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Look Inside Asian Voices in a Post-Colonial Age

Asian Voices in a Post-Colonial Age
Vietnam, India and Beyond


  • Date Published: October 2007
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521688949

£ 25.99

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About the Authors
  • This study of intellectuals and their cosmopolitan life trajectories is based on anthropological and historical research in Vietnam and India, two great Asian societies with contrasting experiences of empire, decolonisation and the rise and fall of the twentieth-century socialist world system. Building on the author's long-standing research experience in India and on remarkable family narratives collected during fieldwork in northern Vietnam, the book deals with epic events and complex social transformations from a perspective that emphasizes the personal and the familial. Its central theme is the extraordinary mobility of intelligentsia lives. The author explores the role of the intellectual in the economic, social and cultural transformation of the post-colonial world through in-depth ethnographic fieldwork methods. In identifying parallels and contrasts between Hanoi's 'socialist moderns' and the family and career experiences of their Indian counterparts, the book makes a distinctive contribution to the study of colonial, socialist and post-socialist Asia.

    • A fascinating study of the role of the intellectual in the economic, social and cultural transformation of post-colonial Asia
    • Based on the author's in-depth research in India and on remarkable family narratives collected during fieldwork in northern Vietnam
    • Contains rare illustrations, including photographs from the family albums of Vietnamese revolutionary intellectuals as well as propaganda posters
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Asian Voices in a Post-Colonial Age is an engaging and original work of interest to scholars of both South and Southeast Asia. Bayly's comparison of Indian and Hanoi intellectuals is novel and useful. It allows her to underline the active and extremely complex relationship that a liminal generation of Asian intellectuals had to its colonial and post-colonial pasts. It also reminds us of how the language of socialism has shaped the experience and memory of colonialism and post-colonialism, and indeed continues to shape a more or less post-socialist present. Finally, it makes accessible to an English-speaking audience the stories of a group of women and men who will not be with us much longer … Asian Voices in a Post-Colonial Age thus appears at an important moment, reminding us of the achievements of one remarkable generation, and providing perspective on a generation of Hanoi intellectuals to come.' International Journal of Asian Studies

    'This is an unusually rewarding comparative study of the lives of postcolonial intellectuals in India and Vietnam, bringing to light a phase of our history that is either forgotten or derided - the early socialist modernity of Asia.' Pankaj Mishra, Outlook India

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521688949
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.516kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The modern intellectual family. Separation, provision and nurture
    3. Narrating family lives in present-day Hanoi
    4. The pains and perils of intelligentsia life
    5. India as a domain of socialist modernity
    6. Cosmopolitan spaces in revolutionary times
    7. Vistas of modernity in the insurgent countryside
    8. At home and beyond in the new socialist era
    9. Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Gender, Caste, Nation in South Asia
  • Author

    Susan Bayly, University of Cambridge
    Susan Bayly is Reader in Historical Anthropology in the Department of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University and a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. Her previous publications include Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age (1999) and Saints, Goddesses and Kings: Muslims and Christians in South Indian Society 1700-1900 (1989).

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