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Recovering Liberties
Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire


Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107601475

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About the Authors
  • One of the world's leading historians examines the great Indian liberal tradition, stretching from Rammohan Roy in the 1820s, through Dadabhai Naoroji in the 1880s to G. K. Gokhale in the 1900s. This powerful new study shows how the ideas of constitutional, and later 'communitarian' liberals influenced, but were also rejected by their opponents and successors, including Nehru, Gandhi, Indian socialists, radical democrats and proponents of Hindu nationalism. Equally, Recovering Liberties contributes to the rapidly developing field of global intellectual history, demonstrating that the ideas we associate with major Western thinkers – Mills, Comte, Spencer and Marx – were received and transformed by Indian intellectuals in the light of their own traditions to demand justice, racial equality and political representation. In doing so, Christopher Bayly throws fresh light on the nature and limitations of European political thought and re-examines the origins of Indian democracy.

    • One of the world's leading historians examines the great Indian liberal tradition
    • Provides new insights into the nature of European political thought and reconsiders the origins of Indian democracy
    • A vibrant contribution to the growing fields of global intellectual history and the history of South Asia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A fine study of the circulation and transformation of liberal agents, ideas and institutions in India from the 1820s. His extensive bibliography in both Indian and English scholarship will doubtless enable further studies of trans- and inter-culturation, liberalization and the nineteenth century.' Regenia Gagnier, Victorian Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107601475
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the meanings of liberalism in colonial India
    1. The social and intellectual contexts of early Indian liberalism, c.1750–1840
    2. The advent of liberal thought in India: constitutions, revolutions and juries
    3. The advent of liberal thought in India and beyond: civil society and the press
    4. After Rammohan: benign sociology and statistical liberalism
    5. Living as liberals: Bengal and Bombay c.1840–1880
    6. Thinking as liberals: historicism, race, society and economy, c.1840–1848
    7. Giants with feet of clay: Asian critics and Victorian sages to 1914
    8. Liberals in the Desh: North Indian Hindus and the Muslim Dilemma
    9. 'Communitarianism': Indian liberalism transformed, c.1890–1916
    10. Inter-war: Indian discourse and controversy 1919–1935
    11. Anti-liberalism, 'counter-liberalism' and liberalism's afterlife, 1920–1950
    Conclusion: lineages of liberalism in India

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

    • Introduction to South Asia
  • Author

    C. A. Bayly, University of Cambridge
    Professor Sir Christopher Bayly, KB, LittD, FBA, is Professor of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He is currently Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge. He has published works on the history of the city of Allahabad in north India, Indian merchant communities, empire and information in India and the origin of nationality in South Asia. Professor Bayly was awarded the Wolfson Prize in History for 'lifetime achievement' in 2006 and the Royal Asiatic Society's medal in 2008. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Historical Society. He became a trustee of the British Museum in 2008.

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