Crossing the Bay of Bengal The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants

ISBN-10: 0674724836
ISBN-13: 9780674724839
Edition: 2013
Authors: Sunil S. Amrith
List price: $31.50 Buy it from $26.76
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Description: The Indian Ocean was global long before the Atlantic, and today the countries bordering the Bay of Bengal--India, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia--are home to one in four people on Earth. Crossing the Bay of Bengal places this  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.50
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 10/7/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

The Indian Ocean was global long before the Atlantic, and today the countries bordering the Bay of Bengal--India, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia--are home to one in four people on Earth. Crossing the Bay of Bengal places this region at the heart of world history for the first time. Integrating human and environmental history, and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil Amrith gives a revelatory and stirring new account of the Bay and those who have inhabited it.For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and then as a battleground for European empires, all while being shaped by the monsoons and by human migration. Imperial powers in the nineteenth century, abetted by the force of capital and the power of steam, reconfigured the Bay in their quest for coffee, rice, and rubber. Millions of Indian migrants crossed the sea, bound by debt or spurred by drought, and filled with ambition. Booming port cities like Singapore and Penang became the most culturally diverse societies of their time. By the 1930s, however, economic, political, and environmental pressures began to erode the Bay's centuries-old patterns of interconnection.Today, rising waters leave the Bay of Bengal's shores especially vulnerable to climate change, at the same time that its location makes it central to struggles over Asia's future. Amrith's evocative and compelling narrative of the region's pasts offers insights critical to understanding and confronting the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.

Sunil S. Amrith is Reader in Modern Asian History at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Prologue: The Bay of Bengal in History
The Life of the Bay of Bengal
That Vast Sea's Emporium
Turbulent Journeys, Sacred Geographies
Human Traffic
Oceans' Crossroads
Crossings Interrupted
The Pursuit of Citizenship
When the Waters Rise
Epilogue: Crossing the Bay of Bengal
Glossary
List of Abbreviations
Notes
Archives and Special Collections
Acknowledgments
Index

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