As the Kashmir dispute brings India and Pakistan ominously close to nuclear war this book provides a compelling account of the history and politics of these two great South Asian rivals. Like the Israel-Palestine struggle, the Indian-Pakistan rivalry is a legacy of history. The two countries went to war within months of becoming independent and, over the following half-century, they have fought three other wars and clashed at the United Nations and every other global forum. It is a complex conflict, over religion and territory with two diametrically opposed views of nationhood and national imagination. J.N. Dixit, former Foreign Secretary of India, and one of the world's leading authorities on the region, has written a balanced and very readable account of the most tempestuous and potentially dangerous flashpoint in international politics.