Makers of Modern India

Belknap: Harvard Univ. Mar. 2011. c.458p. ed. by Ramachandra Guha. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674052468. pap. $35. HIST
Historian Guha (India After Gandhi) writes in his prolog that "the men and women who made [India's] history also write most authoritatively about it." This anthology contains excerpts from writings and speeches spanning nearly two centuries by 19 reformers, radicals, political thinkers, activists, and feminists. The book's chronologically arranged reprinted pieces are divided into five groupings starting with reformer Rammohan Roy, who advocated greater rights for women and a free press in 1818, and extending to selections from Muslim Politics in India (1968) by Hamid Dalwai, an obscure Muslim from the state of Maharashtra. In between are selections ranging from the writings of Mohandas Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Rabindranath Tagore to internationally lesser-known politicians such as Ram Manohar Lohia, feminists such as Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and Tarabai Shinde, and tribal anthropologist and advocate Verrier Elwin. All selections were either originally written in English or previously translated into English. The editor's introductory notes are a bonus.
VERDICT This is recommended to relevant research collections and readers studying South Asia's history.
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