14 March 2008
PEASANT PASTS: HISTORY, POLITICS, AND NATIONALISM IN GUJARAT by Vinayak Chaturvedi
Peasant Pasts is an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to writing histories of peasant politics, nationalism, and colonialism. Vinayak Chaturvedi’s analysis provides an important intervention in the social and cultural history of India by examining the nature of peasant discourses and practices during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Through rigorous archival study and fieldwork, Chaturvedi shows that peasants in Gujarat were active in the production and circulation of political ideas, establishing critiques of the state and society while promoting complex understandings of political community. He argues that nationalists in Gujarat established power through the use of coercion and violence, as they imagined a nation in which they could dominate social relations.
Hardback / 324 pp / ISBN 7824-226-2 / Rs 695 / South Asia rights only / Co-published with the University of California Press.