An Incomplete List of Books, Films on Pakistan History

mark_twain_quote_3When reading history–rather, anything at all–we should remember to read as many different versions as possible so as to get a bigger picture of the topic. Particularly when learning about the history of the formation of a state, we should be critical of everything we read and question the motives, the objectives, and the agenda of the text. There are always at least two sides to every issue, and, without necessarily accepting or rejecting one or the other, we should at least familiarize ourselves with whatever is there so that our opinion is more informed.

I also suggest that we read more than one genre of historical writing to broaden our understanding of any particular historical event or phenomenon. These would include–besides books/textbooks–novels, movies/films, comics, letters, and so on. Each provides what the other may not, and they all can complement each other to give us a fuller, more closer to complete depiction of the reality of something we’re interested in learning about.

Below, I share a list of books and films on the history of Pakistan, and I ask that if there’s any book/film out there that you think should be included in the list, please feel free to share it with us.Thanks!

In alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Click the title for details, reviews, etc. on each book.

Books (Non-Fiction)

To be continued. Suggestions welcomed!




10 thoughts on “An Incomplete List of Books, Films on Pakistan History

  1. My suggestions

    The Indus Saga – Aitzaz Ahsan

    History of Pakistan – Pakistan through ages – Ahmed Hassan Dani

    Empire of the Indus – Alice Albinia

    Pakistan: A Personal History – Imran Khan

    Pakistan: A Dream Gone Sour – Roedad Khan

    5000 years of Pakistan – Sir Mortimer Wheeler

    The Grandeur of Gandhara – Rafi us Samad

    Dead Reckoning – Sharmila Bose

    The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir – Chris Snedden

    Jinnah: India,Partition, Independence – Jaswant Singh

    Songs of Blood and Swords: A Daughter’s memoir – Fatima Bhutto


    • It is terribly ironic that Zarghun, who brought up the Hazara massacres in history in his earlier comment feels that a genocide denial book like ‘Dead Reckoning’ is essential reading on the Pakistani state and its army.

      Please ask the victims of the Bangladesh genocide and any serious historian what they feel about that book.


    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with his suggestion. I actually appreciate it because, like I said in the post above, we need multiple sources on history and what they highlight and what they ignore tell us a lot about the authors. Each of the above books complements the others.

      Thank you for your suggestion, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello! Long time reader, first time commenter. Love your blog! 🙂

    Anyway, I thought I’d throw this one into the ring:
    ‘The Dancing Girls of Lahore’ by Louise Brown – an ethnography of the Hira Mandi/Tibbi Galli neighbourhood


    • Thank you, Raya! For your readership and suggestion!
      I’ve read that book! Definitely worth adding it to the list. I’ll add it in when I wake up, iA.


  3. “Creating a New Medina: State Power, Islam, and the Quest for Pakistan in Late Colonial North India” – Venkat Dhulipala

    This book is interesting and innovative. Interesting because it sheds light on the Pakistan movement through the politics and aspirations of the people who formed the precursors of today’s Urdu-speaking ‘Muhajir community’. This community has been influential in Pakistan since its inception and their language, Urdu, is the national language.

    Innovative because it brings to the table the rhetoric and deliberations of the Urdu language media in late colonial South Asia, shifting the focus away from high-table, elite-level negotiations and discourse.


  4. Pingback: dear good people, when you access amazon through my blog, i get paid! | Freedom from the Forbidden

You're welcome to share your thoughts - but I don't accept bigotry and don't publish all comments <3

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s