Crossing the Bay of Bengal

BayBengalCrossing the Bay of Bengal
Sunil S. Amrith
Kindle Edition  $16.17, Amazon Hardcover  $26.78
368 pages
Harvard University Press

I enjoy books that cover the history of a certain geographical region. I’ve been reading them for quite a few years. I remember taking a book on the Black Sea with us when we took a Catalina and Ensenada cruise in the mid-1990’s.

I was intrigued, therefore, when I read a positive review of Crossing the Bay of Bengal in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Initially the book was not available in Kindle format, but a Kindle edition showed up recently. I was a tad disappointed.

The book was interesting, to be sure. It covers the interaction of people in India on one side of the bay and what is now Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia on the other. Amrith goes back to the earliest crossings of the Bay, through the colonial period, and on to the present day. Still, I felt that the content was thinner, if you will, than I would have liked.

The book was actually shorter than the page count would suggest, as there is a lot of back matter, including a glossary, notes, list of abbreviations, and index.

If this region is of particular interest to you, you’ll likely enjoy the book. If it presents only a passing interest, there are probably other books more worthy of your time.

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