The greatest of the Mughal emperors, Jalal ad-Din Akbar (1542-1603) was a formidable military tactician and popular demagogue. Ascending to the throne at the age of thirteen, he ruled for half a century, expanded the Mughal empire, and left behind a legacy to rival his infamous ancestors Chinggis Khan and Timur. Renowned for his attempts to integrate the diverse religious heritage of India, he was a true polymath who although illiterate was widely active in a number of intellectual pursuits. In this fascinating biography, Andre Wink provides glimpses into Akbar's daily life and highlights his contribution to new methods of imperial control, surveillance and record-keeping. Contrasting his reign with those of his nomadic Mongol ancestors, this lucid study is an essential read for anyone interested in the history of India and South Asia.