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Bengalis, Bay of Bengal, area of Bangladesh, East Bengal, Dhaka

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Bangladesh, in full, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, republic of southern Asia, in the northeastern portion of the Indian subcontinent, bordered on the west, north, and east by India, on the southeast by Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), and on the south by the Bay of Bengal. The area of the country is 147,570 sq km (56,977 sq mi). The capital and largest city of Bangladesh is Dhaka.

Geographically, historically, and culturally, Bangladesh forms the larger and more populous part of Bengal, the remainder of which constitutes the neighboring Indian state of West Bengal. From 1947 to 1971 the area of Bangladesh was a province of Pakistan. As such, its official designation was changed from East Bengal to East Pakistan in 1955. On March 26, 1971, leaders of East Pakistan declared the province independent as Bangladesh (Bengali for “land of the Bengalis”), and its independence was assured on December 16, 1971, when Pakistani troops in the region surrendered to a joint force of Bangladeshi and Indian troops.


For younger readers

Cumming, David. The Ganges Delta and Its People. Thomson Learning, 1994. For readers in grades 5 to 8.

Laure, Jason. Bangladesh. Children's Press, 1992. For readers in grades 5 to 8.

Whyte, Mariam. Bangladesh. Marshall Cavendish, 1998. For readers in grades 5 to 8.


Baxter, Craig and Rahman, Syedur. Historical Dictionary of Bangladesh. 2nd ed. Scarecrow, 1996. Chronology and short history followed by comprehensive listings on all aspects of the country.

Bornstein, David. The Price of a Dream: The Story of the Grameen Bank, and the Idea that is Helping the Poor to Change Their Lives. Simon & Schuster, 1996. Success story of a unique bank set up in one of the most impoverished countries--and the interviews with Bangladesh villagers who are its clients.

Brace, Steve. Bangladesh. Thomson, 1995. General introduction intended for younger readers.

Glassie, Henry. Art and Life in Bangladesh. Indiana University Press, 1997. Offers a composite picture of Bangladesh while presenting hundreds of photographs of folk art.

Hartmann, Betsy, and James K. Boyce. A Quiet Violence: View from a Bangladesh Village. Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1985. A description of the hard and bitter life of contemporary village society, and a recommendation for land reform instead of foreign aid.

Jacques, Kathryn. Bangladesh, India and Pakistan: International Relations and Regional Tensions in South Asia. St. Martin's, 1999. Explores the nature of Bangladesh's international relations with two powerful states, India and Pakistan.

Novak, James J. Bangladesh: Reflections on the Water. Indiana University Press, 1993. Lyrical discussions of Bangladeshi seasons, religions, history, culture and politics.


Baxter, Craig, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Politics and History, Juniata College. Author of Bangladesh: From a Nation to a State (1997) and coauthor of Historical Dictionary of Bangladesh (2003, 3rd ed.) and Government and Politics in South Asia (2001, 5th ed.).

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Article key phrases:

Bengalis, Bay of Bengal, area of Bangladesh, East Bengal, Dhaka, Indian subcontinent, Burma, remainder, Myanmar, capital, People, independence, west, December, land, region, country, area, March

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