South Asians and the shaping of Britain, 1870–1950

A sourcebook

With Rehana Ahmed, Sumita Mukherjee and Florian Stadtler

South Asians and the shaping of Britain, 1870–1950


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8513-0
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: January 2013
  • BIC Category: HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Social & cultural history, European history, Society & social sciences / Black & Asian studies, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Ethnic studies, History


This sourcebook offers alternative ways of conceiving of the making of modern Britain. It intervenes in contemporary debates about Britain's heritage by illuminating the remarkable, yet still overlooked, impact that South Asians had on shaping the nature of British culture, politics and national identity during the period 1870-1950. The first anthology of primary material interdisciplinary study of the history of the South Asian presence in Britain over the period, it selects a wide range of official and non-official archival sources. and identifies four key areas of South Asian impact - minority rights, war, culture and reception, and representation. The current relevance of South Asian engagement is underscored, projecting contemporary national concerns back into the past.


'In a time when questions of Britishness and belonging have arguably never been so contested, in an environment when both sides seem happy to make their arguments unburdened by evidence South Asians and the Shaping of Britain is essential reading.'
Sarfraz Manzoor, the Telegraph, 21 May 2013


Preface (Elleke Boehmer and Susheila Nasta)
Chronology of events
Introduction (Ruvani Ranasinha)
1. Equality of ctizenship (Rehana Ahmed)
2. Britain's forgotten volunteers: South Asian contributions to the Two World Wars (Florian Stadtler)
3. Textual culture and reception (Ruvani Ranasinha)
4. Representations and display (Sumita Mukherjee)
Afterword (Rozina Visram)
Select bibliography

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 20% off all future book orders