What We Are Reading Today: Empress – The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Updated 11 August 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Empress – The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan

Acclaimed historian Ruby Lal has written a brilliant and compelling biography of Nur Jahan.
In 1611, 34-year-old Nur Jahan became the 20th and most cherished wife of the Emperor Jahangir.
The author uncovers the rich life and world of Nur Jahan, rescuing this dazzling figure from patriarchal cliches of romance and intrigue, and giving new insight into the lives of women and girls in the Mughal Empire.
In Empress, Nur finally receives her due in a deeply researched and evocative biography that awakens readers to a fascinating history.
“Lal has done a service to readers interested in the Mughal period and the many forgotten or poorly remembered women of Indian history. She has helped shine a little light on an enigmatic character many think they know but few actually understand,” Vikas Bajaj writes in a review published in the New York Times.
“Lal is clearly constrained by the paucity of the material she has to work with. But she seems too reluctant to draw inferences and make analytical deductions,” the review added.


What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine A political History from Camp David to Oslo

Updated 18 August 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Preventing Palestine A political History from Camp David to Oslo

On the 40th anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a groundbreaking new history shows how Egyptian-Israeli peace ensured lasting Palestinian statelessness.
For 70 years Israel has existed as a state, and for 40 years it has honored a peace treaty with Egypt. Yet the Palestinians — the would-be beneficiaries of a vision for a comprehensive regional settlement that led to the Camp David Accords in 1978 — remain stateless to this day. How and why Palestinian statelessness persists are the central questions of Seth Anziska’s groundbreaking book, which explores the complex legacy of the agreement brokered by President Jimmy Carter, says a review on the Princeton University Press website. Preventing Palestine charts the emergence of the Middle East peace process, including the establishment of a separate track to deal with the issue of Palestine. At the very start of this process, Anziska argues, Egyptian-Israeli peace came at the expense of the sovereignty of the Palestinians, whose aspirations for a homeland alongside Israel faced crippling challenges.