Relatively little is known or understood about Bangladesh by outsiders. Since its hard-won independence from Pakistan in 1971, it has been ravaged by economic and environmental disasters. Only recently has the country begun to emerge as a fragile, but functioning, parliamentary democracy, relatively self-sufficient in food production and with an economy that has been consistently achieving growth. The story of Bangladesh, told through the pages of this concise and readable book, is a truly remarkable one. By delving into its past, and through an analysis of the economic, political and social changes that have taken place over the last twenty years, the book explains how Bangladesh is becoming of increasing interest to the international community as a portal into some of the key issues of our age: the way globalization affects the world's poorer countries, the long-term effects of the international development industry, the potential risks to people and environment from climate change and the political challenges facing modern Muslim-majority nations. In this way the book offers an important corrective to the view of Bangladesh as a failed state and also sheds light on the lives of a new generation of its citizens.