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Empire and Information : Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870 - C. A. Bayly

Empire and Information

Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870

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Published: 13th April 1997
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In a penetrating account of the evolution of British intelligence gathering in India, C. A. Bayly shows how networks of Indian spies, runners and political secretaries were recruited by the British to secure information about their subjects. He also examines the social and intellectual origins of these informants, and considers how the colonial authorities interpreted and often misinterpreted the information they supplied. As Professor Bayly demonstrates, it was such misunderstandings which ultimately contributed to the failure of the British to anticipate the mutinies of 1857. He argues, however, that, even before this, India's complex systems of communication were challenging the political and intellectual dominance of the European rulers.

'... a work so rich in historical observation and so full of critical insight deserves to be read and reflected upon well beyond the community of South Asia scholars and imperial historians'. David Arnold, The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Empire and Information is one of the most important books on Indian history to appear in the past fifty years.' Clive Dewey, The Times Literary Supplement 'Empire and Information secures its place not only as the best and most enjoyable, but also the most radical reflection on Anglo-Indian history that I encountered throughout the long and historiographically conservative summer of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Raj.' Historical Journal 'This absorbing and persuasive study of a vital but neglected area of historical enquiry offers valuable insights into the complex interaction of East and West during the nineteenth century and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the shaping of modern India.' Economic History Review

List of maps
Preface
Glossary
List of abbreviations
Introduction
Prologue: surveillance and communication in early modern India
Political intelligence and indigenous informants during the conquest of India, c. 1785-1815
Misinformation and failure on the fringes of empire
Between human intelligence and colonial knowledge
The Indian ecumene: an indigenous public sphere
Useful knowledge and godly society, c. 1830-50
Colonial controversies: astronomers and physicians
Colonial controversies: language and land
The information order, the Rebellion of 1857-9 and pacification
Epilogue: information, surveillance and the public arena after the Rebellion
Conclusion: 'knowing the country'
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521570855
ISBN-10: 0521570859
Series: Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 428
Published: 13th April 1997
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.8