In Merchants of Virtue (University of California Press), 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. By exploring this rich history and moment of transformation, Cherian unlocks a better understanding of India today. A free ebook version of this book is available at [1].