Bangladesh (literally, the land of the Bengalis) is the most recent addition (in 1971) to the independent nations of South Asia. It had previously been known as East Pakistan, and prior to that it was part of British India. It has been inhabited by people of different races and religions and ruled over by different leaders who imposed different regimes. It is overpopulated and underdeveloped, but there is much more to it than that. Bangladesh has a long and oftentimes proud tradition: it has produced writers and artists of genius, and it is an important outpost of Islam. And, with a population of some 130 million, it is one of the larger countries in the world. The fourth edition of the Historical Dictionary of Bangladesh greatly expands on the previous edition through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 700 cross-referenced dictionary entries on important people, places, events, and institutions, as well as significant political, economic, social, and cultural aspects.