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Of virtually no modern historian other than D.D. Kosambi (1907–1966) can it be said: ‘He changed the way in which Indian history was conceptualized and written.’ In fact, the term ‘Renaissance man’ springs to mind because Kosambi’s intellectual contributions cross disciplinary boundaries, ranging from ancient history to mathematics to Sanskrit literature to numismatics to India’s energy policy.
This book contains relatively unknown writings by Kosambi, including several obscure but important essays and an unpublished children’s story. Also made available here for the first time are some wonderful letters that Kosambi wrote to, among others, the scientist Homi Bhabha and the writer-historian Robert Graves. These reveal Kosambi’s mastery of the epistolary art.
Other sections contain tributes to Kosambi by his friends, and essays by major contemporary scholars on his contributions in diverse fields. The volume gives a new and well-rounded picture of Kosambi’s writings, as well as mature assessments of his scholarship by some of the best minds of our time.
The editor, Meera Kosambi, provides an Introduction which situates her father within his social, political, intellectual, and familial milieux.
D.D. Kosambi(1907–1966), the Harvard mathematician and Marxist who trained himself in Sanskrit and ancient Indian studies, was arguably India’s most influential historian of the twentieth century. His daughter,
Meera Kosambi, who has edited this volume, is a sociologist. Her several books include Crossing Thresholds: Feminist Essays in Social History (2007), and Women Writing Gender: Marathi Fiction Before Independence (2012).