Ashoka: The Search for India's Lost Emperor

Sun 16 July 2017 by Thejaswi Puthraya

Ashoka is a king we idolize, one who gave up violence to take up the path of the Buddha, one who spread Buddhism the world over. We learn about him as children and admire his greatness. But that's only now! Just 100 years ago, we weren't even aware of him.

"Ashoka - The Search for India's Lost Emperor" is Charles Allen's book that recollects the pain-staking research and investigation mostly by our colonial rulers that helped India rediscover it's first emperor. If you plan to learn more about Ashoka through this book, you are better picking a different one. This book primarily focuses on the various archaeologists and historians and how they pieced together Ashoka's life, which had been deliberately erased by the powers that he upset.

I enjoyed reading this book because it almost feels more like a whodunnit than a history. Gripping unto the last word.