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Asia's history has been shaped by its waters. In Unruly Waters, historian Sunil Amrith reimagines Asia's history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts, and seas – and of the weather-watchers and engineers, mapmakers and farmers who have sought to control them. Looking out from India, he shows how dreams and fears of water shaped visions of political independence and economic development, provoked efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, and unleashed powerful tensions within and between nations.
Today, Asian nations are racing to construct hundreds of dams in the Himalayas, with dire environmental impacts; hundreds of millions crowd into coastal cities threatened by cyclones and storm surges. In an age of climate change, Unruly Waters is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand not only Asia's past but its future.
Sunil Amrith is the Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University. He is also the author of Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants. He has been a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge and in 2017 was awarded a MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship.
"An enthralling, elegantly written and, ultimately, profoundly alarming history"