The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power

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Overview

"This is a powerfully argued account of the origins and subsequent justification of British rule in India, and an exploration of the response by Bengali elites to colonialism. A work of classic history, this book carries an intellectual power and brilliance of insight that will excite much interest and comment."—Thomas Metcalf, professor emeritus of history, University of California, Berkeley

"Moving skillfully between gripping narrative and thoughtful interpretation, The Black Hole of Empire is a deeply researched, brilliantly crafted, and exquisitely written work on the British empire in India. Ambitious and complex, it richly resonates with contemporary political and ethical concerns. A masterly work by one of the finest intellectuals of our times."—Sugata Bose, Harvard University

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
[H]ighly insightful, at times quite brilliant . . .
— David Washbrook
Choice
Chock-full of mini topics and discursive asides, and illustrated with a number of photographs and illustrations, this book is required reading for the genre.
3QuarksDaily
The Black Hole of Empire is his most ambitious book yet. Challenging existing understandings, reinterpreting the meaning of well-known events, and displaying an authoritative knowledge of an astonishing range of scholarly literature, we encounter a historian at the top of his game.
— Gyan Prakash
Times Literary Supplement - David Washbrook
[H]ighly insightful, at times quite brilliant . . .
3QuarksDaily - Gyan Prakash
The Black Hole of Empire is his most ambitious book yet. Challenging existing understandings, reinterpreting the meaning of well-known events, and displaying an authoritative knowledge of an astonishing range of scholarly literature, we encounter a historian at the top of his game.
From the Publisher
One of HistoryToday's Books of the Year 2013, chosen by Chandak Sengoopta

"[H]ighly insightful, at times quite brilliant . . ."—David Washbrook, Times Literary Supplement

"Chock-full of mini topics and discursive asides, and illustrated with a number of photographs and illustrations, this book is required reading for the genre."—Choice

"The Black Hole of Empire is his most ambitious book yet. Challenging existing understandings, reinterpreting the meaning of well-known events, and displaying an authoritative knowledge of an astonishing range of scholarly literature, we encounter a historian at the top of his game."—Gyan Prakash, 3QuarksDaily

"[S]timulating and original. . . . In following a trail from history as once every British schoolboy learnt it, Chatterjee illuminates one of the pressing issues of international relations today."—William Crawley, BBC Northern Ireland

"[T]he scope, depth, and reach of The Black Hole of Empire is an achievement that is difficult to match. . . . The Black Hole of Empire is, in all its richness or argument and historical detail, a book that no anthropologist, historian, or political theorist of empire can afford to miss."—Peter Pels, Current Anthropology

"[T]he book is so richly detailed and so thoughtfully argued that it can serve as the perfect introduction to the history of British India and, indeed, of imperialism itself."—Chandak Sengoopta, History Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691152011
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/8/2012
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 886,535
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Partha Chatterjee is professor of anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University; and honorary professor at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. His books include "The Politics of the Governed."

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Chapter One: Outrage in Calcutta 1
Chapter Two: A Secret Veil 33
Chapter Three: Tipu’s Tiger 67
Chapter Four: Liberty of the Subject 104
Chapter Five: Equality of Subjects 134
Chapter Six: For the Happiness of Mankind 159
Chapter Seven: The Pedagogy of Violence 185
Chapter Eight: The Pedagogy of Culture 222
Chapter Nine: Bombs, Sovereignty, and Football 264
Chapter Ten: The Death and Everlasting Life of Empire 311
Afterword
Notes 347
References 387
Index 409

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