Waves across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire.

AuthorGopinath, Swapna

Sivasundaram, Sujit. Waves across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire. London: William Collins, 2020.

Sujit Sivasundaram, professor of world history at Cambridge, writes extensively on the history of oceans and sea-facing lands, retelling global histories and initiating conversations around little narratives from the Global South. His latest work, Waves across the South, is a fascinating narrative that chronicles the maritime history of the Global South, using images and maps that guide the reader. The work traces the years from 1722 to 1853, which the author calls the "age of revolutions" (i), and reconstructs the dynamic interactions between the North and the South. He walks the reader through the revolutionary paradigm shifts in political social histories, through the lands, often the smaller territories, bordering the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This text can be called his contribution to the study of blue humanities, where he reconstructs the age and its encounters between imperial powers and native populations as a "contest between revolution and power" (5). The work analyzes the revolutions that define the history of the Global South, just prior to the colonization of these lands, and the counter-revolutionary measures by the imperial powers that altered the course of civilization.

Waves across the South adds to the existing collection of works that trace the history of the Global South from the perspective of the other. The book will assist any researcher working on alternate histories of the Global South and will provide a captivating reading experience for earnest readers of history. The work is unique for its epistemological framework, which emerges from close readings of personal stories, traveler's diaries, and similar texts that perpetually remind the reader of the presence of individual lives forgotten in the passage of time. Reading through the text, one might be tempted to call it a text on historiography rather than on history, but reading it is nonetheless extremely pleasurable.

The book is divided into eight chapters, and the author contextualizes each chapter around the seas that define the geographic regions that were vibrant spaces of contact among peoples and their cultures. The expansive tale of the Global South unfolds in bright hues in this book, history woven through personal narratives and tales told by the others, in myriad ways, from varied lands bordering the seas. In this book, maritime history...

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