Amazon rank currently at…

Amazon rank currently at 1,896; last night when Kevin checked, it was 1,430, the lowest I've noted. David suggests a pool as to the lowest number the book will hit (which of course will entail constant obsessive monitoring to assess properly, but since I was probably going to do that anyway...). He puts in for 227, which I think is a bit overly-optimistic of him; I suspect it's relatively easy to jump from 100,000 to 90,000 but really difficult to jump from 100 to 90, i.e., the slope gets a lot steeper, the closer you get to one. But I could be wrong about that. In any case, feel free to cast your bid, and if at least ten of your participate, maybe the one who gets closest will get a prize (a signed copy of the book seems appropriate). :-)

Lovely long review on Blogcritics, though I might quibble with some details of his Sri Lankan history. Specifically, it's misleading to call the Sinhalese natives; the true natives were the Balongoda tribes, who were all either killed by or assimilated. The Sinhalese invaders arrived a few centuries before the Tamil invaders showed up. Nonetheless, a strong and well-thought-out review. Makes the book sound a bit bleaker than I hope it is, though.

History Facts of the Day:

"Indo-Aryan emigration from India in the 5th century B.C. came to form the largest ethnic group on Sri Lanka today, the Sinhalese. Tamils, the second-largest ethnic group on the island, were originally from the Tamil region of India, and emigrated between the 3rd century B.C. and A.D. 1200. Until colonial powers controlled Ceylon (the country's name until 1972), Sinhalese and Tamil rulers fought for dominance over the island. The Tamils, primarily Hindus, claimed the northern section of the island and the Sinhalese, who are predominantly Buddhist, controlled the south. In 1505 the Portuguese took possession of Ceylon until the Dutch India Company usurped control (16581796). The British took over in 1796, and Ceylon became an English Crown colony in 1802. The British developed coffee, tea, and rubber plantations. On Feb. 4, 1948, after pressure from Ceylonese nationalist leaders (which briefly unified the Tamil and Sinhalese), Ceylon became a self-governing dominion of the Commonwealth of Nations." -- summary by InfoPlease

That's also misleading, because it suggests constant fighting between the Sinhalese and Tamils, when in fact, there were centuries of peaceful co-existence, in between brief periods of struggle (generally motivated by one guy trying to rule all the other guys, rather than neighbor raising hands against neighbor). But it's closer.

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