Ainslie Embree

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Ainslie Thomas Embree (born January 1, 1921) is an American Indologist and historian.

Embree was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and studied at Columbia University in New York City where he received his bachelor's degree in 1941, and bachelor of divinity at adjacent Union Theological Seminary. He received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia in 1960. From 1948 until 1958 he taught at the Christian College in Indore, India. He returned to Columbia University and after receiving his PhD there stayed on at Columbia for most of the rest of his career. He chaired the history department and served in a number of other administrative posts at Columbia, including acting dean of the School of International and Public Affairs. He returned to India for several study trips, and for two years served as Cultural Counselor in the US Embassy at Delhi during the administration of US President Jimmy Carter. He retired in 1991, but continued to teach at Columbia, Brown University and Johns Hopkins, SAIS.

He served as president of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Institute for Indian Studies.


  • with Friedrich Wilhelm Indien, Fischer Weltgeschichte Band 17, 1967
  • Charles Grant and the British Rule in India, London: G. Allene 1962
  • Herausgeber mit S. M. Ikram: Muslim civilisation in India, New York 1964
  • Herausgeber The Hindu Tradition, New York: Modern Library 1966
  • Herausgeber: Encyclopedia of Asian History, Collier/Macmillan 1989
  • Herausgeber: Sources of Indian Tradition, Columbia University Press, 2. Auflage 1988
  • Editor with Carol Gluck: Asia in Western and World History: a guide for teaching, Armonk (New York): M. E. Sharpe1997
  • Imagining India: Essays on Indian History, Oxford University Press 1989
  • Utopias in Conflict: Religion and Nationalism in India, University of California Press 1990
  • India’s Search for National Identity, Knopf 1972
  • Editor with others: India’s worlds and U.S. scholars, 1947-1997, New Delhi, American Institute of Indian Studies 1998
  • with Mark C. Carnes: Defining a nation : India on the eve of independence, 1945, W. W. Norton 2013.

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