Top critical review
A poorly structured work with misleading title.
30 November 2018
Every page of the book is a cocktail of ignorance, arrogance and smuggery.I will cite only from few pages as it will be more than enough to prove my point.
It appears that author Romila Thapar considers herself to be more knowledgable than Indian scientists regarding Scientific Method.
She writes in Essay 4 titled SCIENCE AS CULTURE , "Many Indian scientists, competent in their fields of specialization, know less about science as a form of knowledge, or the kind of reasoning involved in the scientific method".
It appears that author has unconsciously projected her own imcompetence in her field to the thinking of esteemeed Indian scinetists. Neuroscientist Sam Harris in his book Lying, calls this judging tendency from which authour appears to be afflicted as "the quintessence of arrogance".
Author fails to stop her absurdity and further writes regarding Samuel P Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order , "Huntington’s identification of these eight is, as is often the case, a confusion of various characteristics of religion, geography, dynasty, nation, race and ranking, and is generally unacceptable to serious historians".
Frightening enough, Thapar still considers herself as "serious historian". Fantasy soaring high here.
The book is just an aggregate of such absurd propositions. In one sentence she criticizes Max Weber's Rationality in favour of Karl Marx's historical change as a principle for historical understanding. I refuse to buy her argument infected by Marxism.
I could also give more examples endlessly but words hitherto are apposite.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This not a book on History as name suggests. It is simply the viewpoint of Romila Thapar on how history and particularly Culture should be studied by Historians. Whatever history exists in book is not only merely incidental but also very shallow. In short, the book is prescriptive not descriptive.
If you are an independent thinker and like to think for yourself this book is not for you.