For the Western reader, there is precious little that clearly explains the history, art, culture and society of India. John Keay is one of the few qualified writers filling the void about India's history and people including a piece for the Atlantic Monthly. Although one of the reviews criticizes Into India for not covering the pervasive corruption in India, I recommend that you click on the index page view of this work to get a glimpse of just how comprehensive this book is. I do like the reviewer's suggestion to read Naipaul. I would add, from the galaxy of talented writers coming out of India, Manil Suri, Arundahati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Raj Kahal, Akhil Sharma, Amit Chaudhuri, Mira Kamdar, and one of my favorites from British Vancouver, Anita Rau Badami, for those who want to understand the frustrations and fulfilments of living in India. Keay's Into India is certainly an excellent place to start and worth the space on any library shelf.