The most remarkable achievement of the author has been to pioneer a modern history of Asian connections by looking at the impact of people moving across borders and frontiers, an impact that has typically been studied bilaterally. He thus tries to show how different groups of Asian peoples have been important in the shaping of modern Asia from a long historical perspective.

Second, Amrith has packed an encyclopedia into a readable book of 200 pages. With coverage of over 150 years (up to the present) and including many of the densely populated regions of Asia—the Gulf, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China—in considerable detail, this is no mean feat. Of course, this leaves out movements in other parts of Asia and his knowledge cannot be equally strong for all these areas; but he has taken on an important challenge and done a commendable job.

Amrith discusses several different groups, such...

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