Author: Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Editor(s): Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195667077
The implications of colonial rule have been among the core concerns for historians of modern India, often resulting in very fundamental disagreements over the very tools and sources with which to address the problem. The result has been a diversity of perspectives and a creative application of different methodologies in the analysis of the economy, society and culture of colonial India.
Eminent historians have contributed to this volume in memory of Dharma Kumar, whose intellectual contribution as an economic historian and editor is undisputed. This collection of outstanding essays represents this dynamic aspect of the history writing about the colonial period, with one eye always trained on its effects on understanding contemporary India.
Sanjay Subrahmanyam's lucid introduction fulfils the task of making sense of Indian historiography and its evolving profile. Among the range of areas addressed by these essays, issues relating to south Indian agrarian history are covered by David Ludden and Tsukasa Mizushima, and the regional-language documentation regarding common lands in western India by Sumit Guha, Ravi Ahuja analyses the famine policy of the early East India Company, and John Richards, Tirthankar Roy and, Om Prakash address different aspects of the issue of trade in colonial India. Subrahmanyam uses a set of biographical instances to map colonial transitions in South India. Thomas Trautmann's essay looks at early colonial dictionaries in Madras to better understand the nature of early colonial cultural policy. A R Venkatachalapathy describes the rise of the coffee house in Tamil Nadu through an engaging combination of social and cultural history. Students of Indian history, scholars with a specific interest in the colonial period as well as the general reader will find these essays engaging and even indispensable.