"Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives" by Sunil Khilnani (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016)

What an interesting way to explore complex history.  Each biography is about six pages long. There are a few representative photos in the middle (more would have been appreciated).  An outline map of India in the front identifies birthplaces.  An actual map of contemporary India with major cities and states would have been helpful.

My interest in this book never flagged.  From Buddha through Dhirubhai Ambani (one of the world’s richest men today), the author illustrates the nature of the complexity of contemporary India and Pakistan by examining briefly the lives of those who shaped it.  You see how traditions in locations still influence economics and politics–the everyday lives of citizens.  Though no one endorses the caste system today, it is still reinforced by special benefits from the government for lower caste members. 

If you enjoy history, this is a good read.