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Studies in British and Imperial History
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Unearthing the Past to Forge the Future
Colin Mackenzie, the Early Colonial State, and the Comprehensive Survey of India
Translated by Jane Rafferty
356 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-689-8 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (October 2017)
eISBN 978-1-78533-690-4 eBook
“I highly recommend Unearthing the Past to Forge the Future to anyone working on colonial India or on British colonialism more broadly. It is a unique study that is well-researched and well-executed.” • Newbooks.Asia
For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the British East India Company consolidated its rule over India, evolving from a trading venture to a colonial administrative force. Yet its territorial gains far outpaced its understanding of the region and the people who lived there, and its desperate efforts to gain knowledge of the area led to the 1815 appointment of army officer Colin Mackenzie as the first Surveyor General of India. This volume carefully reconstructs the life and career of Mackenzie, showing how the massive survey of India that he undertook became one of the most spectacular and wide-ranging knowledge production initiatives in British colonial history.
Tobias Wolffhardt is a Research Fellow at the Bundeswehr University Munich. For his research on Colin Mackenzie he was awarded the German Historical Institute London’s Wolfgang J. Mommsen Prize in 2010
Subject: Colonial HistoryHistory: 18th/19th Century
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