About the Book :
The book begins with a survey of the sources of the social and economic history of early India, and reviews the writings from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries on social history. It discusses the problems of caste and gender relations, and shows the role of divination and communication in fostering social control and cohesion. In the treatment of economic aspects it focuses on the stages in the mode of production; it also deals with usury, urban history and irrigation. The author questions the validity of the Hindu reformist approach to the study of social history. He discards both the traditional and sociological views regarding the eternity of Indian social and economic institutions. Trends of change and discontinuity are identified, and social and economic developments are seen in their interconnection. Finally, the book raises important issues in the history of metal money and land grants.