Tinderbox by M.J Akbar

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The book is full of stunning facts and quotable anecdotes.
-Withered Papyrus


“Among many recent books on Pakistan, Mr. Akbar’s stands out….A fine and detailed history of Indian Muslim anger and insecurity.”
The Economist

In Tinderbox, India’s leading journalist delivers a fascinating narrative history of Pakistan, chronicling the conflict between Muslim and Hindu cultures in South Asia and describing the role that their relationship has played in defining both the country and the region. Editorial director of India Today and editor of the Sunday Guardian, M. J. Akbar gives readers an unprecedented look at Pakistan past and present. Panoramic in scope but specific in detail, with rich portraits of the central figures and events that have defined the nation’s history, Ackbar’s Tinderbox tells the Pakistanian story from the Middle Ages to the present, puts the Taliban and its place within modern Islam into a meaningful context, and diagnoses where the country is headed in the 21st century.


About M.J Akbar

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M.J. Akbar is the editorial director of India Today and Headlines Today and editor of the Sunday Guardian. He is also an internationally published columnist and has authored several books, including India: The Siege Within: Challenges to a Nation's Unity, Nehru: The Making of India, Riot after Riot, Kashmir: Behind the Vale, The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity, Byline, and Blood Brothers. Tinderbox is his first book to be published in the United States. He lives in Delhi.
Published June 26, 2012 by Harper Perennial. 403 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Tinderbox
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 01 2012

Though the chapter on current affairs yields little new insight, Akbar presents a thoughtful historical perspective, rich in detail, research and gloom.

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Reviewed by Mantra Roy on Aug 16 2012

What is most fascinating about this book is the lucidity with which Akbar delineates historical details.

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Withered Papyrus

Reviewed by Withered Papyrus on Nov 11 2012

The book is full of stunning facts and quotable anecdotes.

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Reviewed by Winnowed on Mar 07 2011

A brilliant book which is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the Sub-Continent’s past and more importantly its future.

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Himal Southasian

Below average
Reviewed by Anjum Altaf on May 01 2011

It is disappointing that Akbar has little to say about whether or not the tinderbox looks set to explode. 

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Tara Leigh

Tara Leigh 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list