The Bomb in Bengal: The Rise of Revolutionary Terrorism in India, 1900-1910

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Oxford University Press, 1993 - History - 324 pages
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The Bomb in Bengal is a narrative history of the revolutionary movement in Bengal from its origins around 1900 to the close of its first phase in 1910. Many books and articles have been written about this period, some so uncritically laudatory that legend has taken the place of fact. Heehs provides a more accurate account than any found in previous narratives and also corrects mistakes made by academic historians. But he has succeeded in making his book as vivid and fast-moving as the events themselves. Heehs' approach is nationalist in focus, narrative in form and chronological in presentation. By basing himself entirely on primary sources, he avoids the documentary weakness of commemorative histories. He shows that the nationalist approach still has much to reveal about how men and women responded to the challenges of colonial rule. While giving sufficient attention to the social, economic or political background, he is concerned mainly with presenting the factual data in a narrative that both academic and general readers will find accessible, interesting and perhaps even inspiring. Heehs gives special attention to two major problems in the study of the freedom movement that are of contemporary relevance: the relationship between revolution and religion and the relative importance of violent and non-violent methods. He shows that the violent revolutionaries of the turn of the century had considerable impact on the course of the freedom movement, but that their ideals and methods differed significantly from those of today's terrorists.

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About the author (1993)

Peter Heehs, Archivist, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

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