Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Modern South Asia

History, Culture, Political Economy, 3rd Edition

By Sugata Bose, Ayesha Jalal

© 2011 – Routledge

270 pages

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About the Book

Drawing on the newest and most sophisticated historical research and scholarship in the field, Modern South Asia provides a challenging insight for those with an intellectual curiosity about the region. After sketching the pre-modern history of the subcontinent, the book concentrates on the last three centuries. Jointly authored by two leading Indian and Pakistani historians, it offers a rare depth of historical understanding of the politics, cultures, and economies that shape the lives of more than a fifth of humanity.

In this comprehensive study, the authors interpret and debate the striking developments in contemporary South Asian history and historical writing, covering the entire spectrum of the region’s modern history – social, economic and political. The book provides new insights into the structure and ideology of the British raj, the meaning of subaltern resistance, the refashioning of social relations along the lines of caste, class, community and gender, the different strands of anti-colonial nationalism and the dynamics of decolonization.

This third edition brings the debate up to the present day, taking account of recent historical research and covering the closer integration of South Asia with the global economy, the impact of developments in Afghanistan on the region as a whole, and the fresh challenges to South Asia’s nation-states.


'You really get a very widescreen, panoramic view of what has happened, and what the different currents shaping events are – whether it’s regionalism, or religion, or politics or the fact that India became part of a globalised economy in the 19th century. It also covers, impartially and clear-sightedly, how India and Pakistan, the nation states, came into being, which is the big, important question if one wants to understand anything about politics in India today, or in Pakistan or indeed what is happening in Afghanistan.' Pankaj Mishra, The

Table of Contents

1. South Asian History: An Introduction 2. Modernity and Antiquity: Interpretations of Ancient India 3. Pre-Modern Accommodations of Difference: The Making of Indo-Islamic Cultures 4. The Mughal Empire: State, Economy and Society 5. India between Empires: Decline or Decentralization 6. The Transition to Colonialism: Resistance and Collaboration 7. The First Century of British Rule, 1757 to 1857: State and Economy 8. Company Raj and Indian Society, 1757 to 1857: Reinvention and Reform of Tradition 9. 1857: Rebellion, Collaboration and the Transition to Crown Raj 10. High Noon of Colonialism, 1858 to 1914: State and Political Economy 11. A Nation in the Making? 'Rational' Reform, 'Religious' Revival and Swadeshi Nationalism, 1858 to 1914 12. Colonialism Under Siege: State and Political Economy after World War I 13. Gandhian Nationalism and Mass Politics in the 1920s 14. The Depression Decade: Society, Economics and Politics 15. Nationalism and Colonialism during World War II and its Aftermath: Economic Crisis and Political Confrontation 16. The Partition of India and the Creation of Pakistan 17. 1947: Memories and Meanings 18. Post-Colonial South Asia: State and Economy, Society and Politics, 1947-1971 19. Post-Colonial South Asia: State and Economy, Society and Politics, 1971-1991 20. Post-Colonial South Asia: State and Economy, Society and Politics, 1991-2010 21. Decolonizing South Asian History: The View from a New Millennium

About the Authors

Sugata Bose is Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University. His publications include Peasant Labor and Colonial Capital (1993) in The New Cambridge History of India series and A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire (2006).

Ayesha Jalal is Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University. Her publications include Self and Sovereignty: Individual and Community in South Asian Islam since 1850 (2000) and Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia (2010).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
HISTORY / Modern / 19th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century