“Among many recent books on Pakistan, Mr. Akbar’s stands out….A fine and detailed history of Indian Muslim anger and insecurity.”
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.
In Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan, acclaimed author and journalist M. J. Akbar traces the search for a “Muslim space” that began in the eighteenth century, and the events, people, circumstances, and mind-set that culminated in a fractured India in 1947. But why is Pakistan in danger of becoming a “jelly state,” a country that constantly quivers on the edge of instability? Akbar investigates contradictions in the nation’s modern leadership, from Jinnah’s secular ideals to the theocrats’ clear stance on creating a “sanctuary of Islam.” He also offers an intimate appraisal of the young nation’s future—including the global implications of nuclear armament and the harboring of terrorists like Osama bin Laden.
Tinderbox, a riveting and expansive biography of a nation, fills a crucial void in our understanding—even as the region’s conflicts grow to affect the entire world.