Modern India
by John McLeod
November 2019, 434pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5288-6
$100, 84€, A143
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5289-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Humans have lived continuously on the Indian subcontinent since around 15,000 BCE, or the end of the last Ice Age.

This one-volume thematic encyclopedia examines life in contemporary India, with topical sections focusing on geography, history, government and politics, economy, social classes and ethnicity, religion, food, etiquette, literature and drama, and more.

Modern Indian, an addition to the Understanding Modern Nations series, is an in-depth and interdisciplinary encyclopedia. While many books on life in India exist today, this volume is unique as a concise, accessible overview of multiple aspects of Indian society and history. It will be a useful background or supplemental text for anyone interested in modern Indian life and culture.

Individual chapters address all aspects of life in 21st-century India, from geography and history to economy and religion to etiquette and sports. Each chapter begins with an overview, followed by entries on, for example, major political parties or literary works. Each overview and entry is self-contained and accompanied by an up-to-date Further Reading list.


  • Includes "Day in the Life" features that portray specific daily activities of various people in the country, from high school students to working class people to professionals, providing readers with insight into daily life in the country
  • Defines key terms related to the reading in a glossary
  • Highlights interesting facts and figures, including information on the military, industry and labor, and finances, in an appendix
  • Provides at-a-glance information about India's festivals and feast days with a chart of national holidays
  • Illuminates the text with photos and sidebars, helping to illustrate key topics and allow students to dive more deeply into ideas
John McLeod, PhD, is professor of history at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. He is author of Greenwood’s The History of India, Second Edition as well as Sovereignty, Power, Control: Politics in the States of Western India 1916–1947. Hi is also coeditor (with Kenneth X. Robbins) of African Elites in India.


"Useful for both undergraduates and general readers interested in learning more about modern India."—Library Journal, March 1, 2020

"Recommended. All readership levels."—Choice, June 1, 2020

Understanding Modern Nations

The Understanding Modern Nations series profiles individual nations that are of interest to high school students and undergraduates, focusing on countries that are often studied in school as well as countries that have made major headlines in recent years.

With coverage of topics such as geography, history, politics and government, economy, society, culture, social media, pop culture, and personal accounts of daily life, these volumes serve as ideal resources for students of geography, social studies, anthropology, political science, and more. Additional topics examine religion, social classes and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, education, language, etiquette, literature and drama, art and architecture, music and dance, food, and leisure and sport.

General overviews of each topic provide students with a basic foundation on the subject, and entries pertaining to the topic—such as biographies of significant people in the field, iconic events, and key ideas—follow each overview. Sidebars and photos, facts and figures that are integral to better understanding the countries, a glossary of key terms, and a holidays chart round out the coverage in each of these accessible, engaging volumes.
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