Deepak Tripathi

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Deepak Tripathi, PhD, FRHistS, FRAS (born 1951) is a British historian with particular reference to South Asia, the Middle East, the Cold War and the United States in the post-Soviet world.[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Tripathi was born into a political family in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, India. His grandfather, Pandit Vishwambhar Dayal Tripathi, was a prominent leader in India's independence movement, Member of the Constituent Assembly, and later of the Indian Parliament.[3] His father, Krishna Dev Tripathi, was also a parliamentarian and an academic.[4]

After a year at Aligarh Muslim University,[5] Tripathi graduated from Christian College, Indore in 1973 with a BA in Politics, Economics, Sociology and English. He then did a year of graduate study at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

From 1974, Tripathi worked for the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. for 3 years.

In 1977, Tripathi worked with the BBC as a South Asia correspondent, BBC News producer, and editor for the World Service Radio News. He was Afghanistan correspondent in the early 1990s in Kabul. He has reported from Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Syria.

In 2002, Tripathi completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Edinburgh Business School of Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.

From 2002, at the University of Sussex, Tripathi researched the Cold War Afghan conflict. This led to his well-received book on Afghanistan.[6][7]

In 2012, Tripathi received his Doctorate in social science from the University of Roehampton, where he was an Honorary Fellow at the Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research from 2012 to 2015, and later an associate.[8] He wrote his dissertation "A Critical Study of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars" under the supervision of Professor Martin Shaw (sociologist), known for his work on war, genocide and global politics.

In 2013, Tripathi was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Tripathi writes on the effects of superpower rivalries in South Asia and the Middle East, and on U.S. policy in the region, for publications including Al Jazeera, Al-Ahram, History News Network, CounterPunch, AlterNet, and ZNet.[9]

Reception of his work[edit]

Tripathi has received praise from various reviewers[10][11][12][13][14][15] for his writings on world conflicts, such as in Afghanistan, notably for his trilogy of books Breeding Ground, Overcoming The Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan and Imperial Designs.

Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan[edit]

Christopher Schoppa, in his Washington Post review of 'Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan', writes that "Tripathi has a sound grounding in the politics and myriad cultures that make up the Middle East." But this book is "not for the conservative, Bush-ie camp." It takes a "thoughtful look at the legacy of two increasingly unpopular wars, focusing especially on the human toll." The reviewer concludes: "Whatever your leanings on this subject, one of Tripathi's statements that seems irrefutable is that these wars will forever be linked with the name of our 43rd President, George W. Bush. For better or worse."[16]

Breeding Ground[edit]

Marjorie Cohn, in the History News Network, writes of Breeding Ground: "Tripathi’s excellent work ends with a call to replace the military strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan with development, reconciliation, and reconstruction." and "Breeding Ground makes a significant contribution toward understanding the origins and triggers of terrorism. Tripathi traces the development of a 'culture of violence' in Afghanistan—largely due to resistance against foreign invasion—from the “U.S.-led proxy war” against the USSR to the current U.S. war."[10]

David Hillstrom, in the Foreign Policy Journal, describes Breeding Ground as a "concise yet powerful book" which details the dangerously interlocking decisions and ill-thought-through strategies that inflamed the Afghan conflict.[11] According to Hillstrom, Tripathi used a broad array of sources that only recently became available from both US and Soviet archives. He writes that the tragedy is that Afghanistan, which has now been at war for 40 years, has suffered the same before, from the 'Great Game' that the Russian Empire played with the British Empire in the 19th century; the players then as now had "simplistic strategic goals" but only "a shallow understanding" of Afghanistan itself. Hillstrom finds that Tripathi sums up the tragedy beautifully by closing his book with a quote from Tolstoy:[11]

"In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious, even when successful."[11]

Imperial Designs[edit]

Greta Morris, a retired US diplomat, writes in her review of Imperial Designs in American Diplomacy: "As policymakers, scholars and citizens seek to understand the increasingly bitter and violent conflicts in the Middle East and the escalating anger and terrorist acts against the West (particularly the U.S.), Deepak Tripathi's Imperial Designs offers important perspectives and insights. Tripathi's book is subtitled War, Humiliation and the Making of History, and his theme is the role of humiliation in international politics. Specifically, he argues that the humiliation of a state or people by a more powerful state (or states) through political manipulation and military defeat profoundly influences the subsequent actions of the humiliated people, including their desire for revenge." Morris concludes the review with her comment: "Tripathi's excellent summation of past events in the Middle East and his cogent analysis of their continuing implications should be required reading for all who are dealing directly with this troubled region, as well as those seeking to understand it and its relations with the United States."[17]


  • Tripathi, D., & Royal Institute of International Affairs. (1989). Sri Lanka's Foreign Policy Dilemmas. London: Royal Institute of International Affairs.
  • Tripathi, D., & Observer Research Foundation. (2008). Dialectics of the Afghanistan Conflict. New Delhi: Observer Research Foundation.
  • Tripathi, D. (2010). Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Washington, D.C: Potomac Books.
  • Tripathi, Deepak (2011). Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism. Foreword by Richard Falk. Potomac Books, Inc. ISBN 978-1-59797-530-8.
  • Tripathi, D. (2013). Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation and the Making of History. Washington, D.C: Potomac Books.
  • Tripathi, D. (2013). A Journey Through Turbulence: Writings of Deepak Tripathi. Lake Oswego, OR: Dignity Press.



  1. ^ The Technology Source Archives – Deepak Tripathi
  2. ^ "Royal Historical Society – Royal Historical Society Fellows" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  3. ^ Members of the Constituent Assembly
  4. ^ Lok Sabha Archived 10 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Journalism Legends". AMU Alumni – Legends of History. Alumni of Aligarh Muslim University. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  6. ^ Hillstrom, David (2011) Review of ‘Breeding Ground’ by Deepak Tripathi, Foreign Policy Journal, 4 March
  7. ^ Moore, Chris(2011) Review of ‘Breeding Ground’ by Deepak Tripathi, Palestine Chronicle, 01/11/2011 (Accessed Nov 2011)
  8. ^ Crucible Centre for Human Rights Research
  9. ^ Reflections
  10. ^ a b Marjorie Cohn: Review of Deepak Tripathi, "Breeding Ground: Afghanistan and the Origins of Islamist Terrorism" (Potomac Books, Inc., 2011) George Mason University's History News Network. Retrieved 15 November 2011
  11. ^ a b c d Hillstrom, David (4 March 2011). "Foreign Policy Journal". Review of ‘Breeding Ground’ by Deepak Tripathi. Foreign Policy Journal. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  12. ^ Moore, Chris. "Palestine Chronicle". Breeding Ground – Book Review. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  13. ^ Schoppa, Christopher (2010) Review of Tripathi, D. (2010). Overcoming the Bush legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington Post, 17 March (Accessed Nov 2011)
  14. ^ Cude, Wilf (2011) Insider and Outsider: Converging Views on Iraq and Afghanistan, The Antigonish Review,#165 Wednesday, 25 May 2011 (Accessed Sep 2019)
  15. ^ Morris, Greta (2013) Imperial Designs, American Diplomacy, October 2013 (Accessed Dec 2013)
  16. ^ Christopher Schoppa: Review of Deepak Tripathi, "Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan" (Potomac Books, Inc., 2010) Washington Post.
  17. ^ Morris. American Diplomacy (Accessed Dec 2013)

External links[edit]