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Ramachandra Guha

economist
historian

Recommended Books

Ramachandra Guha is an Indian historian and economist whose research interests include environmental, social, economics, political, contemporary and cricket history.
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Bridging East and West
Rabindranath Tagore and Romain Rolland Correspondence (1919-1940)
Prof. Chinmoy Guha - Jul 17, 2019
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The amazing inter-cultural correspondence (1919-1940) between two cultural icons of the twentieth century, Nobel laureates from the East and the West: the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and the French novelist, playwright, and biographer, Romain Rolland (1866-1944), has remained undiscovered for far too long.This work brings together, ...
Ramachandra Guha
Jun 23, 2019
These quotes are from a fascinating book on the friendship between Tagore and the French/European writer Romain Rolland, edited by Chinmoy Guha (no relation of mine!):     source
Elephants and Kings
An Environmental History
Thomas R. Trautmann - Aug 03, 2015
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Because of their enormous size, elephants have long been irresistible for kings as symbols of their eminence. In early civilizationssuch as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Civilization, and Chinakings used elephants for royal sacrifice, spectacular hunts, public display of live captives, or the conspicuous consumption of ivoryall of them tending towa...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
The first is Thomas Trautmann’s Elephants and Kings, that explores the environmental and political significance of the subcontinent’s largest animal. The book ranges widely in time and space; from the world of Kautilya’s Arthashastra to the pressures on elephant forests in India today, from the use of these animals in warfare to their images and representations in culture and folklore. Trautmann is one of my two favourite foreign historians of India.     source
Soccer in Sun and Shadow
Eduardo Galeano - Aug 06, 2013 (first published in 1995)
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In this witty and rebellious history of world soccer, award-winning writer Eduardo Galeano searches for the styles of play, players, and goals that express the unique personality of certain times and places. In Soccer in Sun and Shadow, Galeano takes us to ancient China, where engravings from the Ming period show a ball that could have been designe...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
Let me urge upon you the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow – aka Football in Sun and Shadow – a delightfully idiosyncratic work that blends history, memory, fact, and fiction, in telling the story of the evolution of modern football.     source
Whigs and Hunters
E. P. Thompson - Mar 01, 2013 (first published in 1975)
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With Whigs and Hunters, the author of The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson plunged into the murky waters of the early eighteenth century to chart the violently conflicting currents that boiled beneath the apparent calm of the time. The subject is the Black Act, a law of unprecedented savagery passed by Parliament in 1723 to deal ...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
My own particular favourite amongst his books is Whigs and Hunters, a shorter, more elegantly written work on conflicts between villagers and the state in the forests of 18th century England.     source
Britons
Forging the Nation 1707-1837
Linda Colley - Oct 26, 2009 (first published in 1992)
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How was Great Britain made? And what does it mean to be British? This brilliant and seminal book examines how a more cohesive British nation was invented after 1707 and how this new national identity was nurtured through war, religion, trade, and empire. Lavishly illustrated and powerful, Britons remains a major contribution to our understanding of...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
The third book on my list is therefore Linda Colley’s Britons: Forging the Nation, whose relevance extends far beyond the region it deals with. Colley shows how, over the 18th and 19th centuries, political forces sought to flatten out the linguistic and religious diversities of the British Isles, in order to create a sense of citizenship defined by a single religion, a shared language, and a common enemy. The template forged in Britain was later adapted in countries as far removed as Israel and Pakistan.     source
The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760
Richard M. Eaton - Jul 30, 1996 (first published in 1993)
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In all of the South Asian subcontinent, Bengal was the region most receptive to the Islamic faith. This area today is home to the world's second-largest Muslim ethnic population. How and why did such a large Muslim population emerge there? And how does such a religious conversion take place? Richard Eaton uses archaeological evidence, monuments, na...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, for which Eaton had to learn Bangla in addition to the Urdu and Persian he was already a master of. The book asks the question; why did the most successful mass conversions to Islam take place so far away from the epicentre of Mughal/Muslim power in North India? For a full answer read the book; suffice it to say here that agricultural colonisation and Sufi preachers both had major roles to play in the process.     source
The Construction of Religious Boundaries
Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition
Harjot Oberoi - Dec 14, 1994 (first published in 1993)
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In this major reinterpretation of religion and society in India, Harjot Oberoi challenges earlier accounts of Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam as historically given categories encompassing well-demarcated units of religious identity. Through a searching examination of Sikh historical materials, he shows that early Sikh tradition was not concerned with e...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
The third book I nominate on South Asia is by a compatriot and contemporary. This is Harjot Oberoi’s The Construction of Religious Boundaries. Set in the undivided Punjab of the 19th century, this study subtly explores the evolution of a corporate identity within the Sikhs, whose ideologues sought to more explicitly demarcate their faith from that of Hindus and Muslims. Deeply empirical as well as sharply analytical, Oberoi’s work blends the best of the British and French intellectual traditions. It is also thoroughly Indian, drawing on the author’s own rich immersion in the culture and language of his native province.     source
French Rural History
An Essay on Its Basic Characteristics
Marc Bloch - Dec 31, 1969 (first published in 1931)
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From the Preface by Lucien Febvre: MARC BLOCH'S Caracteres originaux de l'histoire ruralefranfaise, which was originally published at Oslo in 1931 and appeared simultaneously at Paris under the imprint Belles Lettres, has long been out of print. As he told me on more than one occasion, he had every intention of bringing out another edition. In Marc...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 25, 2019
Bloch’s most famous work is his two volume study Feudal Society. But I myself prefer his French Rural History, that draws as much on his travels through the countryside as on hours spent in the archives. This book blends environmental with social history, in exploring the linkages between human uses of the cultivated field, the forest, and pasture land.     source
The Burning Forest
Nandini Sundar - Sep 01, 2016
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Starting from 2005 when a government-sponsored vigilante movement, Salwa Judum, killed hundreds and drove thousands of villagers into camps, to the present day when it is the most militarized area in the country, the war in Bastar has taken a heavy toll on the people of Bastar, the security forces, the Maoists and human rights activists.This book c...
Ramachandra Guha
Aug 30, 2018
This is a superb book, the best scholarly study of adivasis ever published. DU’s “ban” shows this once admired public university in very poor light. Indian democrats, read this book.     source
Duties and Delights
The Life of a Go-Between
Tzvetan Todorov - Sep 30, 2008 (first published in 2002)
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Tzvetan Todorov is one of Europes leading intellectuals. Beyond his work in cultural and literary theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis, Todorovs influence is extraordinarily far-reaching specifically because of the clarity of his writing and his refusal to be bound by systems of thought and disciplinary straitjackets.Todorovs many writings include...
Ramachandra Guha
Feb 28, 2018
@Razarumi The book is called "Duties and Delights" and it is published by Seagull     source