In a Maze of Debates
Purnima Dutta
THE YEAR OF BLOOD: ESSAYS ON THE REVOLT OF 1857 by Rudrangshu Mukherjee Social Science Press, New Delhi, 2015, 174 pp., 550
March 2015, volume 39, No 3

Most secondary school students in India would recognize this couplet as a reference to the greased cartridges that they study as the immediate cause of the Revolt of 1857. However, beyond that, for anyone who has been introduced to the complexities of the causes and nature of the revolt beyond the usually unilinear, simplified narrative learnt at school, Rudrangshu Mukherjee’s The Year of Blood: Essays on the Revolt of 1857, would provide a fascinating telling of the history of 1857. What is even more fascinating however is the manner in which changing perceptions and understanding of the revolt among historians of 1857, including Mukherjee’s own, is captured through the book.

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