Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s essays on the Revolt of 1857 have been brought under one cover in The Year of Blood: Essays on the Revolt of 1857. The book traces the eminent historian’s changing perception of the idea of the Revolt, from his undergraduate days to the present. The Revolt of 1857 was a passionate phase in Indian history and the quality of writing in this book reflects this intensity. Violence has rarely been described with so much realism and subtlety. The imaginative use of primary source materials add clarity to accounts such as the massacre in Satichaura Ghat and the trial of Mangal Pandey.
Rudrangshu Mukherjee places the ‘soldier-peasant’ at the forefront of the Revolt. In lucid prose, he is able to unravel the motives, strategies and organization skills of the mutineers, while exposing the layers of complexity that defined the relationship between the rulers and the subjugated. The horrific killings described in depth in this book cover specific parts of Uttar Pradesh; however, the mood of the wider holocaust is captured through the detailed captions which describe several illustrations, most of which are from private collections.
In this volume well-known scholars from India and Latin America – Enrique Dussel, Madhu Dubey, Walter Mignolo and Sudipta Sen to name a few – discuss the concepts of modernity and colonialism, and describe how the two relate to each other.
Unbecoming Modern: Colonialism, Modernity, Colonial Modernities explores the vital impact of the colonial pasts of India, Mexico, China and the even the Unites States on the processes through which these countries have become modern.
The collection is unique as it brings together a range of disciplines and perspectives. The topics discussed include the Zapatista movement in southern Mexico, the image of the South in recent African-American literature, the theories of Andre Gunder Frank about the early modernization of Asian countries, and the contradictions of the colonial state in India.
The history of the Soviet Union has been charted in several studies over the decades. These depictions while combining accuracy, elegance, readability and imaginativeness, have failed to draw attention to the political and academic environment within which these histories were composed. Writing History in the Soviet Union: Making the Past Work is aimed at understanding this environment.
The book seeks to identify the significant hallmarks of the production of Soviet history by Soviet as well as Western historians. It traces how the Russian Revolution of 1917 triggered a shift in official policy towards historians and the publication of history textbooks for schools. In 1985, the Soviet past was again summoned for polemical revision as part and parcel of an attitude of openness (glasnost) and in this, literary figures joined their energies to those of historians. The Communist regime sought to equate the history of the country with that of the Communist Party itself in 1938 and 1962, and this imposed a blanket of conformity on history writing in the Soviet Union.
The book also surveys the rich abundance of writing the Russian Revolution generated as well as the divergent approaches to the history of the period. The conditions for research in Soviet archives are described as an aspect of official monitoring of history writing. Another instance of this is the manner by which history textbooks have, through the years, been withdrawn from schools and others officially nursed into circulation. This intervention, occasioned in the present circumstance by statements by President Putin himself, in the manner in which history is taught in Russian schools, continues to this day. In other words, over the years, the regime has always worked to make the past work.