India: Brief History of a Civilization

By Rocher, Ludo | The Journal of the American Oriental Society, April-June 2012 | Go to article overview

India: Brief History of a Civilization


Rocher, Ludo, The Journal of the American Oriental Society


India: Brief History of a Civilization. By THOMAS R. TRAUTMANN. New York: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2011. Pp. x + 238.

Had Burton Stein (1926-1996) lived to complete A History of India (published after his death in 1998), he would have written in the introduction that his book was intended to be "taken not as a recording of events as they sequentially unfolded in real time but rather as an accounting." And one form of accounting Stein had in mind was that of "my own view of that long, complex history,. ... my present attitudes and understanding of the history of the Indian subcontinent" (p. 420). Stein's goal was purely academic: to expose his own--often original--views of Indian history, and to submit them to a scholarly readership.

Tom Trautmann, like Stein a major contributor to the study of Indian history, undertook to write India: Brief History of a Civilization for a different purpose and with a different kind of reader in mind: "I wrote this book for my students in a large introductory Indian Civilization course at the University of Michigan" (p. viii).

Those readers of our journal who are called on to survey, in a one-semester course, to an often large class of undergraduates, the history of the subcontinent, from the beginning to the present day, will be immensely grateful to Trautmann for having put his experience in teaching "Civilization of India (History 206)" at the University of Michigan down in writing. I, for one, would have been, when, in the latter part of my career, I was asked to teach an even more clearly introductory "The legacy of India (South Asia 101)."

Even though there are many respectable books on Indian history and culture, Trautmann came to the conclusion that not one single volume covers the entire subject matter in a way that is suitable for an undergraduate course. To most American students the subject is unfamiliar if not totally foreign, geographically, historically, and culturally. Even for students of Indian descent names of Indian persons, book titles, technical terms, etc., can be long and difficult to remember. For the teacher, this circumstance leads to a continuous struggle between his/her own desire to expose his/her audience to as much as possible of India's past and his/her concern not to have the students lose sight of the forest for the many trees. Trautmann was aware that his book "no doubt ... falls between the wishes of both parties and will leave them something to complain about" (p. ix). What he wanted to provide was "a book that will give newcomers a quick overview of a very long period, so that in a short time they will acquire a mental map of the history of Indian Civilization as a whole, a basic stock of names and technical terms and a rough sense of the chronology. It should give readers the means to tackle more advanced works. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

India: Brief History of a Civilization
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.