India and Pakistan
'Nationalist' writers and politicians have been apt to take the 'nation' as a given entity, perhaps even a providential one. A more recent trend in historical writing, however, has been to emphasize the extent to which 'nations' are made, not born. The histories in this new series take as this as their organizing principle, whether the forging of the 'nation' was a matter of conscious manipulation by an elite or guided by more popular imperatives, or a combination of the two. Each volume describes how and when particular modern nations came into existence, while at the same time demonstrating that the process is both complex and deeply contingent.
This first volume in the series looks at a region that is all too often viewed through the prism of European experience. Ian Talbot provides a wide-ranging study of nationalism in a non-European context, showing how the 'invention' of modern India and Pakistan drew heavily for inspiration on indigenous values. Analyzing both the effects of colonial rule and the post-colonial aftermath, the book is a readable and up-to-date introduction to the major issues in the contemporary history of the sub-continent.
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