Book Review “Everest 1922: The Epic Story of the First Attempt on the World’s Highest Mountain” by Mick Conefrey

The story of George Mallory’s 1924 failed and fatal attempt on Everest is perhaps mountaineering’s greatest unsolved mystery. Last spotted 250 meters from the summit, Mallory and his partner Andrew Irvine disappeared from view and would never be seen alive again. When Mallory’s body was eventually found in 1999, Irvine’s body never was. The mystery of whether they reached the summit before they perished on the mountain has never been solved. Yet this was not Mallory’s first attempt on the summit

Book Review “Making Refugees in India” by Ria Kapoor

India is home to more than 200,000 refugees in India today including Afghans, Tibetans, Sri Lankan Tamils, Rohingya and more. Yet almost counterintuitively, the Indian government is highly skeptical of international refugee mechanisms designed to help conditions for refugees. India has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention and has been widely criticized for its treatment of Muslim refugees. Ria Kapoor argues in Making refugees in India that India’s complex relationship with refugees is “born of

Book Review - “Political Economy of Social Change and Development in Nepal” by Jeevan R Sharma

Nepal has undergone immense social change since 1951 and the end of the Rana dynasty. It has been transformed from a feudal autocratic monarchy to a federal republican democracy. Its politics, society and economy have been irrevocably changed by coups, civil war and political movements. So vast and far reaching are these changes that Jeevan R Sharma dubs them Nepal’s “great transformation”. Political Economy of Social Change and Development in Nepal is an attempt to provide a concise overview of

Book Review “Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st Century Conflict” by Sumantra Bose

Kashmir, or more accurately, Jammu & Kashmir (JK), is host to a long running conflict dating back to the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Ever since the majority Muslim JK, ruled by a Hindu leader Hari Singh, acceded to India, instead of Pakistan or declaring Independence, a conflict has raged in over the regions future. Sumantra Bose’s new book, a definitive account of the Jammu & Kashmir (JK) conflict, provides a strong historical background alongside an up to date political analysis...

Book Review “The Struggle for India’s Soul: Nationalism and the Fate of Democracy” by Shashi Tharoor

Since the 2014 election of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hindu nationalists have dominated India’s political arena. What does this mean for those, like Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who have a different idea of India? Tharoor’s vision of India as a pluralistic, secular society contrasts vividly with the ethno-religious nationalist state promulgated by the BJP. The clash between these two competing visions of India is the topic for his latest book. The first part of the book outlines nationali

Book Review “Until the World Shatters: Truth, Lies, and the Looting of Myanmar” by Daniel Combs

Resource extraction has been integral to the economy of Myanmar’s borderlands for decades. One of the most valuable of these is jade, mined in northern Kachin state and then smuggled over the border into China. In Until the world shatters: truth lies and the looting of Myanmar, Daniel Combs depicts this extraction, the cost it imposes on civilians and the myriad of uneasy business relationships between parties nominally at war with each other.

Book Review “Hisila: From Revolutionary to First Lady” by Hisila Yami

While in the mid 1990s, with China rapidly embracing capitalism, a Maoist insurgency may have seemed an incongruous throwback to the numerous proxy conflicts that had raged throughout the Cold War. Yet in Nepal, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) had never been more relevant. In 1996, Hisila Yami, daughter of a former government minister, went underground to take part in Nepal’s People’s War, as Maoists battled the Nepali state, fighting against a repressive monarchy. 11 years later, Hisilia

Book Review “All Roads Lead North: Nepal’s Turn to China” by Amish Raj Mulmi

Never in Nepal’s recent history has talk of China been so heated, or controversial, than in recent years. Since India’s 2015 border blockade, which crippled a Nepal still struggling to rebuild from a devasting earthquake, talk in Kathmandu has ramped up about the benefits of a stronger relationship with the nascent superpower to its north. Such a relationship would reset Nepal’s over-reliance on India and bring in a new era of trade and connectivity. This talk is often full of excited chatter of