Nepal emerged as a unified state over two hundred years ago, centred on the Kathmandu Valley with its two thousand years of urban civilisation. While John Whelpton's history focuses on the period since the overthrow of the Rana family autocracy in 1950–51, the early chapters are devoted to the origins of the kingdom and the evolving relations of its diverse peoples. By drawing on research on Nepal's environment, society and political institutions, the author portrays a country of extraordinary contrasts, which has been constantly buffeted by its neighbours, the two Asian giants, China and India. Economic and political turmoil over the last fifty years came to a climax in the massacre of the royal family in 2001, when the country erupted into civil war. The book, first published in 2005, is comprehensive and its accessible approach will appeal to students, professionals and those visiting the region.
Nepal is a living example of contrasts and contradictions.It is a country that was born in medieval times, grew up in the 16th century, and now finds itself engulfed in the high-tech gadgets and material marvels of the 21st century. Nepal has its share of problem which include inadequate economic development and social infrastructure, poverty and corruption, plus worsening pollution, but now it finally has relative peace and quiet after a hasty Maoist uprising. Indeed, it has passed through several democratic elections, and finally seems to be getting on the right track. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Nepal contains a chronology, an introduction, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Nepal.
Nepal today is at a critical crossroad, with hopes of its resurgence as a nation-state clouded in a mire of doubts and confusion. This book is primarily based on the author s ground assessment reached through interactions with innumerable people, both high and low, during his recent trek through Nepal. They include, besides the man on the street, some key personalities from the worlds of politics, academia, bureaucracy and business."