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A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire

A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire

by Sugata BoseSugata Bose
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On December 26, 2004, giant tsunami waves destroyed communities around the Indian Ocean, from Indonesia to Kenya. Beyond the horrific death toll, this wall of water brought a telling reminder of the interconnectedness of the many countries on the ocean rim, and the insignificance of national boundaries. A Hundred Horizons takes us to these shores, in a brilliant reinterpretation of how culture developed and history was made at the height of the British raj.

Between 1850 and 1950, the Indian Ocean teemed with people, commodities, and ideas: pilgrims and armies, commerce and labor, the politics of Mahatma Gandhi and the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore were all linked in surprising ways. Sugata Bose finds in these intricate social and economic webs evidence of the interdependence of the peoples of the lands beyond the horizon, from the Middle East to East Africa to Southeast Asia.

In following this narrative, we discover that our usual ways of looking at history--through the lens of nationalism or globalization--are not adequate. The national ideal did not simply give way to inevitable globalization in the late twentieth century, as is often supposed; Bose reveals instead the vital importance of an intermediate historical space, where interregional geographic entities like the Indian Ocean rim foster nationalist identities and goals yet simultaneously facilitate interaction among communities.

A Hundred Horizons merges statistics and myth, history and poetry, in a remarkable reconstruction of how a region's culture, economy, politics, and imagination are woven together in time and place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674032194
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 06/15/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 909,267
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 3.00(d)

About the Author

Sugata Bose is Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University.

Table of Contents


1. Space and Time on the Indian Ocean Rim

2. The Gulf between Precolonial and Colonial Empires

3. Flows of Capitalists, Laborers, and Commodities

4. Waging War for King and Country

5. Expatriate Patriots: Anticolonial Imagination and Action

6. Pilgrims' Progress under Colonial Rules

7. A Different Universalism? Oceanic Voyages of a Poet as Pilgrim

Conclusion: The Indian Ocean Arena in the History of Globalization



What People are Saying About This

Amartya Sen

Sugata Bose has given us an excellent historical study, which is both interesting in itself (even for non-historians) and full of contemporary relevance for understanding an important ancestry of present-day globalization.

Kären Wigen

Through the voyages and voices of sea-going South Asians in modern times, A Hundred Horizons offers a new perspective on the major upheavals of the nineteenth and twentieth century. Sugata Bose eloquently recovers the Indian Ocean as an important space for both anti-colonial action and universalist aspiration.
Kären Wigen, Stanford University

Homi Bhabha

Sugata Bose has opened up new horizons in oceanic history that provide contemporary globalization with rich cultural genealogies and social geographies. This is interdisciplinary and interregional history at its best: the great global themes of migration, trade networks, and political sovereignty are explored with a scholar's scrutiny and a storyteller's eye. This is a work of impeccable research and considerable imaginative reach.
Homi Bhabha, Harvard University

David Ludden

Sugata Bose presents a lyrical, subtly contentious blend of poetry, political economy, and accounts of pilgrims, capitalists, writers, workers, imperialists, soldiers, scholars, and revolutionaries, to analyze the modern Indian Ocean as an ever-changing, transregional space and to formulate a judicious historical critique of territorial nationalism, US empire, and popular ideas about globalization.
David Ludden, author of India and South Asia: A Short History

Christopher Bayly

Sugata Bose has brought together social, cultural and political history to create a superb study of the peoples of the Indian Ocean littoral during the age of European imperialism and anti-colonial nationalism. This is a major contribution to the history of India, Southeast and West Asia and it provides a critical plane of analysis between histories of 'globalization' and histories of regions.
Christopher Bayly, co-author of Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945

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