The Making of History: Essays presented to Irfan Habib

edited by K.N Panikkar, Terence J. Byres & Utsa Patnaik


(First published in 2000)


x+ 678 pages


Rs 750

First published in 2000, this festschrift was presented to Irfan Habib on the occasion of his sixty-eighth birthday. As Marxist scholar and historian, Irfan Habib has been a towering presence on the India intellectual scene for over four decades. His truly formidable intellectual reputation, already firmly established in the 1960s with the publication of The Agrarian System of Mughal India, has gained in depth in the succeeding years as the boundaries of professional specialization were broken. Habib’s Intellectual project has broadened to cover the entire area of Indian history, from ancient to modern, and his undiminished commitment to the cause of socialism is reflected in highly original and bold analyses of Marxist historiography and theories of socialist construction.As a mark of esteem and affection for Irfan Habib, scholars in India and abroad have come together to offer him this volume. Thefestschrift reflects the range of Irfan Habib’s interests and contributions in great measure. It includes essays by not only historians but political scientists and economists, not only those specializing in the medieval period but also theorists of modern India, theorists of culture and socialist systems.
K.N. Panikkar was Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, until recently. He is now Vice-Chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kerala Terence J. Byres is Professor of Political Economy in the University of London and has been teaching at the School of Oriental and African Studies for many years. Utsa Patnaik is Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she has been teaching since 1973


All told, The Making of History is a most appropriate tribute to Irfan Habib’s unrelenting commitment to history and the social sciences. Several of the contributions in the volume, one is tempted to suggest, are bound to make history!

– Ashok Mitra, Frontline