The past is not just, as has been famously said, another country with foreign customs: it is a contested and colonized terrain. Indigenous histories have been expropriated, eclipsed, sometimes even wholly eradicated, in the service of imperialist aims buttressed by a distinctly Western philosophy of history. Guha offers a critique of such historiography by taking issue with the Hegelian concept of World-history.
In three lectures delivered at Columbia University in October and November 2000, along with an epilogue written for the volume, Guha argues that the total dominance of Britain in India required the appropriation of the Indian past and its use to construct a colonial state. Indians themselves, he concludes, must try to recover their past by means of an Indian historiography of India. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)