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Thug: The True Story of India's Murderous Religion Hardcover – 26 May 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; 1st Edition edition (26 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862076049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862076044
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'A complicated story, made fascinating and immensely readable' -- Times Literary Supplement

'Cracking book… Dash brings a confident organisation to his material' -- The Telegraph

'For those interested in the wilder shores of human experience, Thug is an invaluable guide' -- The Times

'I read his book practically at one sitting (and have been having stealthy, silken nightmares ever since)' -- Eric Ormsby, The New York Sun

'Mike Dash has carved a fine place for himself among historians of the hauntingly bizarre' -- Andrew Roberts

'The only dust in the narrative is that of India’s backroads' -- The Independent on Sunday

‘Bloody Fascinating Stuff’ -- Sunday Sport

‘This is a fine book. It is well sourced and engagingly written...level- headed and clear- eyed, neither traditional nor revisionist’ -- George Rosie, Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

‘Well written, thoroughly researched volume… after reading it, one feels a slight elation’ -- BBC History

‘carefully researched and often fascinating account’ -- Literary Review

About the Author

Mike Dash is a Cambridge educated historian. He has worked as a magazine publisher, and is the author of four previous books including the bestsellers Tulipomania and Batavia's Graveyard. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G.I.Forbes on 16 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
This excellent book is well written and well researched.It deals with the history of the Thuggee clans from early times upto the 1850s when the murderous tribes were finally suppresed.
The Thugs were credited with killing between 50,000 and one million travellers by strangulation from the c15-to 19 centuries It wasnt till 1829 when William Sleeman was made head of the Thuggee and Dacoity Department of the East India Company that positive caction was taken.
Sleeman developed advanced investigation and policing methods which among other things involved extensive daata collection.
The trials of the 1830s had a major impact and many hundreds were executed or imprisoned and it would appear the murders had stopped by the 1840s and the matter concluded by the early 1850s.
There are excellent notes,glossary,gazzeter and bibliography allof which take up 55 pages
The illustrations really make the book and are outstanding.
A book to be recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Emperor on 6 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
A solid entertaining history book. He writes very well and is very good at backing up his opinions with evidence.

The subject matter is sensational but the book wasn't sensationalist at all.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Book worm on 3 May 2007
Format: Paperback
The Thugs were a criminal tribe in India and their story makes fascinating reading. They were responsible for the murder of thousands of Indians, in the last century This book is absolutely gripping at times and a good read.

The book is also full of interesting facts as an example the great carpet at Windsor castle has 400 knots to a sq inch. Some of the thugs who were captured were put to work on this carpet and they took ten years to make it in their prison in Agra.

Some non fiction books make you think it's a strange world -

This book is one of them - If you are looking for something to read one afternoon, then this is a good Book. If you are thinking of finding something to read at night, then this is a bad book as it may keep you up all night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allison Coe on 30 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I use this as one of the key texts for an A' Level course. It contains enough gruesome and bizarre details to keep them interested. I really enjoyed it as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love books about obscure history and Mike Dash is excellent at finding out about these things. This book is based around the cult/religion of 'Thugee' and their (the Thugs - where we get the word from)years or decades of preying on travellers in India, the bizarre way in which they operated and killed their victims. Everyone has a specific task including expert inveiglers - not something you would see advertised at Job Club.

He has used the work of Sleeman a British Justice who worked tirelesly to uncover the hideous truth about these men and how he went about bringing an end to it. I found this utterly absorbing, very well written and very well balanced, not too much theorizing which has become a trait of latter day historians, all in all he lets the reader draw thier own concusions and points you to do so in an unobtrusive way. Not really one for the beach but it made the daily tube journey flash by.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So much here that I did not know or understand about the "Cult" of Thugee. Would recommend to anyone with an interest who thinks that Thugs were just devotees of Kali.
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