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BBC journalist Owen Bennett Jones' very critical history of Pakistan (until 2002).He does acknowledge at the start,however,that his target audience is non-Pakistanis,and most well informed Pakistanis would already know about the things he writes about.It is a lot of familiar history,but clearly carries an anti-Pakistan bias.From Kashmir to the creation of Bangladesh to Pakistan's nuclear programme,Jones finds lots to criticize.I expected something more balanced from him,I was disappointed.
Having willfully ignored Pakistan for years, I finally sat down to read Owen Bennett Jones' book ... and discovered I couldn't put it down. And by so doing, I filled an important hole I'd been ignoring in my overview and understanding of Asia. Pakistan's history is short but turbulent. This excellent, well-researched, beautifully written book covers its history, personalities, politics, and issues in chapters that first present an overview of Pakistan's history then proceed to address each major...
This is a remarkable book on Pakistan, context setting with amazing insights. I especially enjoyed the references to individual stories of feudals, generals and politicians to strength the author's deductions. Unfortunately the future looks bleaker for the moment with the rise in terrorism and anarchy. I found the last chapter on Musharraf and his non-existent policy on education something the author to have needlessly injected as education is the main reason for the sad state of affairs in Paki...
As an Indian, I have always wanted to read about Pakistan, its history, its people, its challenges and its achievements. Read Ian Talbot's book a few years back - but found it too dry. Owen avoids that but at the same time, he presents all the important aspects in the turbulent history of my neighbor in an engaging but largely neutral mindset. A bit dated - covers only upto 9/11 but still very relevant. a must read for every Indian in order to understand the challenges faced in governing Pakista...
I read the book eight years ago and it opened my eyes to many things that I had not seen in my own country. The first chapter gave a play-by-play detail of the 1999 coup and went on to describe history of nuclear program, regionalism and other vital parts of Pakistan’s history. It is a very well-written book and should be read as an introduction to Pakistan.
An interesting book, written in a manner, once you start it keeps you glued. Many revelations which a common Pakistani does not know. But his analysis is built on the events till 2002, lot has changed after that!
About as exciting to read as the New York City phonebook, but an absolute must for an outsider wanting to learn about Pakistan's history, its people, its leaders - the history and analysis ends in 2008, with the resignation of General Musharraf's government. Jones is an expert across the board.
Pretty good articulation of anecdotes and plausibly true but he failed to mention in some places the source of information that he mention as facts like the majority of migrants were from East Punjab etc.
I loved this book. I remember seeing it in my college bookstore and just squealing with delight. I immediately bought it. I'm so impulsive.Anyhow. This was quite the learning experience. I mean I was obviously aware of the history of Pakistan but I was always sure that it was biased at some places. I like how Jones wrote this book. He did give credit where credit was due and also didn't shy away from revealing Pakistan's failures throughout history. There was no glorification of the leaders unli...
It goes into usual topics like Kashmir, formation of Bangladesh, efforts made by its provinces to go independent, how the country acquired nukes one by one.Very general book, doesn't go into too much detail. Talks about military leaders and their contribution in turning Pakistan into a failed state. Its an old book, published in 2002, so misses out on current situation. Pick any MJ Akbar or Husain Haqqani for that.
This book gave me a better grasp of how and why Pakistan is in the state it is today. Each chapter focuses on a different and equally important issue, e.g. the different ethnic groups and how they interact, the politics related to Kashmir, NWFP, the military, and the power holders -- particularly Musharraf. The author was the BBC correspondent based in Pakistan from 1998-2001 so the writing is more journalistic.
Good book to read about Pakistan. Gives a comprehensive account of Pakistan's history and present day situation in addition to explaining likely future challenges faced to it. Chapters on Kashmir, Nationalism, Bangladesh, The Bomb and the Army give a detailed background information about what went wrong with Pakistan since its creation in 1947.
Owen Bennett Jones has written a crisp book on one of the most troubled countries of the present decade. With journalistic flair, he packages the recurrent themes of the Pakistani theatre, fundamentalism, feudalism,corruption and above all - the army. The book is a canny reflection on the factors that have failed Pakistan.
It is an excellent piece of work stating the story of Pakistan with rational and neutral slant. He has covered supreme aspects of Pakistan history and maladministration of prospects by our so-called Elite and Establishment. He has drawn a clear line between India & Pakistan command and control mechanism.It is a worth-reading book.
BBC reporter Owen Bennett Jones writes just as crisply as he reads the news. He paints a lucid, troubling portrait of Pakistan's traumatic birth, turbulent past and unstable present that leaves the reader worried not just for Pakistan's future but our own.
crisp but largely known info about pakistan. a delightful read nonetheless since it is organized topically rather than chronologically.
Thematically organized with a timeline to help you locate intersections. Not heavily biased. Insightful and informative.
Hardly includes any new information on a complex topic that constantly requires new research.
Good background information on the region.
Pakistan is not a state; it's an army. Not one of Pakistan's leaders has ever completed his term in office.