Ideologies of the Raj, Part 3, Volume 4
The last two decades have witnessed 'the return of the peasant' to South Asian history. New empirical research and innovative methodologies have enabled this historical reconstruction of agrarian economics, politics and society in colonial and post-colonial India. In this key volume in the New Cambridge History of India, Professor Sugata Bose presents a critical synthesis of existing scholarship and offers a new interpretation of agrarian continuity and change from 1770 to the present. The author examines the related themes of demography, commodity production, agrarian social structure, and changing forms of peasant resistance. Agrarian relations are addressed along lines of gender and generation as well as class and community. By focussing on 'peasant labour', Bose integrates the histories of land and capital. He also explores the relationship between capitalist development of the economy under colonial rule and elements of both change and continuity at the point of primary production and appropriation. Although the author draws most of his empirical material from rural Bengal, he makes important comparisons with regional agrarian histories across India and beyond. Peasant Labour and Colonial Capital: Rural Bengal Since 1770 is essential reading for the understanding of rural India's colonial and post-colonial experience. It is also of relevance to all those interested in agrarian societies in the developing world and debates about the origins and character of agrarian capitalism.
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