In the preface, Edwardes compares most histories of India to ""catalogues of antiquarian booksellers-collections of names and titles to which are fixed judgments of value"". He further states his intention ""to give a view of the life of the people of India-as well as their conquerors-within the framework of political events"" which will ""give a view, an impression, of the continuity of India"". The population of the sub-continent is usually described as teeming, and the same word applies to its history. It teems for 5000 years in a welter of races, religions, philosophies, dynasties, invasions, revolts, ""golden ages"". It would seem almost impossible to extract threads of continuity without over-simplification, but Edwardes has accomplished this through a careful emphasis on events which had more than local or transitory importance. He traces the political, religious, social and philosophical forces which culminate in modern India and Pakistan. The historical flow is further lightened and enlightened by the inclusion of pertinent accounts from the writings of contemporaries. This is an excellent history and overall perspective, with much insight into why India and Pakistan are what they are today.