Collective Imagi-nation

Professor Sir Christopher Bayly is the Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at Cambridge University. One of the finest living historians of British India, his work has done much shape the imagination of the colonial north Indian landscape.

Oxford University Press have brought out a collection of his landmark writings, The C A Bayly Omnibus, that put together three of his seminal works: The Local Roots of Indian Politics, Origins of Nationality in South Asia, and Rulers, Townsmen, Bazaars.

"Exploring the maze of political and economic networks of politicians and influential local groups in the significant constituency of Allahabad, The Local Roots of Indian Politics describes the linkages between local and national politics during 1880–1920. This is complemented by an analysis of rural Allahabad district in his 1986 essay ('Rural conflict and the roots of Indian nationalism’) which had been left out from The Local Roots .

Bayly’s exposition of social organization, ideology, and politics of ‘Indian middle classes’ in north India during the crucial late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in Rulers, Townsmen, Bazaars remains a significant moment in Indian historiography. This volume has inspired many studies of the period.

The third volume in the omnibus, Origins of Nationality in South Asia analyses the moral and cultural antecedents of the regional patriotisms which became a key feature of Indian nationalism. It discusses the origins of Swadeshi; pre- history of ‘Communalism’; nature of the British Military–Fiscal State and indigenous resistance; and, the role of the British factor in modern south Asian history. The omnibus also includes a reflective autobiographical note on author’s intellectual origins and career as a historian of India.

In the introduction to the omnibus, Bayly clarifies his stand on a range of subjects concerning colonial India and posits his writings in contemporary historiography."

In our History and Collected Works sections, Rs 1450, 1274 pages in hardcover. ISBN: 9780198062561

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