Furthering a Non-Communal Understanding of History
Meena Bhargava
ESSAYS IN MEDIEVAL INDIAN HISTORY by Satish Chandra Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2004, 549 pp., 695.00
April 2004, volume 28, No 4

This volume is an anthology of valuable essays by Professor Satish Chandra, published earlier in different journals and books. Since the earliest of these essays was written in 1946, the shape and direction of history writing have undergone a tremendous change. The essays in this collection reflect – and have also been responsible for determining – new currents in history writing over the last five decades. The Introduction begins on a nostalgic note, providing an insight into the experiences of Satish Chandra in his makings of a historian. But as he recounts his career as a student, as a researcher, as a historian, he explains with subtlety the shift in historical trends and historical writings over the years. These shifts are reflected in the themes chosen for discussion viz. society and state, society and countryside, economy, religion and state, political processes and historiography. While these categories may provide thematic coherence, the author emphasizes that the reason that he selected these classifications was to underline a basic approach reflected in many of the articles, that of exploring the interconnection between society, economy, religion and state and their interaction with political processes.

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