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Writing the Mughal World: Studies on Culture and Politics

Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam

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Paper, 536 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-15811-4
$30.00 / £20.50

August, 2011
Cloth, 536 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-15810-7
$95.00 / £65.50

Between the mid-sixteenth and early nineteenth century, the Mughal Empire was an Indo-Islamic dynasty that ruled as far as Bengal in the east and Kabul in the west, as high as Kashmir in the north and the Kaveri basin in the south. The Mughals constructed a sophisticated, complex system of government that facilitated an era of profound artistic and architectural achievement. They promoted the place of Persian culture in Indian society and set the groundwork for South Asia’s future development.

In this volume, two leading historians of early modern South Asia present nine major joint essays on the Mughal Empire, framed by an essential introductory reflection. Making creative use of materials written in Persian, Indian vernacular languages, and a variety of European languages, their chapters accomplish the most significant innovations in Mughal historiography in decades, intertwining political, cultural, and commercial themes while exploring diplomacy, state-formation, history-writing, religious debate, and political thought.

Muzaffar Alam and Sanjay Subrahmanyam center on confrontations between different source materials that they then reconcile, enabling readers to participate in both the debate and resolution of competing claims. Their introduction discusses the comparative and historiographical approach of their work and its place within the literature on Mughal rule. Interdisciplinary and cutting-edge, this volume richly expands research on the Mughal state, early modern South Asia, and the comparative history of the Mughal, Ottoman, Safavid, and other early modern empires.

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About the Author

Muzaffar Alam is George V. Bobrinskoy Professor in South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Crisis of Empire in Mughal North India and The Languages of Political Islam in India: c. 1200–1800.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam is professor and holder of the Navin and Pratima Doshi Chair of Indian History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of several books, including The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama and the two-volume Explorations in Connected History.Alam and Subrahmanyam have jointly edited The Mughal State 1526–1750, which remains a standard reference in the decade since its release, and have coauthored Indo-Persian Travels in the Age of Discoveries, 1400–1800.

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