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Gentlemanly Terrorists

Gentlemanly Terrorists
Political Violence and the Colonial State in India, 1919–1947

$93.99 (P)

Part of Critical Perspectives on Empire

  • Date Published: August 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107186668

$ 93.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • In Gentlemanly Terrorists, Durba Ghosh uncovers the critical place of revolutionary terrorism in the colonial and postcolonial history of modern India. She reveals how so-called 'Bhadralok dacoits' used assassinations, bomb attacks, and armed robberies to accelerate the departure of the British from India and how, in response, the colonial government effectively declared a state of emergency, suspending the rule of law and detaining hundreds of suspected terrorists. She charts how each measure of constitutional reform to expand Indian representation in 1919 and 1935 was accompanied by emergency legislation to suppress political activism by those considered a threat to the security of the state. Repressive legislation became increasingly seen as a necessary condition to British attempts to promote civic society and liberal governance in India. By placing political violence at the center of India's campaigns to win independence, this book reveals how terrorism shaped the modern nation-state in India.

    • Revises the conventional narrative that the nonviolent movement led by Gandhi laid the civic foundations of Indian civil society
    • Engages with contemporary debates on political violence and terrorism, central to worldwide security concerns about the recent rise of global terrorism
    • Explores the use of legislation in suppressing political violence, appealing to readers of law and political theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Ghosh (Cornell) explores this story in her excellent monograph, massively researched and clearly written. Recommended.' R. A. Callahan, Choice

    'Ghosh shows impressive sensitivity to historical meaning and context and, through her methodology as much as her analysis, delivers a landmark study of political violence and the colonial state.' David Arnold, The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107186668
    • length: 290 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The reforms of 1919: Montagu-Chelmsford, the Rowlatt Act, Jails Commission, and the Royal Amnesty
    2. The history of revolutionary terrorism through autobiography
    3. After Chauri Chaura: the revival and repression of revolutionary terrorism
    4. After the Chittagong Armoury Raid: revolutionary terrorism in the 1930s
    5. From political prisoner to security prisoner
    6. Revolutionary autobiographies: postcolonial tellings of nationalist history

  • Author

    Durba Ghosh, Cornell University, New York
    Durba Ghosh is Associate Professor at Cornell University, New York. Her research interests focus on understanding the history of British colonialism on the Indian subcontinent, the history of colonial governance and law, gender, sexuality, and the tensions between security and democracy in modern liberal democracies, such as India and the United States. Previous works include Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge, 2006), Decentring Empire: Britain, India and the Transcolonial World (co-edited with Dane Kennedy, 2006), and a number of articles and chapters for the Oxford Handbook of the History of Terrorism, the American Historical Review, Gender and History, and Modern Asian Studies.

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