Ink Under the Fingernails (University of California Press) explores the impact of the printing press by taking readers into the printing shops, government offices, courtrooms, and streets of Mexico City. Professor of history Corinna Zeltsman offers a look at Mexico’s independence era, when use of the printing press became a key weapon in the struggle for political power. She ultimately examines the printing press’s ability to shape democratic practice and a revolution.
In Merchants of Virtue (University of California Press), assistant professor Divya Cherian explores what it meant to be Hindu in precolonial South Asia (in the 18th century). From everyday life to local politics, the book uncovers how merchants were able to enforce various ideals, including vegetarianism and bodily austerity, to become universal identifiers of being Hindu. A free ebook version is available at luminosoa.org.
In his new book, Ashoka Mody, a professor of international economic policy, melds his expertise in history and economics to analyze India’s transition from its hope-filled founding in 1947 to its current state of crisis. Using statistical data and creative media to share people-driven narratives, Mody argues that India has failed to address its true economic problems. This has led to a variety of issues, including job scarcity, poverty, and inadequate resources. India Is Broken (Stanford University Press) proposes a path forward for a country in peril.