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A History of India, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9509-6
472 pages
April 2010, ©2010, Wiley-Blackwell
A History of India, 2nd Edition (1405195096) cover image


This new edition of Burton Stein's classic A History of India builds on the success of the original to provide an updated narrative of the development of Indian society, culture, and politics from 7000 BC to the present.
  • New edition of Burton Stein’s classic text provides a narrative from 7000 BC up to the twenty-first century
  • Includes updated and extended coverage of the modern period, with a new chapter covering the death of Nehru in 1964 to the present
  • Expands coverage of India's internal political and economic development, and its wider diplomatic role in the region
  • Features a new introduction, updated glossary and further reading sections, and numerous figures, photographs and fully revised maps
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations.

List of Maps.

Series Editor's Preface.

Introduction to Burton Stein's A History of India.

Acknowledgements to First Edition.


1 Introduction.

The Physical Setting.

The Social Setting.

Resituating Communities and States.

Historian's Choice.



2 Ancient Days.

The Pre-formation of Indian Civilization.

Vedic Culture.

Political and Religious Developments.

Religion in the Later Vedic Period.

The Nature of the Mauryan Kingdom.

Towards the Classical Pattern.

Early Hinduism.

Developments in the South.

The Age of the Early Empires.

The Gupta Classical Pattern.

The Classical Pattern Elaborated and Extended: the South.



3 Medieval India.


Medieval Kingdoms.

The Role of the Southern Kingdoms.

The Advent of Islam.

The Indian Development of Islam.

The Deccan and the South.


States and Communities.

4 Early Modern India.


The Mughal Empire.

The Wars of the Mughal Succession.

The Last Act of the Mughals.

The Maratha Moment.

The Shadow of Europe.

5 The East India Company.


The Joint Trajectory of Development.

The Company Perpetuates the Past.

The Emergence of a New Order.

Mutiny and Revolt.

Late Company Rule.



6 The Crown Replaces the Company.

The Contemporary State.

After the Mutiny.

The Rule of the Raj.

The Political Economy of the Late Nineteenth Century.

Cultural Change, Education and New Classes.

The Politicization of Class, Caste and Gender.

7 Towards Freedom.

Two Types of Nationalism.

Early Congress and Its Adversaries.

War, Sacrifi ce and Mass Political Mobilization.

Imperialism’s Paradoxical Enemy.

The First Campaigns.

Between Campaigns.

Conditions for a New Politics.

8 Gandhi's Triumph.

Civil Disobedience.

The Left in Politics.

The Right Prevails.

War and the Last Act Begins.

The Bitter Victory of Partition.

9 New States, Old Nations.

Territorial Passage.

The Promises of Independence.

Pakistan in Parallel.

The Green Revolution: Promise of Plenty.

Environmental Problems, Old and New.

The Condition of Women: Broken Promises.

Communal Politics: Shattered Pluralism.

India and the World.

Promises Kept, Promises Broken.

10 Another India.

The Nehruvian Consensus.

Eroding Consensus.

Failure on the Left.

Hindu Nationalism.

Rise of the Hindu Right.

Economic Liberalization.

The Indian State.


Glossary of Non-English Terms.

Further Reading.


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Author Information

At the time of his death Burton Stein was Professorial Research Associate in History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He had previously held professorships at the universities of Minnesota and Hawaii. His publications included Peasant State and Society in Medieval South India (1980) and Thomas Munro: The Origins of the Colonial State and his Vision of Empire (1989).

David Arnold is Professor of Asian and Global History at the University of Warwick. His publications include The Problem of Nature (Blackwell, 1996) and Gandhi (2001).

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Reviews of first edition

"A powerful and coherent interpretation of the grand sweep of India's past ... It is a 'must read' for all serious students of India regardless of their discipline and/or chronological focus." History.

"What impresses is Stein's ability to take the long view of Indian history and to develop his analysis across so many centuries and through such diverse material. It is also a mark of his achievement that his book stimulates discussion of matters that he has touched on only fleetingly himself, for it is an argument as much as an account of events." Times Higher Education Supplement.

"A History of India is clearly superior to its predecessors ... The fact that Stein was willing to put forward so many provocative formulations is itself a virtue. The text itself is likely to stimulate interesting discussions in classes, something that most predecessors did not even attempt to achieve ... in its paperback version this book might be seen by many teachers as the solution to their text dilemma." The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

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