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The task of writing any religious group's history is like walking on a mine field. Grewal has come out of this walk unscathed, nothing less than a miracle. Many historians have burnt their fingers doing what Grewal has done so well. This books starts with the evolution of Sikh philosophy and traces the Sikh history as it went through many twists and turns. The noticable difference is that author doesn't treat Sikhs in isolation from their surroundings. It puts the Sikhs and their history in full social context of those times. In fact, the book also offers the best history of Mughal period as it coincides with Sikh Gurus very well. It dwells upon the political, cultural and religious unfolding of this period. The internal conflict among various Sikh sects and communities is represented very well. The language is very crisp, concise and without any repetition or unwanted opinion pieces. Anyone trying to understand the modern political upheaval in the region must start with this book. It covers the period from well before Guru Nanak to 1980s. One can easily see why it took author 10 years to write it. A must for anyone having anything to do with Sikhs or Punjab. Worth every cent of its price.