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Thomas Hall
Thomas Hall

The Story Of India(2007)



For more than 20 years, historian and broadcaster Michael Wood has made compelling journeys into the past, which have brought history alive for a generation of readers and viewers. He is the author of several highly praised books on English history including In Search of the Dark Ages, The Domesday Quest, in Search of England and In Search of Shakespeare. He has over 80 documentary films to his name, among them Art of the Western World, Legacy, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, Conquistadors and In Search of Myths and Heroes. His most recent work is the epic 6 part television series The Story of India which aired on BBC2 in August 2007.




The Story of India(2007)


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Michael was born in Manchester and educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oriel College Oxford, where he did post-graduate research in Anglo-Saxon history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


In this lavishly illustrated companion to his BBC TV series, Michael Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative out of the 10,000-year history of India. Home today to more than a fifth of the world's population, the subcontinent gave birth to the oldest and most influential civilization on Earth, to four world religions, and to the world's largest democracy. Now, as India bids to become a global giant, Michael sets out to trace the roots of India's present in the incredible riches of her past.


From the Khyber Pass and the Himalayas to the tropical jungles of India's Deep South, this original and striking survey of Indian history provides vivid portraits of India's regions and cultures, and new insights into some of history's greatest figures: the Buddha and Ashoka, Samudragupta and Akbar the Great, Nehru and Gandhi. It explores the ways in which Indian ideas and inventions have shaped the history of the world, and shows how some of ancient India's conclusions about the nature of civilization have lost none of their relevance for our own times.


The Story of India is a BBC documentary series, written and presented by historian Michael Wood about the history of India. It originally aired on BBC Two in six episodes in August and September 2007 as part of the BBC season "India and Pakistan 07", which marked the 60 year independence of India and Pakistan. An accompanying text to the series, titled Michael Wood: The Story of India, was published by BBC Books on 16 August 2007.


The documentary series about the history of India charts the coming of Islam to the subcontinent and one of the greatest ages of world civilisation: the Mughals. Mahmud of Ghazni leads an expedition to Somnath and destroys the temple of Shiva and all idols there. Michael Wood visits Sufi shrines in Old Delhi, desert fortresses in Rajasthan and the cities of Lahore and Agra, where he offers a new theory on the design of the Taj Mahal. He also looks at the life of Akbar, a Muslim emperor who decreed that no one religion could hold the ultimate truth, but whose dream of unity ended in civil war. In the narrative he movingly describes the murder of Darah Shikuh.


"Sachin said "I will not be the captain". Then who? Everybody looked around the room. I had a bird's eye view of the whole situation. Then he [Pawar] pointed at a tall fellow with long hair. The idea was not that he would succeed. Almost facetiously he pointed and it turned out that the man's name was Dhoni and the rest is history. He went and won the World Cup."


So on the occasion of Diwali, we celebrate not only the triumph of good, but also an epic that can be many different things but always one story. This can inspire us to celebrate our sense of unity and community in diversity, and our commitment to cross-cultural understanding. And it should inspire us to build anew the extraordinary partnership between India and the United States.


That barrier removed, political economy becomes something which never is, but is always to be, done; growing with the growing knowledge of the race, changing, as man, its subject-matter, changes; something which, in the nature of the case, must be the work, not of one mind but of many; something to which every man in his place may contribute, to which all classes and races of men must contribute, if the full truth is to be discovered; something to which every clime and every age bring gifts all their own; something to which the history of institutions, the course of invention, the story of human experience are not pertinent only but essential.


: The history of the Erie Railway has been a checkered one. Chartered in 1832, and organized in 1833.... Its financial troubles had, however, as yet only begun, for in 1859 it could not meet the interest on its mortgages, and passed into the hands of a receiver. In 1861 an arrangement of interests was effected, and a new company was organized. The next year the old New York & Erie Railroad Company disappeared under a foreclosure of the fifth mortgage, and the present Erie Railway Company rose from its ashes. Meanwhile the original estimate of three millions had developed into an actual outlay of fifty millions; the 470 miles of track opened in 1842 had expanded into 773 miles in 1868; and the revenue, which the projectors had "confidently" estimated, at something less than two millions in 1833, amounted to over five millions when the road passed into the hands of a receiver in 1859, and in 1865 reached the enormous sum of sixteen millions and a half. The road was, in truth, a magnificent enterprise, worthy to connect the great lakes with the great seaport of America. Scaling lofty mountain ranges, running through fertile valleys and by the banks of broad rivers, connecting the Hudson, the Susquehanna, the St. Lawrence, and the Ohio, it stood forth a monument at once of engineering skill and of commercial enterprise.


The series of events in the Erie history which culminated in the struggle about to be narrated may be said to have had its origin some seventeen or eighteen years before, when Mr. Daniel Drew first made his appearance in the Board of Directors, where he remained down to the year 1868, generally holding also the office of treasurer of the corporation. Mr. Drew is what is known as a self-made man. Born in the year 1797, as a boy he drove cattle down from his native town of Carmel, in Putnam County, to the market of New York City, and, subsequently, was for years proprietor of the Bull s Head Tavern. Like his contemporary, and ally or opponent, as the case might be, Cornelius Vanderbilt, he built up his fortunes in the steamboat interest, and subsequently extended his operations over the rapidly developing railroad system. Shrewd, unscrupulous, and very illiterate, a strange combination of superstition and faithlessness, of daring and timidity, often good-natured and sometimes generous, he ever regarded his fiduciary position of director in a railroad as a means of manipulating its stock for his own advantage.


Been working hard on a booklet on the twelve Shum Mamsani. For those of you who don't know, Mamsani is a basic meditation map created by Gurudeva, just has a couple of words in it, it's not complicated. A few words in the language he created for meditation which is the Shum language. And just to make sure we didn't forget the twelve meditation maps he had them carved into the pillars of the Iraivan Temple. So, they'll be staring at us for the lifetime of Iraivan Temple which is projected as a thousand years. Gives it a guaranteed future. So the booklet has a little more than just the twelve Mamsani. Has in it also the story of Shum which is Gurudeva's personal narrative of how Shum came to be, back in 1968, when Gurudeva started the Shum language. As in the "Advaitin" which is the book Gurudeva was writing which catalyzed him to discover the Shum language, cause he realized trying to explain all of these concepts in English was impossible. The idea is that any technical subject develops a specialized vocabulary. Computers are a good example. All the words in computers weren't around fifty years ago. Developed a huge vocabulary in terms to enable everyone to be precise regarding computers. So, Gurudeva felt no language did that for meditation. He tried Sanskrit for a while but found that it was really very broad in it's terms. Take a concept like jyoti or light in Sanskrit, it had no precise meaning. Very broad so he decided to discover his own language which is the Shum language.


So in the realm of innersearch and retreat programs as I mentioned, we have a weekend retreat coming up this Memorial Day in Northern California, and our major program of course is the three week 2008 Asian Odyssey to Cambodia, Malaysia and South India, which is January of 2008. So we have a variety of experiences planned in that program from history, going to Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, that'll be very interesting. In a grand scale they built temples on back then. Going to Thai Pusam at Batu Caves in Malaysia and it'll, an intimate gathering with a million people. So we thought it's good for those who are used to Hinduism on a small scale to see it on a grand scale. In other words get used to Hinduism in North America for example in Europe, Australia, you never see a million people gather and worship. So it's a wonderful experience to participate in something like that, it gives you sense of the scale of Hinduism. Hinduism does have the biggest religious gathering on the planet is the Kumbha Mela. You feel like every thing's on a grand scale as well as intimate scale.


Her work is widely known, having been published in over 50 magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and over 50 anthologies in thirteen languages. In 1996, she was awarded the prestigious American Book Award for her short story collection Arranged Marriage.


History 100 traces the gradual integration of various regions of the world into an interconnected system. The course follows a chronological narrative from the 15th century to the present comparing the way different societies developed and interacted with each other. The main themes will be political systems, imperial conquest and resistance, trade and cultural exchange, and the role of women and gender. Forms of assessment include three exams and two short papers. 041b061a72


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