HarperCollins Presents THE VORTEX by Scott Carney and Jason Miklian

NEW DELHI, May 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — HarperCollins India is delighted to announce the book THE VORTEX: The True Story of History’s Deadliest Storm and the Liberation of Bangladesh by Scott Carney and Jason Miklian. In November 1970, a storm set a collision course with the most densely populated coastline on earth. Over the course of just a few hours, the Great Bhola Cyclone would kill 500,000 and begin a chain reaction of turmoil, genocide, and the 1971 war. The book capture the gripping story told through the eyes of the people who lived through it, including the infamous president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, and his close friend Richard Nixon


A gripping story told through the eyes of the people who lived through it, including the infamous president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, and his close friend Richard Nixon.

Paperback | Non-fiction| 528 pp | Rs 599

Available Wherever Books Are Sold | Releasing 10th June 2022

Author, Scott Carney says, “The Bhola Cyclone and the war to liberate Bangladesh altered the course of world history. Fifty years ago, the Nixon and Yahya Khan administrations did everything in their power to commit and cover up genocide, while India and Bengali freedom fighters achieved what no superpower could.” 

Author, Jason Miklian says, “The biggest risk we face from climate change isn’t in rising coastlines or more extreme heatwaves, but the outbreak of global conflict. The Vortex shows us how climate change can trigger wars, but more importantly shows how hope and resilience in the face of calamity can help us overcome humanity’s greatest danger.”

Swati Chopra, Executive Editor, HarperCollins India, says, “The Vortex is an outstanding book that combines investigative journalism, original research and a fast-paced narrative to tell the story of the events that led to the birth of Bangladesh. What sets The Vortex apart from other books on Bangladesh in the fiftieth year of its independence is the fact that it reads like a thriller, with the reader transported in the midst of the action, so to speak. An unmissable account, especially for readers of the Indian subcontinent!”


The deadliest storm in modern history ripped Pakistan in two and led the world to the brink of nuclear war when American and Soviet forces converged in the Bay of Bengal.

In November 1970, a storm set a collision course with the most densely populated coastline on Earth. Over the course of just a few hours, the Great Bhola Cyclone killed 500,000 people and began a chain reaction of turmoil, genocide and war. The Vortex is the dramatic story of how that storm sparked a country to revolution.

Bhola made landfall during a fragile time, when Pakistan was on the brink of a historic election. The fallout ignited a conflagration of political intrigue, corruption, violence, idealism and bravery, which played out in the lives of tens of millions of Bangladeshis. Authors Scott Carney and Jason Miklian take us deep into the story of the cyclone and its aftermath, told through the eyes of the men and women who lived through it, including the infamous president of Pakistan, General Yahya Khan, and his close friend, the President of the United States Richard Nixon, American expats Jon and Candy Rhode, soccer star-turned-soldier Hafiz Uddin Ahmad and a young Bengali revolutionary, Mohammed Hai.

Thrillingly paced and written in incredible detail, The Vortex is not just a story about the painful birth of a new nation but also a universal tale of resilience and liberation in the face of climate emergency, which affects every single person on the planet.


Scott Carney is an investigative journalist and anthropologist, as well as the author of the New York Times bestseller, What Doesn’t Kill Us. He spent six years living in South Asia as a contributing editor for WIRED and writer for Mother Jones, NPR, Discover Magazine, Fast Company, Men’s Journal, and many other publications. His other books include The Red Market, The Enlightenment Trap and The Wedge. He is the founder of Foxtopus Ink, a Denver-based media company. 

Jason Miklian, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway. Miklian has published over 60 academic and policy works on issues of conflict and crisis, based on extensive fieldwork in Bangladesh, Colombia, India, and the Congo. He serves on the United Nations Expert Panel on Business and Human Rights, has won several awards for his academic publications, and serves as an expert resource for various government knowledge banks in the US, UK, EU and Norway. Miklian has also written for or been cited in an expert capacity by the New York Times, BBC, The Economist, Washington Post, France 24, The Guardian, The Hindu and NPR.


“This is a rich tale of a terrible cyclone and the human folly that deepened the tragedy. Grippingly written, it is both a powerful history of the creation of modern Bangladesh and an urgent warning about our precarious common future on our rapidly heating planet.” Gary J. Bass, author of The Blood Telegram

“This book makes you feel like you’re living through the traumatic birth of Bangladesh, a beautiful and resilient country that has overcome near-impossible odds. But if we don’t quickly bring climate change under control, those experiences of our past could foreshadow our next great global tragedy. The Vortex is a stark reminder that the power of nature can either be tempered by human wisdom, or amplified by our shortsighted greed and hunger for power. An epic tale indeed!” Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, educator, environmentalist, co-founder of 350.org

“Among the greatest threats posed by climate change are dangerous supercharged storms powered by warming oceans. But their catastrophic destruction isn’t limited to lives and property; sometimes even entire political ecosystems are at risk. In The Vortex, Scott Carney and Jason Miklian take us on a riveting journey into the deadliest storm ever. They reveal not only the devastating human toll but also how it triggered a horrific genocide and war. In the absence of meaningful climate action, climate disasters threaten to increasingly force humans into conflict, making The Vortex an urgent wake-up call for our shared global future.” Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Penn State University, and author of The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet

“The catastrophic Bhola cyclone and the bloody liberation war it triggered in now-Bangladesh get the high-octane storytelling they deserve in The Vortex. A tsunami of a book that reveals the horrors of climate change and a US-backed genocide, as well as the joys of solidarity and national liberation, told through the stories of people who were right there on its frontlines.” Naomi Hossain, professor of global development, American University

“An utterly gripping story of international political intrigue, natural disaster, and the consequences for millions as refracted through the experiences of ordinary, powerless people. The Vortex provides timely instruction for the age of climate change in how politics and environmental pressures combine explosively.” Zia Haider Rahman, James Tait Black Memorial Prize–winning author of In the Light of What We Know

“The Vortex is a tale grippingly told, based on true narratives of people from different walks of life who found themselves deeply involved or inextricably engaged with mindblowing events that changed the entire face of a whole region. It is a must read for those who want to understand South Asia today and it’s relations with the rest of the world.” Meghna Guhathakurta, Executive Director, Research Initiatives Bangladesh


“A fast-paced work of narrative nonfiction. Carney and Miklian write vividly in the fashion of a cinematic disaster flick. Their mastery of documentary sources and previous scholarship is evident.” Washington Post

“If a butterfly flaps its wings, halfway across the world there will be a huge storm. But what if you started with the storm? What unforeseen effects could that have? The Vortex specifically focuses on how climate catastrophes can change the world in unpredictable ways.” NPR’s “Book of the Day”

“The [vortex] in the title is literal and metaphorical. It refers not just to the political upheaval in late 1971 but also to Bhola, the cyclonic storm that barreled up the Bay of Bengal and hit the coast of East Pakistan. The authors describe in harrowing detail nature’s assault on the island of Manpura. Bhola was, in the authors’ telling, a perfect storm. The authors tell [the story] with riveting panache.” – Wall Street Journal

“Unbelievably harrowing.” NPR, Morning Edition

Scott Carney and Jason Miklian craft top-notch narrative nonfiction from this complex story of natural disaster crossed with politics. This is full of jaw-dropping stuff. A readable, compelling narrative [that] arrives at a critical moment.” – WhatsNonfiction.com

“Carney and Miklian reveal a long-concealed and profoundly shocking confluence of geopolitical crimes and crises. As Carney and Miklian so dramatically recount, a natural disaster instigated a civil war and epic atrocities, the birth of Bangladesh, and, in a nightmarish twist, very nearly ignited a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. With propulsive narrative drive and intense specificity, the authors circle among a cast of riveting real-life characters. Deeply involving and harrowing, this commanding work of reclaimed and clarified history is of urgent relevance.”Booklist (starred review)

“Absorbing… An essential history of the infuriatingly tragic creation of Bangladesh amid a devastating storm, genocide, war, political intrigue, and hope.” Library Journal (starred review)

“[The Vortex] is a riveting, page-turning story of human devastation, political corruption, and individual bravery as well as a cautionary tale with universal relevance. To those who may feel complacent about what happened a half-century ago in a relatively obscure part of the world, Carney and Miklian deliver a stark warning. A powerful, timely exploration of an environmental and political tragedy.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[Carney and Miklian] look to the past to predict the future of climate change. Carney and Miklian make a persuasive case that as climate change produces more frequent and deadlier storms, the world faces ‘an increasing likelihood of selective genocide and even global international war.’ Shot through with colorful character sketches and lucid explanations of South Asian politics, this is an urgent warning about the links between global warming and geopolitical turmoil.” Publishers Weekly

For reviews, excerpts, interviews, and more information, please contact Vandana Rathore at vandana.rathore@harpercollins.co.in

About HarperCollins India 

HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is now the recipient of five Publisher of the Year Awards – In 2021 and 2015 at the Publishing Next Industry Awards, and in 2021, 2018 and 2016 at Tata Literature Live. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. 

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