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The great merit of Viswanathan's closely argued and admirably researched book is to show that the exigencies of managing an empire played a far more important role than has hitherto been recognized in the emergence of the discipline as a social practice.
Brilliantly working out in local detail a conception of literary education as a 'strategy of containment,' Masks of Conquest adds significantly both to the history of English education in relation to literary representation, and to the ongoing critical revaluation of the role of 'Literature' in modern culture.
"This brilliantly argued work, which is both first-class history and first-class theory, is an important book for the general reader as well as for humanists, educators, and policymakers."-- Choice "A thought-provoking statement on the relations between culture and power."-- Indian Literature
"Fascinating.... Viswanathan pursues [this thesis] with verve, insight, and a thorough grounding in nineteenth century and modern sources."-- Victorian Studies
"A compelling account of the relationship between power and culture and an indictment of the exploitative tendencies of ruling class interests."-- Modern Fiction Studies
"A remarkable feat of interpretation for the unity of its argument and the unification of the extensive evidence on which the argument is based."-- Journal of Asian and African Studies
Columbia University Press
|1||The Beginnings of English Literary Study||23|
|3||"One Power, One Mind"||68|
|5||Lessons of History||118|
|6||The Failure of English||142|
|7||Conclusion: Empire and the Western Canon||166|