by Andrew Robinson

​​​Books

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1. SCIENCE AND THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE

 

The Shape of the World: The Mapping and Discovery of the Earth
1989/90: George Philip/Rand McNally—with Simon Berthon
(accompanied a Granada Television series sponsored by IBM, shown worldwide) 
--read a related review ("Hell in the Pacific") in Nature, 10 October 2013.
--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know how to measure longitude?") in (BBC) Focus, Summer 2014.

Earthshock: Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes and Other Forces of Nature 
1993: Thames & Hudson, rev. edn 2002 
(translated into four languages; it won the US-based Association of Earth Science Editors Outstanding Publication Award for 1994)

  • "A wonderful compilation of the things that can happen when our planet does no more than turn in its long sleep."

        (James Lovelock, geochemist and environmentalist)

  • "The pictures alone make this book worthwhile for anyone interested in the workings of the world. ... Combined with the text, they make Earthshock a wonderful book for anyone curious about natural phenomena—I would have loved a copy for Christmas when I was a teenager." 

        (Sue Bowler, New Scientist)

  • "This is quite simply a delicious book, thought provoking, informative and witty."

        (W. J. Albery, Master of University College, Oxford, University College Record)

--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know the cause of volcanic eruptions?") in (BBC) Focus, February 2015.

Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity
2005: Palazzo/Abrams; Metro, 2010; rev. edn, Princeton University Press, 2015
(translated into eight languages. Published during the 2005 centenary of Einstein's discovery of special relativity, the book is a biography, with additional contributions, edited by the author, from physicists, writers and others, who include three Nobel laureates--Philip W. Anderson, Joseph Rotblat and Steven Weinberg--plus Diana K. Buchwald, Arthur C. Clarke, Freeman Dyson, Philip Glass and Stephen Hawking)

  • "By far the best book about Einstein that I have ever come across" 

        (Patrick Moore, BBC Sky at Night)

  • "Of all the books about Einstein that have passed through the Physics World office during the last twelve months, Einstein: A Hundred Years of Relativity is by far and away the most appealing. The book contains material on all aspects of Einstein's scientific work and private life, including eleven highly readable essays. It is filled with a myriad of familiar and not-so-familiar images."

        (Physics World

--read a related review by AR ("Einstein on and off the soapbox") in New Scientist, 14 April 2007.
--read a related review by AR ("Einstein online") in Science, 19 December 2014.
--read a related feature by AR ("Einstein's mysterious genius") at OUPblog, 20 November 2015.
--read an interview with AR about five key books on Einstein's life and science at FiveBooks.com, 20 November 2015.
--read a related feature by AR ("Why is Einstein famous?") at Project Syndicate, 25 November 2015.
--read a related feature by AR ("Einstein in Oxford") at PrincetonUniversityPressblog, 1 December 2015.
--read a (different) related feature by AR ("Einstein in Oxford") in Christ Church Matters, Michaelmas Term 2015.

--read a related review by AR about Einstein and politics ("How Einstein brought politics into the equation") in The Daily Telegraph, 24 September 2016.

--read a related review by AR about Einstein and quantum mechanics ("Space, time and spooky action") in Physics World, April 2017.

--read a related feature by AR ("The saga of the Einstein Tower") in BBC History Magazine (History Extra), May 2017.

--read a related review by AR ("Einstein's magnum opus") in Science, 25 August 2017.

--read a related feature by AR ("We just can't stop misquoting Einstein") in PrimeMind, March 2016, a second related feature by AR ("Thus spake Albert") in Aeon, 12 March 2018, and a third related feature by AR ("Einstein said that -- didn't he?") in Nature, 3 May 2018.

--read a related review by AR about Einstein's travels in the Far East and Palestine ("Einstein goes east") in Science, 18 May 2018.

--read a related review by AR about Einstein and black holes ("Black holes and revelations") in Physics World, June 2019


The Last Man Who Knew Everything: Thomas Young, The Anonymous Polymath Who Proved Newton Wrong, Explained How We See, Cured the Sick, and Deciphered the Rosetta Stone, Among Other Feats of Genius
2006: Pi Press/Oneworld; pbk edn Plume/Oneworld, 2007

--see Wikipedia: The Last Man Who Knew Everything.

  • "It is wonderful to have such an elegant biography of this remarkable man."

        (Philip W. Anderson, Nobel laureate in physics)

  • "I must confess that—to my shame—I was unaware of the career of Thomas Young. Clearly he was an extraordinary man. (If I may paraphrase myself: When Thomas Young was my age, he had been dead for 22 years.) And [this] is clearly an extraordinary book."

        (Tom Lehrer, mathematician and song-writer)

  • "It is the best biography I have read for many years."

        (Patrick Moore, astronomer and writer)

  • "Thomas Young... is a neglected English intellectual hero... whose life and work is properly celebrated in this fine book."

        (Ian Finlayson, The Times)

  • "The occasional diagram is almost superfluous, because Robinson's writing is so lucid. In fact the style of the entire book is a wonder. With no flourishes, no time wasting, Robinson calmly deciphers the man and his numerous fields of enquiry. Clearly, Robinson has some polymathic tendencies."

        (Michael Sims, The Los Angeles Times)

  • The book was cited by BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman as part of a question about Thomas Young on the television programme, University Challenge, in December 2015.

--read a related feature by AR ("Thomas Young: the man who knew everything") in History Today, April 2006.
--read a related feature by AR ("Thomas Young and the Rosetta Stone") in Endeavour, June 2007.

--read a related feature by AR ("Anonymous polymath") in the British Museum Magazine, Autumn 2007.
--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know the nature of light?") in (BBC) Focus, December 2014.

--read a related review by AR ("Passionate polymath") in The Lancet, 18 June 2016.

--listen to a related feature about polymathy including AR on BBC Radio 4, Monkman and Seagull's Polymathic Adventure, 21 August 2017.

--read a related review by AR ("In pursuit of polymathy") in The Lancet, 11 May 2019.

The Story of Measurement
2007: Thames & Hudson 
(translated into nine languages; selected as Book of the Month in Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society)

  • "Andrew Robinson's The Story of Measurement is a fine introduction to the topic. Robinson aims to cover just about everything that is measurable in nature and in man."

        (Eileen Magnello, The Times Literary Supplement)

        --read the review.

  • "This is a sumptuous book, a sensual pleasure to look at ... crammed ... with beguiling images of anything to do with measurement—from abacuses to zeptograms ... It is, however, intelligently written and always rewarding to dip into."

        (Andro Linklater, Geomatics World)

--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know the length of one metre?") in (BBC) Focus, August 2014.

--read a related review by AR ("Connecting us all: how satellites remade the world") in New Scientist, 18 February 2017.

Sudden Genius?: The Gradual Path to Creative Breakthroughs
2010: Oxford University Press

  • "Scientists, like artists, are creative; but a science of creativity sounds another matter. Andrew Robinson's beautifully written book reviews what we know—and more crucially don't know—about creativity, scientifically speaking. No easy explanation of creative genius is possible, as Robinson shows with his carefully chosen case histories of five artists and five scientists."

        (Chris McManus, author of Right Hand, Left Hand)

  • "Robinson's book ranges widely and well, and he proves himself adept at explaining complex concepts in areas as diverse as physics and Egyptian hieroglyphics. ... through its excellent synthesis of biography, history and theory, Sudden Genius? brings us closer to an understanding of what makes the great artists and scientists tick."

        (Ian Critchley, The Sunday Times)

  • "Robinson's ten subjects display his impressive intellectual range. He is equally at home with scientists and artists and, besides the obvious Einstein, Leonardo, Darwin, Mozart and Wren, includes Satyajit Ray, Cartier-Bresson and Champollion, the decipherer of the Rosetta Stone."

        (Peter Forbes, The Independent)

--read a related feature by AR ("Perspiration, inspiration, and the 10-year rule") in The Lancet, 30 October 2010.

--read a related review by AR ("In search of Ramanujan") in Nature, 31 March 2016.


Genius: A Very Short Introduction
2011: Oxford University Press

  • "impressively wide-ranging, with illuminating discussions of whether there is a personality conducive to genius, intelligence tests, eureka experiences, and theory that (to quote Edison) 'genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration'." 

        (P. D. Smith, The Guardian)

The Scientists: An Epic of Discovery
2012: Thames & Hudson
(translated into nine languages; a highly illustrated collection of biographical essays on some forty scientists contributed by established scientists, historians and science writers, such as Frank Close, Virginia Morell and Martin Rudwick, edited by AR)

--see Wikipedia: The Scientists (book)​. 

--see the list of contributors: "a stellar team" (Nature).

  • read the review in Nature, 13 January 2013.
  • read a review in The Lancet, 12 January 2013.
  • see a slideshow, "7 epic moments in science history", Huffington Post, 2 October 2012. 


Earthquake: Nature and Culture
2012: Reaktion Books
(an illustrated history of earthquakes forming part of a series, Earth, on the culture and science of great natural phenomena; selected for the Scientific American Book Club) 

  • "Studying earthquakes is somewhat like the apocryphal medical school dean who tells students: “'Half of what we will teach you in the next four years is wrong. The problem is that we don’'t know which half.' Robinson conveys this spirit in a lively and well-written introduction to earthquakes and how people discovered, struggle to understand, and try to figure out how to deal with this dramatic, destructive, and still poorly understood phenomenon."

        (Seth Stein, author of Disaster Deferred: How New Science Is Changing Our View of Earthquake

        Hazards in the Midwest)

  • read a review in The Independent, 22 December 2012. 
  • read a review in Current World Archaeology, February/March 2013. 

--read a related feature by AR ("Shake, rattle and roll") in Minerva, March/April 2013.
--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know what causes earthquakes?") in (BBC) Focus, October 2013.
--read a related review by AR on Japanese seismicity in E&T (Engineering & Technology), June 2014. 
--read a related review by AR on an Indian earthquake in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 2014.
--read a related review by AR on plate tectonics in Geoscientist, March 2015.

Exceptional Creativity in Science and Technology: Individuals, Institutions, and Innovations
2013: Templeton Press
(a collection of essays based on a conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, edited by AR)

  • "Following a series of outstanding books on various aspects of the history of science, Andrew Robinson has now edited a fascinating work which explores the origins of the greatest scientific institutions in the world and their innovations which have changed our lives."

        (David Weatherall, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford)

  • read a review in the Los Angeles Review of Books, 30 December 2013.

--read a related review by AR on inventions that didn't change the world in The Lancet, 24 January 2015.
--read a related review by AR on the rise and fall of the Superconducting Supercollider in Physics World, December 2015.
--read a related feature by AR ("Professors, polymaths and creativity") in a collection, Specialism, 2016.

Earth-Shattering Events: Earthquakes, Nations and Civilization
2016: Thames & Hudson

  • "Andrew Robinson's Earth-Shattering Events is a truly welcome, and refreshing, study that puts earthquake impact on history into a proper perspective. As he so well states: 'Overall, history suggests that great earthquakes have indeed sometimes been important in the decline, collapse and rebirth of societies.' The book is especially rewarding for those of us who are concerned with the intricate interrelations between natural disasters, human acts (or the lack of them) and historical changes spanning several millennia."

        (Amos Nur, author of Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God)

  • "in this innovative and persuasive book Robinson points out that more than half of the world's largest cities lie on unstable plate-tectonic boundaries"

        (Michael Prodger, The Times)

  • read a review in The Sunday Times, 27 March 2016 and a second review on 3 April 2016.
  • listen to an interview with AR broadcast on BBC World Service, Weekend, 3 April 2016 (begins at 37:30).
  • read a review in The Times, 16 April 2016.
  • read a review in The Daily Telegraph, 16 April 2016, and a related feature in The Daily Telegraph, 17 April 2016. 
  • read a review in Geoscientist, April 2016. 
  • read a review in Physics World, May 2016.
  • read a review in Nature, 2 June 2016.
  • read a review in Science, 8 July 2016.
  • read a review in Minerva, July/August 2016.
  • read a review in Geographical, August 2016.
  • read a review in Choice, 1 November 2016.

--read a related feature by AR ("Use a toad to catch a quake") in New Scientist, 3 December 2016.

--read a related feature by AR ("Earthquakes in political, economic, and cultural history") in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, May 2017.


Einstein on the Run: How Britain Saved the World's Greatest Scientist

24 September 2019: Yale University Press

  • "Robinson’s evocative account of a transitional phase in Einstein’s life offers a valuable new perspective on this great scientist’s personality." 

        (Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society)

  • "A readable and engaging account of the life of one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century through all the reversals of his childhood and the horrors of 1930s Germany, overcome only by an unbreakable self-confidence, through to his exile in Britain and in America and all the accolades and achievements (with the sorrows and anxieties which accompanied them) for which he is remembered today."

        (Judith Curthoys, Archivist of Christ Church College, University of Oxford)

  • "During the 1930s, more than 60,000 Jews from Central Europe found political refuge in Britain, among them the world-renowned physicist Albert Einstein. Far from living in an ivory tower of science, Einstein was a tireless campaigner for human rights and international understanding. Andrew Robinson’s beautifully written book is a timely reminder of the values of affection, tolerance and justice that transcend national boundaries."

        (Daniel Siemens, author of Stormtroopers: A New History of Hitler’s Brownshirts)

  • "A wonderful and absorbing account of Einstein’s journey from Germany to Princeton and the scientific and political struggles of the 1920s and 1930s. This book is an absolute page-turner, elegantly written and constantly fascinating; I found it very hard to put down."

        (Stephen J. Blundell, author of Magnetism: A Very Short Introduction)

  • "This is a jewel of a book, to be read by anyone interested in Albert Einstein, his science, his peripatetic existence, his joys and travails. Einstein here is seen as navigating a ship across turbulent seas, often subject to forces beyond his control, yet steering with determination into the storms of scientific inquiry, on a voyage of survival during which he was helped by important friends in England and beyond."

        (Diana K. Buchwald, General Editor and Director, Einstein Papers Project)

  • "In late 1915, in the middle of the First World War, Albert Einstein compared loyalty to the state with an individual’s relationship to life insurance. Andrew Robinson, in his compelling tale of Einstein’s reception in Britain, describes how the physicist’s initial aloofness and disdain for pinched patriotism evolved into a genuine admiration for British society in sharp contrast to his views on his native Germany. Four years after a bitter war, Britain conferred on Einstein the recognition and honour that his homeland denied him and a decade later offered him temporary refuge when the Nazi regime shunned him. Through the prism of Einstein’s relationship with Britain, moreover, Robinson casts in bold relief important insights into the nature and character of British and German societies in the interwar period."

        (Robert Schulmann, former head, Einstein Papers Project)

  • "Robinson’s thrilling new book on Albert Einstein’s relationship to Britain, Einstein on the Run, is the very first study of its kind. It fills a crucial gap in the research on the renowned physicist and humanist. It wears its thorough and conscientious scholarship lightly on its sleeve--it is a splendidly entertaining read. The book utilises many hitherto unknown historical sources and introduces us to every facet of Einstein’s complex relationship with Britain and its people."

        (Ze’ev Rosenkranz, editor of The Travel Diaries of Albert Einstein)























​​

2. ARCHAEOLOGY AND SCRIPTS 

 

The Story of Writing: Alphabets, Hieroglyphs and Pictograms
1995: Thames & Hudson, pbk edn 2000, 2nd edn 2007 
(translated into twelve languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese; a bestseller)

  • "A fascinating book"

        (Henri Cartier-Bresson, photographer)

        --read a related letter from Cartier-Bresson to AR.

  • "The most accessible and informative book available on the major writing systems of the world"

        (History Today)

  • "Rich in images ... well-informed and assured"

        (Philip Morrison, Scientific American)

--read a related review by AR ("Signs of meaning") in Science, 3 April 2009.

--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs?") in (BBC) Focus, Summer 2013.


Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World’s Undeciphered Scripts 
2002: McGraw-Hill; rev. edn, Thames & Hudson, 2009
(selected by the Softback Preview as Book of the Month)

  • "Andrew Robinson has now followed up his beautifully illustrated The Story of Writing with a highly appropriate sequel: Lost Languages, on undeciphered scripts. Many, it seems likely, will never be deciphered—which raises an interesting question. If we cannot always understand messages from our fellow humans—how successful will we be when we receive the first communication from Outer Space?"

        (Arthur C. Clarke, writer)

  • "An accessible primer...a potent mix of academic esoterica, code-cracking and controversy—the same giddy cocktail that made The Da Vinci Code such a success, but with much greater scholarship"

        (James McConnachie, The Sunday Times

  • "Robinson's enthusiasm for the subject is so infectious that you might find yourself trying to crack Etruscan in your spare time."

        (Archaeology)

--read a related feature by AR ("Decoding antiquity: eight scripts that still can't be read") in New Scientist, 30 May 2009.

--read a related review by AR ("Calligraphic conundrum", about the mysterious Voynich manuscript) in Nature, 3 November 2016.

--read a related review by AR ("The codes that got away", about unsolved codes) in Nature, 8 June 2017.


The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris 
2002: Thames & Hudson, pbk edn 2012 
(the basis for a BBC television drama-documentary, A Very English Genius)

  • "Excellent: well researched and clearly presented ... compelling reading"

        (Torsten Meissner, The Times Literary Supplement

        --read the review.

  • "A wonderfully swift and clear biography"

        (The Economist)

  • "A superb biography of Michael Ventris, combining a warm account of his life with just enough detail to satisfy those who have knowledge of linguistics or indeed of the classics."

        (Current World Archaeology)

--read a related feature by AR ("Cracking the Linear B code") in BBC History Magazine, July 2002.

--read a related feature by AR ("The code breakers") in Minerva, September/October 2012.
--read a related feature by AR ("Michael Ventris: the man who deciphered Linear B") in Argo, the magazine of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, Autumn/Winter 2015. 

--read a related review by AR ("The master decoders", about an exhibition on Alan Turing and Michael Ventris) in New Scientist, 18 November 2017.
--see also the entry on Michael Ventris by AR in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction 
2009: Oxford University Press

  • "Accessible and succinct, … [it] is, indeed, a short but excellent introduction to the written forms of communication." 

        (British Museum Magazine)


Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-François Champollion
2012: Thames & Hudson; Oxford University Press USA, pbk edn 2018
(the first biography in English of the man who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs) 

  • "An entertaining, highly readable and authoritative biography of the greatest decipherer of all time"

        (Michael D. Coe, author of Breaking the Maya Code)

  • "Andrew Robinson's Champollion is a brash genius, with the power to make loyal friends but also bitter enemies ... This is a spirited account of a fascinating subject: the birth of Egyptology ... written with verve, elegance and perception."

        (John Ray, Professor of Egyptology, University of Cambridge)

  • read a review in The Financial Times, 21 April 2012.
  • read a review in The Independent 12 May 2012.
  • read a review in Nature, 17 May 2012.
  • read a review in Current World Archaeology, 53, 2012.
  • read a review in The Wall Street Journal, 16 June 2012.
  • read a review in The Washington Post, 22 August 2012.
  • read a review in Antiquity, September 2012.
  • read a review in Egyptian Archaeology, Autumn 2012.
  • read a review in History Today, November 2012.

--read a related feature by AR ("Jean-François Champollion and ancient Egyptian embalming") in The Lancet, 12 May 2012.

--read a related feature by AR ("How do we know the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphs?") in (BBC) Focus, Summer 2013.

--read a related review in Science, 22 April 2016. 

--read a related feature by AR ("Revolutionary codebreaker") in the British Museum Magazine, Spring/Summer 2018.

--read a related feature by AR ("Jean-François Champollion in Egypt") in the Ashmolean Magazine, Spring 2018.

--read a related feature by AR ("Hero of the hieroglyphs") in Minerva, May-June 2018.


The Indus: Lost Civilizations 
2015: Reaktion Books

  • "A great book on a not-so-easy subject!"

        (Michael D. Coe, author of Breaking the Maya Code)

  • "Andrew Robinson creates a brilliant portrait of one of the world's most enigmatic early civilizations. In doing so, he crosses the boundaries between different academic disciplines with effortless panache and high learning. This succinct account of the Indus civilization, its script, religious beliefs and its complex inheritance, places a vigorous, urban society in its rightful historical context. Everyone interested in ancient civilizations should read this eloquent, closely argued biography (it is nothing less) that brings the Indus people in from the historical shadows." 

        (Brian Fagan, author of The Great Warming and Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind)

  • "The Indus is very well written and eminently readable ... Andrew Robinson deals with all the unsolved problems in a fair manner and with balanced judgement ... a valuable contribution to the literature on the Indus civilization." 

        (Iravatham Mahadevan, author of The Indus Script: Texts, Concordance and Tables)  

  • read a review in Current World Archaeology, 74, 2015.
  • read a review on harappa.com, the leading website for Indus studies.
  • read a review in Choice, June 2016.
  • read a review in Fortean Times, July 2016.
  • read a review in Minerva, July/August 2016.
  • read a review in Dawn, 7 August 2016.
  • listen to an interview with AR broadcast on the BBC World Service, Newsday, 22 September 2016.
  • listen to an interview with AR broadcast on Radio New Zealand, Labour Day, 24 October 2016.
  • read a review in the Indian Historical Review, 2016.
  • read a review in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 2017.

--read a related feature by AR ("Cracking the Indus script") in Nature, 22 October 2015.

--read a related feature about the Indus civilization and war by AR ("Forgotten utopia") in New Scientist, 17 September 2016.


As contributor:

i.  The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Ancient World
edited by Brian M. Fagan
2001: Thames & Hudson
--the section, "Ancient and Undeciphered Scripts"
ii.  The Oxford Companion to the Book
edited by Michael Suarez and Henry Woudhuysen
2010: Oxford University Press
--the first section, "Writing Systems"
iii.  The Great Archaeologists
edited by Brian Fagan
2014: Thames & Hudson
--biographical entries on Jean-François Champollion, Henry Rawlinson and Michael Ventris

iv.  Writing: Making Your Mark

edited by Ewan Clayton

2019: The British Library

--the opening essay, "The origins of writing", to a catalogue accompanying a British Library exhibition, Writing: Making Your Mark





























​​


​​3. INDIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE

1. Books on Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye 
1989/1990: Andre Deutsch/University of California Press; 2nd edn, I.B. Tauris/Oxford University Press (India), 2004

  • "An extraordinarily good, detailed and selfless book"

        (V. S. Naipaul, Nobel laureate in literature)

  • "I have read this book with profound admiration for its research and the manner in which it has integrated the details. It is an important document as well as a literary contribution."

        (R. K. Narayan, writer)

  • "A signal salute to integrity"

        (Lindsay Anderson, The Spectator)

  • "Extremely thorough, often perceptive and at times highly entertaining"

        (Salman Rushdie, London Review of Books)

  • "A glorious book, a feast of research and insight."

        (Films and Filming)

  • "Mr Robinson's close analysis of the warp and woof of Mr Ray's work makes an almost unanswerable case for the defence."

        (The Economist)


The Chess Players and Other Screenplays
1989: Faber and Faber, with a preface by Satyajit Ray
(the screenplays of Satyajit Ray's films The Chess Players and Deliverance, and the screenplay of Ray's unmade science-fiction film, The Alien, edited by AR)
--read a related feature by AR ("Satyajit Ray's The Chess Players") in History Today, July 2007.
--read a related book review by AR ("The last king in India") in History Today, June 2014.

Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema 
2005: I.B. Tauris, with photographs by Nemai Ghosh

  • "Quite magical"

        (Richard Attenborough, film-director)

  • "a great book"

        (Marc Riboud, photographer)

  • "This book makes the ideal supplement to Robinson's Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye, generally rated the definitive English-language biography."

        (Philip Kemp, Sight and Sound)

  • "an elegant photo-biography of this immensely powerful director, ... packed with drawings and stills from his 30-plus films. Glancing through it makes one wonder whether it would matter if Hollywood ceased to exist. The problem with Ray is that no single frame can capture the haunting heart of his cinema, but this volume is the closest we may get."

        (Christopher Fowler, The Independent on Sunday)


The Apu Trilogy: Satyajit Ray and the Making of an Epic
2011: I.B. Tauris

  • "In this study, Ray's biographer draws on a deep immersion in the master's works. He explains not only the genesis of the trilogy on film, and Ray's battles to give his vision form, but its roots in Indian culture. Robinson keeps faith with Ray's own polymathic talents to show how history, art, literature and music all dance behind the haunting shadows on screen."

        (Boyd Tonkin, The Independent)

--read a related feature by AR ("Restored Apu Trilogy returns Satyajit Ray's humane work to theaters") in The New York Times, 10 May 2015.

--listen to a feature about the US screenings of the restored Apu Trilogy broadcast on National Public Radio, All Things Considered, 20 May 2015.


As contributor: 

i.  full-page entry on Satyajit Ray in the current Encyclopaedia Britannica
ii.  filmed interview about Satyajit Ray's The Music Room contributed as an extra on the DVD release of the film in the Criterion Collection (2011), and a printed interview with Ray contributed to the booklet accompanying the Criterion DVD release
iii.  programme notes for Satyajit Ray film retrospective at BFI Southbank in London, August-October 2013
Part 1
Part 2
Read a review of the retrospective by AR in The Lancet, 31 August 2013. 
iv.  interview with Ray and article on Ray as an illustrator
in Sight and Sound, September 2013, and a longer version of interview
v.  interview
broadcast on BBC Radio 4, The Film Programme, 8 August 2013
vi.  selected portraits of Ray by Nemai Ghosh
with a note by AR, 2013
vii.  video essay about the making of Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy contributed as an extra on the DVD release of the film in the Criterion Collection (2015)

viii.  introduction to My Adventures with Satyajit Ray: The Making of Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players) (2017)

2. Books on Rabindranath Tagore 

The Art of Rabindranath Tagore
1989: Andre Deutsch, with a foreword by Satyajit Ray
(the first book to carry accurate reproductions of Tagore's paintings, based on an exhibition of his paintings and drawings at the Barbican Centre, London and the Oxford Museum of Modern Art, organised by AR in 1986)
--read a related review by AR on Tagore's art in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2012. 
--read a related feature by AR on Tagore's art at On Being, 2014.

 

Glimpses of Bengal: Selected Letters by Rabindranath Tagore

My Reminiscences by Rabindranath Tagore

Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore

Selected Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore

1991: Papermac/Macmillan—general editor of series


Rabindranath Tagore: The Myriad-Minded Man 
1995: Bloomsbury/St Martin’s Press, pbk edn 1997; new pbk edn I.B. Tauris, 2009, with a foreword by Anita Desai—with Krishna Dutta

  • "The entire book was a revelation to me."

        (Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Nobel laureate in physics)

  • "One has waited a very long time for a biography of Tagore that did justice to a far more complex and curious mind and life than simply respectful and circumspect accounts allowed. Here it is: thorough, balanced, intelligent, and addressing every aspect of a truly astonishing artist, his life and times."

        (Anita Desai, writer)

  • "Excellent ... admirably straightforward, readable, lively, informative"

        (J. D. F. Jones, The Financial Times)

  • "It has been a pleasure to read a well-written, well-researched and well-documented biography"

        (Kathleen Raine, The Tablet)

  • "a superb biography"

        (Adam Kirsch, The New Yorker, in 2011, the 150th anniversary of Tagore's birth)


The Post Office by Rabindranath Tagore
1996: St Martin's Press, with illustrations by Michael McCurdy, and a preface by Anita Desai—translator with Krishna Dutta 

Rabindranath Tagore: An Anthology
1997: Picador/St Martin's Press; pbk edn Picador India, 1999—editor and translator with Krishna Dutta

  • "This new anthology, edited by Tagore's biographers, is an authoritative introduction to his work."

        (Robert Nye, Literary Review)

  • "This well-selected anthology brings together a vivid range of [Tagore's] work: memoirs, short stories, extracts from a novel, a play, and two extraordinary conversations with Einstein. Numerous well-produced photographs add to the atmosphere. The editors provide excellent introductions to each section, a glossary and helpful notes ... A sumptuous book to celebrate Tagore's life."

        (Jeremy Worman, Time Out)


Selected Letters of Rabindranath Tagore 
1997: Cambridge University Press; pbk edn Foundation Books, India, 2005, with a foreword by Amartya Sen—editor and translator with Krishna Dutta 

  • "An indispensable trove for anyone interested in modern India's intellectual and cultural history, beautifully produced and packed with helpful editorial matter."

        (Sunil Khilnani, The Independent on Sunday)

  • "a triumphant work of scholarship, expertly annotated and beautifully designed."

        (Patrick French, The Daily Telegraph)

  • "Krishna Dutta and Andrew Robinson have established themselves as the pre-eminent Tagore scholars."

        (K. Natwar Singh, Asian Age)

  • "No future editor will be able to ignore the high editorial standard Dutta and Robinson have set in this book."

        (Shyamal Kumar Sarkar, Visva-Bharati Quarterly)

--read "The mathematician and the mystic" in Resurgence, May/June 2011, a feature by AR and physicist Dipankar Home on the conversations about reality between Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore, based on a journal article, "Einstein and Tagore", in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, 1995.

3. Other Books on India

The Coasts of India
1987: Thames & Hudson, photographs by Ashwin Mehta, with an introductory essay by AR

Maharaja: The Spectacular Heritage of Princely India
1988: Thames & Hudson, pbk edn 2009, with photographs by Sumio Uchiyama, and text by AR

  • "first published in 1988, ... the [paperback edition] remains a stunning depiction of a world of wealth, spectacle and excess"

        (Juliet Gardiner, History Today)


Noon in Calcutta: Short Stories from Bengal
1992: Bloomsbury/Viking India, with a preface by Anita Desai; pbk edn Penguin India, 1993—editor and translator with Krishna Dutta

  • "Noon in Calcutta is a boldly diverse selection of Bengali short fiction, ranging from fantasy to satire to hard-edged realism. Its editors acknowledge ... Rabindranath Tagore ... as the father of the genre by putting him at both ends of this fascinating and readable collection."

        (Tania Glyde, The Times)


India: A Short History
2014: Thames & Hudson; pbk edn 2019

  • "pithy, admirable... a most refreshing résumé"

        (John Keay, The Times Literary Supplement)

        (Read the review.)

  • listen to an interview broadcast on Newstalk (Dublin), Talking History, 11 May 2014.
  • listen to an interview broadcast on BBC World Service, Science in Action, 22 May 2014.
  • read a review in Virtuoso Life, August 2014.
  • read a review in the Library Journal, 8 August 2014.
  • read a review in History Today, December 2014.
  • read a review in All About History, August 2019.


4. Entries in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
--on Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, R. K. Narayan and Sukumar Ray