Bayly, C.A. 1945–

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Bayly, C.A. 1945–

(Christopher Alan Bayly)

PERSONAL:

Born May 18, 1945.

ADDRESSES:

Office—St. Catharine's College, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1RL, England; Centre of South Asian Studies, Laundress Lane, Cambridge CB1 1SD, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Cambridge University, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, England, Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History; Centre of South Asian studies, Cambridge, staff.

WRITINGS:

The Local Roots of Indian Politics: Allahabad, 1880-1920, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1975.

(With others) Reappraisals in Overseas History: Essays on Post-War Historiography about European Expansion, Leiden University Press (Leiden, The Netherlands), 1979.

Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770-1870, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

(Editor, with D.H.A. Kolff) Two Colonial Empires, M. Nijhoff (Boston, MA), 1986.

(Editor) Eric Stokes, The Peasant Armed: The Indian Revolt of 1857, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1986.

Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1987.

(Associate editor, with John F. Richards) Gordon Johnson, general editor, The New Cambridge History of India, three volumes, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1987.

Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1830, Longman (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) Atlas of the British Empire, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947 (exhibition catalogue), Cross River Press (New York, NY), 1990.

Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870 ("Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society" series), Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Origins of Nationality in South Asia: Patriotism and Ethical Government in the Making of Modern India, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with Leila Tarazi Fawaz) Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1890-1920, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2004.

(With Tim Harper) Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

(With Tim Harper) Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

C.A. Bayly is a professor at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, and is also with the Centre of South Asian Studies in Cambridge, England. His research and teaching interests include Indian history c. 1700, British imperial history, and global history.

Historian Bayly is the editor of The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947, a catalogue of an exhibit held in 1990-91 at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The works are by British artists who generally portray the Indians as being of different levels, or castes, while Indian art plays down the power of British overlords by depicting them as being on an equal footing with their own rajas and princes. As time passed, the work of Indian artists instead reflected unity. The essays, as well, are by both British and Indian scholars whose writings accompany the drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other artifacts that are included.

In reviewing Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870 in the Historian, David Kopf wrote: "This is a politically correct monograph in that the author borrows conceptually from Edward Said's paradigm of Orientalism (widely accepted by academics), the belief that the West invented intellectual constructs, which were at best pure fabrications of the ‘Orient,’ in a deliberately distorted way in order to dominate Asian civilizations." The book is the first volume in the "Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society" series of monographs on the history and anthropology of modern India. P.J. Durrans noted in the English Historical Review that "Bayly shows how dependent the British were, particularly before 1830, on the sophisticated information systems established by their Hindu and Mughal predecessors. Colonial intelligence, fundamental to the processes of conquest and control, was acquired in large part by infiltrating and manipulating existing networks."

Journal of Asian and African Studies contributor William R. Pinch wrote that the book "is more than a history of intelligence and imperialism, however. Bayly uses the fluid concept of the information order to extend his inquiry beyond the realm of the state, to probe the cultures and concerns of the ‘literacy aware’ as well as the literate—the ‘knowledge communities’ that sustained a vital public sphere of debate and information consumption. He argues that ways of ‘knowing the country’ were tied to, but not ultimately predicated on, the exercise of state power."

Bayly is the editor, with Leila Tarazi Fawaz, of Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1890-1920, a collection of essays that studies various aspects of the history of the Middle East and South Asia during this period and which comes out of three separate conferences. Essays focus on the Red Sea and its ports, Ottoman reform, Indian Islam, and journalism in Cairo, Egypt, and Istanbul, Turkey. In reviewing the volume in History: Review of New Books, Frank F. Conlon described it as "a path-breaking collection" that "will be of broad interest to students and teachers of world history for its explicit content and the stimulation it provides toward fresh conceptions and presentations of two major world regions in a global context."

Journal of World History reviewer J.R. McNeill described The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons as "a sprawling smorgasbord of world history in the long nineteenth century. Readers may grow weary at times of its rambling structure, but they will be well rewarded for their endurance by a set of stimulating ideas and brilliant apercus."

Bayly begins with an overview and an introduction to his individual topics. In the next chapters, he studies them, including revolutions, industrialization, empire, nationalism, liberalism, socialism, the state, indigenous peoples, the arts, and religion. Each subject gets the world tour, spanning the globe in its history and comparisons. Bayly places specific emphasis on nationalism, state power, and religion, and notes how important the latter was to that century.

Bayly wrote two books with Tim Harper, a senior lecturer at Cambridge. The first, Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945, is a study of the British territories, from India to Singapore, that provided raw materials and fighting men for the war effort, as well as seeming to present a global barrier against the Axis. In spite of this perceived strength, within a short period of the Japanese attack on American soil (Pearl Harbor, Hawaii), British Asia crumbled before the enemy, surprising even the Japanese who then increased their aggression. Burma, which had not been considered a target, was seized, and these historic moments in history marked the beginning of the rise of the East that has led to the powerful Asia that is evident today.

Historian reviewer Ian J. Kerr, who commented that the book will be valued by specialists and general readers, noted that it "is not primarily military history. It is, rather, sociopolitical history in a war-torn setting. The authors demonstrate how profoundly the war years affected the complex varieties of peoples in Burma, Malaya, and Singapore and, somewhat more indirectly, the peoples of the Indian subcontinent."

Bayly and Harper identify the strikes against British Asia, in addition to war, that came as disease, famine, and insurgency. They comment on the doctors, nurses, soldiers, workers, and business and tradesmen who struggled in cities and jungles and draw on British, American, Japanese, Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay voices in recreating this four-year conflict that saw the death of British rule and the birth of a modern south and southeast Asia after 1945.

Robert Bickers reviewed the volume in Pacific Affairs, writing: "This is an ambitious book, pithy and punchy, which covers much ground…. Overall, Forgotten Armies puts the British in their place, and integrates expertly and convincingly the armies of stories that need to be told to fashion an understanding of the terrible years of war and their legacy."

Bayly and Harper next wrote Forgotten Wars: Freedom and Revolution in Southeast Asia, a history of the conflict that followed the end of empire, including colonial insurrections, massacres, and civil wars during the period when Western imperialism competed with nationalism and communism for control. Their stories come from ordinary people, including those who were impacted by Hindu-Muslim massacres in India, peasant farmers caught up in Malay wars between revolutionaries and the British, and Burmese minorities who suffered from separatist revolt, noting as they go how each and all of these events have shaped what is today's Asia.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, April, 1984, review of Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770-1870, p. 504; June, 1988, review of Two Colonial Empires, p. 818; October, 1990, Robert Eric Frykenberg, review of The New Cambridge History of India, p. 1270; February, 1993, review of Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1830, p. 83; February, 1993, review of Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 83; October, 1998, Margaret MacMillan, review of Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870, p. 1310.

Asian Affairs, July, 2004, Simon Gillett, review of Origins of Nationality in South Asia: Patriotism and Ethical Government in the Making of Modern India, p. 237.

Choice, September, 1992, reviews of Atlas of the British Empire, Imperial Meridian, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, and Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars, p. 63; October, 1997, J.W. Webb, review of Empire and Information, p. 348; December, 1999, R.D. Long, review of Origins of Nationality in South Asia, p. 776; July 1, 2004, D.M. Fahey, review of The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914: Global Connections and Comparisons, p. 2097.

Economic History Review, February, 1998, Douglas M. Peers, review of Empire and Information, p. 219.

English Historical Review, April, 1989, Francis Robinson, review of The Peasant Armed: The Indian Revolt of 1857, p. 527; January, 1991, D.K. Fieldhouse, review of Imperial Meridian, p. 128; November, 1998, P.J. Durrans, review of Empire and Information, p. 1340.

Historian, winter, 1999, David Kopf, review of Empire and Information, p. 441; fall, 2006, Ian J. Kerr, review of Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945, p. 606.

Historical Journal, June, 1998, John Lennard, review of Empire and Information, p. 601.

History: Review of New Books, summer, 2003, Frank F. Conlon, review of Modernity and Culture: From the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1890-1920, p. 174.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, June, 1991, B.R. Tomlinson, review of The New Cambridge History of India, p. 256; February, 1992, Keith Jeffery, review of Imperial Meridian, p. 131.

History Today, December, 1983, Francis Robinson, review of Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars, p. 51; June, 1989, Bruce Lenman, review of Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 54.

International History Review, September, 1998, Michael H. Fisher, review of Empire and Information, p. 671.

Journal of Asian and African Studies, August, 1999, William R. Pinch, review of Empire and Information, p. 349.

Journal of Asian History, spring, 1998, Lynn Zastoupil, review of Empire and Information.

Journal of Asian Studies, August, 1991, Sandria B. Freitag, review of The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947, p. 713; February, 1998, Majid H. Siddiqi, review of Empire and Information, p. 246.

Journal of Economic History, September, 1987, David Feeny, review of Two Colonial Empires, p. 822.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, summer, 1999, Juan Cole, review of Empire and Information, p. 174.

Journal of Third World Studies, fall, 2001, Roger D. Long, review of Empire and Information, p. 776.

Journal of World History, September, 2005, J.R. McNeill, review of The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914, p. 381.

London Review of Books, September 2, 2004, Colin Kidd, review of The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914, p. 14.

Modern Asian Studies, February, 1998, William Sweetman, review of Empire and Information, p. 245.

Orbis, fall, 1990, review of The New Cambridge History of India, Volume 2, part 1, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 626.

Pacific Affairs, spring, 1989, Michael H. Fisher, review of The New Cambridge History of India, Volume 2, part 1, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 125; summer, 2006, Robert Bickers, review of Forgotten Armies, p. 332.

Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1994, review of The Raj, p. 65.

Reference & Research Book News, February, 1990, review of Atlas of the British Empire, p. 11.

School Librarian, May, 1990, review of Atlas of the British Empire, p. 85.

Times Educational Supplement, March 2, 1990, Tom Corfe, review of Atlas of the British Empire, p. 40.

Times Higher Education Supplement, April 18, 1997, David Arnold, review of Empire and Information, p. 32; September 10, 2004, "Kaleidoscopic View of Our Common Past," p. 30.

Times Literary Supplement, April 17, 1998, review of Empire and Information, p. 9; February 20, 2004, David Arnold, "Gone Global: How History Extends beyond Boundaries and Stays within Them," p. 3.

Victorian Studies, spring, 1989, V.G. Kiernan, review of The New Cambridge History of India, Volume 2, number 1, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 453.

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