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
Series: Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society (Paperback)
Number Of Pages: 428
Published: 30th November 2006
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.216 x 16.053
Weight (kg): 0.662