On the Grand Trunk Road by Steve Coll

On the Grand Trunk Road
Ed Hotchkiss
Ed Hotchkiss

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The Indian subcontinent is, without a doubt, one of my favorite places to travel. Everything seems so different there from my life in the U.S., including the music, clothes, food, religions and customs. A few years before my first trip there, I read this 1994 book by Steve Coll, who later wrote valuable books about the causes and aftermath of the 911 terrorist attacks. The book is based on his reporting as a foreign correspondent based in New Delhi. His focus was mainly on the underlying politics of the countries in the region with many anecdotes of the lives of common people. When I was in Kolkata (Calcutta), I asked many people “Where is the Grand Trunk Road?”.  No one could answer, as that name appears not to be commonly used now. In India, the Grand Trunk Road coincides with National Highways 19 and 41 and someday I will drive on it from end-to-end in that country.

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