s] idiosyncratic book combines legends, archaeology, and even personal information shrewdly teased out of the edicts to craft an arresting profile.—Brian Bethune, Maclean’s

Richly thoughtful… The result of all this careful, well-presented thought and research is what is certainly the best biography of Ashoka the Great ever written in English.—Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly

Lahiri [presents] an accessible and engaging biography of the emperor in his time that navigates the complex terrain of available evidence… Lahiri has produced what is probably the best biography of Aśoka to date… Lahiri has produced a uniquely accessible volume that draws readers into the landscapes of Mauryan India and guides them through a rich encounter with the Aśoka of edict and legend.—Mark McClish, Indian Economic and Social History Review

Many biographies of Emperor Aśoka (third c. B.C.E.) have been written over the past century or so, but Lahiri’s is perhaps the most gripping… Lahiri’s is, indeed, a very engaging biography, probably the best I have read.—Patrick Olivelle, Journal of the American Oriental Society

Many biographies have been published on Ashoka, the greatest king of India, but this biography is different, and perhaps the best written on the extraordinary king.—R. N. Sharma, Choice

Lahiri has firmly grounded the Ashoka of legend and inscriptions with a novel kind of detail and deliberation, spelling out the connections and implications, combining solid historical analysis with fresh interpretation.—Upinder Singh, University of Delhi

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