In the tradition of an earlier generation of pioneering Soviet studies of economic development in modern India by Reisner, Pavlov, Goldberg, Levkovsky, Melman and other Soviet scholars, the book under review provides a bold and interesting attempt at elaborating the line that originated in the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. in 1956.
There is a common belief that books published by government departments are not worthy of serious evaluation because of the lackadaisical treatment they generally receive from their publishers. But exceptions are there and this book under review happens to be one.
In 1980 two outstanding books have appeared on South Indian History or more specifically Cola history. One is of course by Burton Stein, the veteran Indologist (‘Peasant State and Society in Medieval South India’, Oxford University Press, 1980). The other is the book under review.
An understanding of the period from 1830 when Raja Rammohan Roy took first faltering steps on the road to what later came to be known as the Indian Renaissance, to 1947, the year which became the culmination point for various socio-political processes, is essential for a correct appraisal of our present predicament.