Indians have lived with a high risk of suffering famines, floods, and earthquakes. What did they do to rebuild their lives? Did the responses change over time?
This short introduction is a fascinating study of the social and economic history of natural disasters in India. Analysing some of the greatest natural disasters from 1770 to 1935, the author argues that our understanding of such events depends on the timescale we adopt. In the short-run view, natural disasters destroy lives, property, and the rules of society. A long-run view, however, reveals a more silent and stable pattern of response. This book uncovers these silent processes, highlighting how disasters have enabled new understandings of nature, state, and society.
A beautifully written and crafted book… Thirthankar Roy sheds important new light on a long-term reaction to famines, storms, and earthquakes.
Tirthankar Roy is Professor of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science. He has published Company of Kinsmen: Enterprise and Community in South Asian History 1700-1940 (2009) and The Economic History of India 1857-1947, 3/e (2011) with OUP.
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