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Paperback: Vishnu's Crowded Temple, by Maria Misra

India has hardly lacked good general histories of late, but Misra's sure-footed dance from the 1857 rebellion to today's fragile boom is special. Ordering a vast wealth of material into a narrative of pace and bite, she has a virtuoso grasp of the ways that ideas and beliefs shape change. This is history as nimble and protean as the modish monkey-god, Hanuman, himself.