This is a book that ends without an index. Even with the aid of new technology (software), preparing an index remains the most tedious job, particularly because the job has to be taken up only after the painstaking finalization of the print-ready copy. Nevertheless, an index of a book is as important as the title of the book. It is unfortunate that the publisher and authors have decided to ignore this fact for the book which deals with an important and not much explored aspect of the Indian economy. Besides the seminal works of Tripathi and Bagchi, there are quite a few essays and articles on the banking industry of Bengal and by Bengalese. Before turning the pages of the book, I wanted to check if some of those writings were used in the book. And it was then that the absence of the index was felt. This, however, does not take away the merit of the book that narrates the century-old history of a financial institution closely associated with the economic lives of Eastern India, particularly the rural economy.
This is the history of a bank that pioneered the banking business of small savings. Another important merit of the book is its theoretical backdrop that has been used to understand and develop the historical narrative.