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but much less so in the Bahamas, (“supernatural practice beyond religious spheres” is the focus of chap. 6). Finally, chapter 7 considers how the immigrants thought of Africa, of exile and return, always an important issue in diaspora studies. Adderley’s interesting discussion considers both folklore and oral tradition—for instance, the idea of “ﬂying back” to Africa, or spiritual return after death, found all over the Americas—and more formal, textual evidence, such as newspaper discussions in Trinidad and the Bahamas about Africa and the “progress of the race” throughout the diaspora, and the petition, addressed to the king of the Belgians in 1888, from the Congo No.1 Friendly Society, Nassau—men who self-identiﬁed as “Congos” yet who were also active Baptists—requesting him to help them return to the Congo. This interesting and well researched book makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the multifaceted experiences of the “liberated Africans” who were brought in the nineteenth century to the Caribbean and, through them, to the cultural history of the African experience in the Americas. Bridget Brereton, University of the West Indies
WILLIAM DALRYMPLE. The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty; Delhi, 1857. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. Pp. 534. $30.00 (cloth). The “Sepoy Rebellion” of 1857, which marks the formal beginning of British colonial rule over India, has long been the subject of historical inquiry. Colonial historiography has portrayed the rebellion as a disorganized uprising among Indian natives in need of British governance, while nationalist historiography has referenced the rebellion as a signiﬁcant move in the direction of independence. William Dalrymple uses documents from India’s National Archives to draw out the voices of the poets, craftsmen, shopkeepers, and citizens of Delhi whose lives were irrevocably altered by the uprising, and who witnessed the loss of both their cherished city and a familiar way of life. Central to these voices is the haunting ﬁgure of the last Mughal king, Bahadur Shah Zafar, himself a poet and a reluctant symbol around which both Hindus and Muslims organized their opposition to British rule. Dalrymple’s carefully researched portrayal of the events of 1857 is poignant, startling, and evocative. Dalrymple argues that the uprising of 1857 was neither cohesive nor singular; rather, several acts and theaters of resistance took place concurrently. Many citizens of Delhi initially saw the uprising as a series of riots and disturbances and did not welcome the sepoys from the United Provinces and Oudh into a city they believed to possess a degree of sophistication, history, and majesty that distinguished it from the rest of India. Even though he lacked actual power, Bahadur Shah Zafar’s presence in Delhi added to the city’s ﬁerce pride in its past. As the uprising gained momentum, the act of invoking the name of the king and, implicitly, the charisma of the Mughals, much to British surprise, served to unite disparate populations across India. However, even though the uprising drew supporters across India among both Hindus and Muslims, the results of the uprising were increasing British hostility toward Muslims and a divide between Hindus and Muslims caused by a combination of jihadi elements and the use of British evangelical rhetoric to justify a Christian war. Dalrymple uses his reading of religious justiﬁcations for war among British evengelicals and Muslim jihadis as a means of drawing a parallel with the existing state of conﬂict between Western imperialist interests and modern-day jihadis. Dalrymple’s argument about the role of religious language in inciting divisiveness is well supported by his sources. What is difﬁcult to support is the parallel he draws between the events of 1857 and religious rhetoric today. It is not entirely clear who Dalrymple means
offer little in the way of understanding the present through readings of the past. and. 248. it is tempting and convenient to look to the past as embodying better times in which tolerant Muslim kings presided over shimmering cities woven of peaceful syncretism. Zaman. $39. “deﬁed the forces of high modernism” by refusing to concede to the high/low culture divide produced by a post-Freudian model of memory that privileges the mental activity of recalling the past (199). when it denoted a pathological homesickness. accordingly. Pp. his reading of the many threads of the everyday in nineteenth-century Delhi shows the author at his most deft and imaginative. Linda M. we are giving neither the present nor the past its just due. On the contrary. Austin charts the transition of the term “nostalgia” from its eighteenth-century usage. University of San Francisco LINDA M. AUSTIN. a form of remembering that permeates Victorian culture. to the individual voices of the people caught up in the events of 1857. By placing nostalgia within this tradition of physiological memory. From his account of the different spaces and time frames in which the city of Delhi functioned. Revising our own prejudices about memory is key to understanding this shift. Memory in these models became a physiological act associated with habit and repetition rather than a mental act of cognition and recall. nostalgia “became a sensory-motor habit with communal appeal” (22). tend to obscure historical speciﬁcity and. Nostalgia in Transition. In chapter 1. Austin links the development of nostalgia to nineteenth-century models that located memory in the body’s neurosensory functions. by Mughal kings to local saints. Taymiya R. More troubling is Dalrymple’s assertion that there exists a timeless battle between Islamic orthodoxy and heterodoxy and that the Mughals represented a tolerant face of Islam. These oaths served several social and political functions and were one of many ways in which loyalties were forged as a means of holding together the fabric of empire. Aside from these two contentions regarding Dalrymple’s arguments about the present. Arguments about timeless battles. communal nature leads Austin to conclude that nostalgia. Victorian Literature and Culture Series. Dalrymple writes a moving account of the end of a way of life and of a king who was unable to alter the course of events that took place in his name. according to him. Austin divides the book into two sections. she reads Emily . The taking of bayat (oaths of spiritual discipleship) among ` Dalrymple’s jihadis. 1780–1917. to the voice of Bahadur Shah Zafar himself. 2007. nor does Dalrymple substantiate his claim that there was a link between movements for Muslim educational reform such as the madrassa at Deoband and the rhetoric of al-Qaeda jihadis. This physical. to its modern sense of pining for a romanticized past. Given that we live in a world in which we read daily allegations of Islam’s links to acts of violence. In Nostalgia in Transition. and by people of different faiths to those they believed to possess spiritual authority. Austin demonstrates that in its transition from pathology to cultural aesthetic. one that was eventually to be erased by the call to arms in the name of religion. is similar to the taking of bayat among men who ` have sworn their allegiance to Osama bin Laden. bayat were sworn at all ` times. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. by members of the king’s court and household to the king. the ﬁrst exploring personal uses of nostalgia and the second considering nostalgia’s role in public memory. Drawing a historical continuity between two unrelated sets of circumstances partly based on the taking of such oaths is likely to lead to criticisms of Dalrymple’s otherwise well-researched and eloquent work. whether between East and West or between tolerant and jihadi groups within Islam.50 (cloth).BOOK REVIEWS 221 by the blanket term jihadi. 1780–1917. ﬁnally. consequently. But by doing so.
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