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2016 Winner: John F. Richards Prize
The best biography of Ashoka the Great, ever written in English. STEVE DONOGHUE
A breath of fresh air and a new way of looking at an irresistible figure of history. THOMAS R TRAUTMANN
Differs significantly from the already available corpus of writings on the emperor. BD CHATTOPADHYAYA
To ancient rulers he was the iconic Buddhist king. Nehru considered him the greatest emperor of all time. HG Wells portrayed him as the sole shining star of antiquity. But who was the flesh-and-blood Ashoka?
Recovering Ashoka's life and times from legend, Lahiri crafts a wonderful biography of this most extraordinary emperor, providing him with contextual flesh, teasing out his psychology and personality from his edicts and archaeological data about life in India over the last few centuries BCE.
Professor of History at the Ashoka University, Nayanjot Lahiri won the Infosys Prize and most recently the John F Richards prize. She is the author of FINDING FORGOTTEN CITIES: HOW THE INDUS CIVILIZATION WAS DISCOVERED and MARSHALLING THE PAST: ANCIENT INDIA AND ITS MODERN HISTORIES.