- 139,00 kr
In this imaginative book, Maya Jasanoff uncovers the extraordinary stories of collectors who lived on the frontiers of the British Empire in India and Egypt, tracing their exploits to tell an intimate history of imperialism. Jasanoff delves beneath the grand narratives of power, exploitation, and resistance to look at the British Empire through the eyes of the people caught up in it. Written and researched on four continents, Edge of Empire enters a world where people lived, loved, mingled, and identified with one another in ways richer and more complex than previous accounts have led us to believe were possible. And as this book demonstrates, traces of that world remain tangible—and topical—today. An innovative, persuasive, and provocative work of history.
In her debut book, Jasanoff challenges the idea that the British Empire imposed its own culture on its colonies, arguing instead that the empire thrived because it was able to "find ways of accommodating difference." As evidence, she traces the history of objects collected in India and Egypt by "border-crossers": diplomats and soldiers, "aristocrats and Grand Tourists" who, by collecting artifacts, influenced the homeland's perception of colonized countries. As she explains how various collections were put together through theft, excavation and connoisseurship, she personalizes the history by profiling those who were fueled to collect by the need for reinvention and pursuit "of social status and wealth." Jasanoff's narrative is most notable for synthesizing the study of architecture, art and commerce, as well as military and cultural history, and for digging deeper than predecessors. For example, in addition to the East India Company's infamous Robert Clive, she also profiles Clive's virtually forgotten son Edward, a much more ambitious collector. In this intriguing and readable book, Jasanoff, an assistant professor of British history at the University of Virginia, creates fertile common ground between the dominant stories put forth by postcolonial critics such as Edward Said and boosters like Niall Ferguson. 48 b&w illus.