People’s History of India 1: Prehistory

Irfan Habib

First published 2001

2006 (Third edition)


x+ 78 pages

9.5x 6.25 inches


Rs 120 / $10

All rights available

Prehistory by Irfan Habib describes the earliest ages of human life in India, long before the existence of written records. It is part of a larger project, a People’s History of India. In this monograph, the style is sought to be kept simple without making it ‘popular’, rhetorical or inexact.

Chapter 1 of the monograph treats in brief the geological formation of India, and changes in its climate and  natural   environment in so far as these relate to an understanding of our prehistory and history.

Chapter 2 provides the story of man, first in the global context and then in India.

Chapter 3 describes the coming of agriculture and the beginnings of exploitative relationships.

Technical or controversial matters that need special attention are dealt with in notes appended to each chapter. There are bibliographical notes, where the more important books and articles covering the subject of the chapter are listed with brief comments. There are also tables, maps and figures, which are useful aids in understanding the subject as well as interesting in themselves.


Irfan Habib, formerly Professor of History, Aligarh Muslim University, is author of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556–1707 (1963; 2nd rev. edn, 1999), An Atlas of the Mughal Empire (1982), and Essays in Indian History: Towards a Marxist Perception (1995). He has also authored The Indus Civilization (2002) and Indian Economy, 1858–1914 (2006), and co-authored The Vedic Age (2003) and Mauryan India (2004), in the People’s History of India series.