ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic History and Postmodern Theory

Postmodernism questions the possibility of narratives of 'progress' in the sphere of culture, a position that disagrees with economists' faith in economic progress in which cultural change plays a large role. This fundamental incompatibility has made economic history uncomfortable for historians, and led to a breach between economics and history. Can this rift be repaired?

Global Business and Political Governance

A brief look at critical turning-points that have marked qualitative transformations in the nexus between the polity and business. What is most noticeable is the pendulum-like movement of the status and influence of business from the periphery to the centre in the power structure. Each swing of the pendulum originates in the dysfunction of whatever organisational thrust happened to be dominant at the beginning of the swing. Surely, the present swing towards global business will generate some countervailing tendencies which will change the momentum of the process, as also its specific nature. In the process the opportunities for expansion available to the developing nations will diminish in one area, and increase perhaps in others.

Russia : Looking Back on Stalin

In the 1980s there had been a surge of anti-Stalinist sentiment in the then Soviet Union and several publications had come out based on hitherto undisclosed material, documents and memoirs. By contrast, the 50th anniversary of Josef Stalin's death on March 5 this year brought to the surface evidence of growing nostalgia among sections of Russians for Stalin.

The Locations of Hindi

Hindi Nationalism by Alok Rai , Tracts for the Times 13, Orient Longman, Delhi, 2000; pp 138, Rs 150.

On Saffronisation of Education

It is usually believed by exponents of Hindutva that theirs is a bold revolt against western hegemony, but in fact it is an imperfect and slavish imitation of that hegemonic system, a caricature.

Role of Revisionism in History

Trade in Early India: Themes in Indian History edited by Ranabir Chakravarti (Oxford in India Readings); Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2001; pp 506, Rs 650. Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, AD 300-900 by Michael McCormick; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2001; pp 1130, £ 40.

Forgotten Subalterns

Meenakshi Tyagarajan’s fascinating book review (November 24) states that the suggestion of the name, Mount Everest, came from Waugh, the successor to Sir George Everest as the Surveyor General of India, who “actually carried out the measurement” of the height of the peak. In fact, the basic...

Crop, Climate and Malaria

The decade of the 1870s was marked across Bengal by drastic rainfall variations, changing crop patterns and a devastating malarial epidemic that depopulated many villages. Though hampered by a paucity of data, this paper relying on contemporary records establishes the link between widespread incidence of malaria to not merely the declining water supply, but the increasing inaccessibility to existing water sources, thanks to the large-scale construction of embankments and the colonial reclamation of land.

History and Memory

Memory, Identity, Power: Politics in the Jungle Mahals 1890-1950 by Ranabir Samaddar; Orient Longman, 1998; pp viii+295, Rs 250.

Man for All Seasons

John Maynard Keynes, Volume Three, Fighting for Britain 1937- 1946 by Robert Skidelsky; Macmillan, London, 2000; pp 561, price not mentioned

Working and Reading

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes by Jonathan Rose; Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2001; pp 534, £29.95.

Heroes, Histories and Booklets

The new emergence of the educated and politically conscious middle class of dalit-bahujan origin in UP and Bihar active in writing, propagating and publishing literature, with a view to creating awareness among the backward classes coincides with the rise of bahujan politics through the early 1980s. The emergence of new heroes in literature and hitherto neglected and ignored traditions is related to the need to acquire self-respect and social acceptance. But in its search for identity, dalit-bahujan literature, by propping itself up as counter-literature, also seeks realisation by a negation of brahminic literature.

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