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Showing posts from May, 2014


The Discovery of Ancient India Early Archaeologists and the Beginnings of Archaeology “... tells the tale through the life histories of monuments, through the motivations and tensions that marked British rule in India and, above all, through those individuals who pioneered a shift from a textual depiction of India's past to one based on archaeology” — Nayanjot Lahiri, India Today The Chanda Yakshi graces this gorgeous new cover for Upinder Singh's indispensable book, written as much for the general reader interested in India’s antiquity and its pioneering archaeologists, as for students of the history of archaeology, colonialism, and constructions of the past. It breaks colonial archaeology down into its specific constituents and examines the ideas, impulses, tensions, and individual contributions that comprised early studies of India’s ancient past. It focuses, at the outset, on the ideas and work of Alexander Cunningham, the first Director General of the Archaeologic

New in Paperback

--> Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam Writing the Mughal World Studies in Political Culture In this book, two leading historians of early modern South Asia present nine jointly authored essays on the Mughal empire, framed by a long Introduction which reflects on the imperial, nationalist, and other conflicted trajectories of history-writing on the Mughals. Using materials from a large variety of languages—including Dutch, Portuguese, English, Persian, Urdu, and Tamil—they show how this Indo-Islamic dynasty developed a sophisticated system of government and facilitated an era of profound artistic and architectural achievement, setting the groundwork for South Asia’s future trajectory. In several ways the joint work of Alam and Subrahmanyam, best represented here, provides the most significant innovation, expansion, and rethinking about the Mughal imperium for many decades. The present book intertwines political, cultural, and commercial themes while explo

The Story of a Book

This is the story of how Deki, a wild, freedom-seeking mountain dog, allowed itself to be tied to Permanent Black. Written by the celebrated biologist George Schaller, DEKI, THE ADVENTURES OF A DOG AND A BOY IN TIBET, has just been published by Black Kite and Hachette India (and is available from most standard retail outlets ). I first encountered George Schaller in Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard , a book that won the US’s National Book Award for its passionate and profound account of a journey through Nepal and Tibet in search of the elusive leopard. Matthiessen’s companion on this journey is Schaller (throughout called GS), and the book is also an account of the tense and halting evolution of a travel friendship: “What seems abrasive in GS’s behaviour is often merely abrupt… but as I learn more about this man, I see that … on a hard journey such consideration (extended also to the sherpas) is far more valuable than mere ‘good manners’ … In the lowlands, GS was a form


At the Edges of Empire Essays in the Social and Intellectual History of India THIRTY YEARS AGO, A BOOK TITLED Caste, Conflict and Ideology:  Mahatma Jotirao Phule and Low Caste Protest in Nineteenth-Century Western India  (1985) astonished the world of South Asian Studies, in part because it brilliantly historicized Mahatma Phule and his context, in part because the author was neither a Chitpavan or any other variety of Maharashtrian Brahman but a SOAS scholar who had mined the Marathi sources bewilderingly well. Professor O’Hanlon’s book soon acquired the status of a classic academic work on the history of Maharashtra as well as early Dalit struggle. Most agree that it has not been superseded (it is available in South Asia with a new Introduction as a Permanent Black paperback), in part because it is extremely accessible and attractively written. Over the last two decades, Rosalind O’Hanlon has engaged with key questions in India’s history, culture, and int