Magazine article Geographical

Ashoka: India's Lost Emperor

Magazine article Geographical

Ashoka: India's Lost Emperor

Article excerpt

ASHOKA: India's Lost Emperor

by Charles Allen

Little Brown. hb. 25 [pounds sterling]


Charles Allen doesn't a disapoint. The veteran chronicler of all things Indian has filled a gap in the history of that country with a thoroughlv researched aria highly readable biography of Ashoka. the emperor whom Nehru took as his hero, the first leader to have united India

The story of one of India's greatest rulers, if not its greatest, lay virtually ignored for more than 2,000 years. Indeed. it is striking ... how this quintessentially Indian monarch still fails to accord a wholehearted welcome in the land of his birth more than a century after he first emerged as a subject fit for biography.' Allen tells us.

Ashoka is remarkable for a figure of his time for having pursued a policy of non-violence and tolerance during his 40-year reign and. moreover for having transformed what was a minor cult Buddhism--into a world religion. …

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