This guide features selected high-quality resources on the global, political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the continent of Asia and its countries. It features individual country pages as well as sources searchable by topic or country.
Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country. It has more inhabitants than either Russia or Japan, and its national language, Bengali, ranks sixth in the world in terms of native speakers. Founded in 1971, Bangladesh is a relatively young nation, but the Bengal Delta region has been a major part of international life for more than 2,000 years, whether as an important location for trade or through its influence on Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim life. Yet the country rarely figures in global affairs or media, except in stories about floods, poverty, or political turmoil. The Bangladesh Reader is an unprecedented, comprehensive introduction to the South Asian country's turbulent past and vibrant present.
Since its hard-won independence from Pakistan, Bangladesh has been ravaged by economic and environmental disasters. Only recently has the country begun to emerge as a fragile, but functioning, parliamentary democracy. The story of Bangladesh, told through the pages of this concise and readable book, is a truly remarkable one. By delving into its past, and through an analysis of the economic, political and social changes that have taken place over the last twenty years, the book explains how Bangladesh is becoming of increasing interest to the international community as a portal into some of the key issues of our age. In this way the book offers an important corrective to the view of Bangladesh as a failed state.