Synopses & Reviews
and#147;Maia Ramnath's Haj to Utopia
is an odyssey through the world of early twentieth-century political radicalism, with a focus on the freedom dreams of those of Indian ancestry who found themselves on the West Coast of the United States. She traces with pointillist care the unruly imaginations fired up by empire's unimaginative rule. To be read and re-read.and#8221;
and#151;Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World
"Maia Ramnathand#8217;s Haj to Utopia is a thought-provoking study of the Ghadar project for revolutionary change. Going beyond the frame of a nationalist, armed struggle for the overthrow of British rule in India, the author deftly explores and contextualizes the links between Ghadar and a medley of revolutionary groups, and the exotic mix of radical ideas and activities. It provides valuable insight into the peculiar conjunction of nationalist, pan-Islamist, and Marxian discourses which made Ghadar a unique revolutionary adventure."
and#151;Harish K. Puri, author Ghadar Movement: Ideology, Organisation and Strategy
and#147;Maia Ramnath's book on the Ghadar Movement is an impressive accomplishment: it is at once an in-depth monograph surpassing all previous work on the subject, and a model of how world history should be written. She places the Ghadar in the perspective of pre-nationalist, anti-imperialist struggles, connecting it with other contemporary revolutionary movements around the world. It is empirically richand#151;Ramnath explores all extant empirical sources and illuminates them with exacting theoretical insights.and#8221;
and#151;Dilip Basu, University of California, Santa Cruz
and#147;Maia Ramnath's meticulous scholarship enables her to effortlessly avoid the old clichand#233;s of nationalist historiography and the new clichand#233;s of and#145;globaland#8217; and and#145;cosmopolitanand#8217; history. The Haj to Utopia is respectful of detail and context and has a fine feeling for the diverse social histories and intellectual movements in which its characters find themselves.and#8221;
and#151;Benjamin Zachariah, author of Playing the Nation Game: the Ambiguities of Nationalism in India
In The Haj to Utopia, Maia Ramnath tells the dramatic story of Ghadar, the Indian anticolonial movement that attempted overthrow of the British Empire. Founded by South Asian immigrants in California, Ghadarand#151;which is translated as and#147;mutinyand#8221;and#151;quickly became a global presence in East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and East Africa. Ramnath brings this epic struggle to life as she traces Ghadarand#8217;s origins to the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal, its establishment of headquarters in Berkeley, California, and its fostering by anarchists in London, Paris, and Berlin. Linking Britainand#8217;s declaration of war on Germany in 1914 to Ghadarand#8217;s declaration of war on Britain, Ramnath vividly recounts how 8,000 rebels were deployed from around the world to take up the battle in Hindustan. The Haj to Utopia demonstrates how far-flung freedom fighters managed to articulate a radical new world order out of seemingly contradictory ideas.
About the Author
Maia Ramnath teaches Global Histories at New York University.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
1. and#147;The Air of Freedomand#8221;: Ghadar in America
2. Our Name Is Our Work: The Syndicalist Ghadar
3. Enemies of Enemies . . . : The Nationalist Ghadar
4. . . . and Friends: The Republican Ghadar
5. Toilers of the East: The Communist Ghadar
6. and#147;Dear Muhammedan Brothersand#8221;: The Khilafatist Ghadar
7. Lal Salaams: Ghadar and the Bolshevik Muhajirin