Author: Holden Furber
Sinnappah Arasaratnam/Kenneth McPherson
Editor(s): Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195664280
Nationalism in its variety has swayed the balance of world power, and history writing has leaned heavily towards the nation as a central concept. This is the tide against which the historiography of oceans has stood. As an area of research, it has evolved in perspective, from looking at accounts of oceans as linked to imperialism, to analysing the specifics of politics, trade and other activity surrounding oceans. This omnibus of three classic studies provides a basic grounding for scholars of India's maritime history.
Holden Furthers Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600-1800 is an account of European expansion in Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It tells the story of the rivalries of the East India companies and the growth of British maritime dominance, eventually leading to the Pax Britannica.
Sinnappah Arasaratnam, in his Maritime India in the Seventeenth Century, supplements his own researches into the overseas trade of India and its commercial economy, with a thorough study of the current historiography of these themes. He divides the maritime region into four zones-Gujarat, Malabar, Coromandel, and Bengal and looks at the ports, the seas and the commerce of each region.
Kenneth McPherson's The Indian Ocean: A History of the people and the Sea argues for the existence of a distinctive Indian Ocean World constituted by trade links and commercial networks established over several centuries, and tells us about the peoples, cultures, and economies of the Indian Ocean.
In an introduction written especially for this edition Sanjay Subrahmanyam locates these classics in the extant literature in the area. He argues that these works, the older being a quarter of a century old, are still insightful to new entrants into the field of maritime history. He maintains that while the relevant archives the world over may not be exhausted, it is perhaps the turn of a future generation and new materials to help open the field further, and the classics included in this volume are indispensable to this course.
Historians, specifically in the field of maritime history, as well as researchers seeking a comprehensive view of this field will find this volume useful.
MARITIME INDIA IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
This is an erudite addition to the expanding literature on the maritime history of India. Though the focus of the study is on the seventeenth century, it has wider implications for debates on wider issues.
-The Northern Mariner
There are many who will benefit from the broad strokes connecting the segments of the Indian Ocean trading network with which they are familiar to those they have not known.
-The American Nepture
Sinnappah Arasaratnam's most notable contribution is his ample consideration of the exchange networks between India's coasts…and Southeast Asia.
-American Historical Review
PART I-THE MAKING OF EMPIRES
Rivals for the Spice Trade: The Dutch and the English
The Craze for Calicoes: The French Enter the Lists
The Triumph of Tea: the Making of British Power
PART II-THE STRUCTURE OF EMPIRE
East India Companies
East India Goods
Country Trade and European Empire
Europeans among Asians
Suggestions for Further Reading