1. Pratapa Rudra (c.1289-1323); 2. Muhammad Gisu Daraz (1321-1421); 3. Mahmud Gawan (1411-81); 4. Rama Raya (1484-1565); 5. Malik Ambar (1548-1626); 6. Tukuram (1608-49); 7. Papadu (1695-1710); 8. Tarabai (1675-1761).
A rich narrative history of the Deccan, portrayed through eight Indian lives.
Richard Eaton is one of the premier scholars of pre-colonial India. His many publications include The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760 (1993), India's Islamic Traditions, 711-1750 (2003) and Temple Desecration and Muslim States in Medieval India (2004).
'Richard Eaton has again magisterially pushed back the boundaries of history writing on pre-colonial South Asia. Eight Indian Lives, inspired in part by Vermeer's 'finely crafted portraits with their distinctive play of light' (p. 2) follows the fortunes of eight key figures in the history of the Deccan, moving seamlessly from meticulously constructed accounts of their lives to the political, linguistic and physical landscapes they inhabited.' Samira Sheikh, Indian Economic and Social History Review 'Eaton elegantly vindicates his decision to chronicle social history through the lives of extraordinary people.' Michael Neale, Asian Affairs 'In Social History of the Deccan Eaton demonstrates once more that he is a great master of locale and epoch. Through the use of eight individuals' lives from the 14th to the 18th centuries, Eaton magnificently articulates the main social, political, religious and economic issues of the time. He has an uncanny sense of why a development arises when it does, where it does and what its great importance is. Here he returns to the Deccan, where he had his first great insights into the function of Sufism and its relation to politics.' Eugene F. Irschick, University of California, Berkeley 'This book is a masterful achievement, as Richard Eaton focuses each chapter on the social history of Deccan on a single person, using that person's life to develop his themes and illustrate the times. His well-chosen subjects range widely; my favorite is the Maratha heroine Tarabai, who is brought vividly to life and demonstrates not only her own power but the dominance of Chitpavan Brahmans in the expanding Maratha empire, still Indo-Muslim in culture in the 18th century. Full biographies were seldom possible, given the sources for his time period, but Eaton's strategy succeeds in making the social history of the Deccan accessible and exciting.' Karen Leonard, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine 'In this account of one of the least-known parts of South Asia, Eaton recounts the history of the Deccan plateau in southern India from the 14th century to the rise of European colonialism.' Times Higher Education