This Fissured Land, first published in 1992, presents an interpretative ecological history of the Indian subcontinent. It offers a theory of ecological prudence and profligacy, testing this theory across the wide sweep of South Asian history. This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India especially focuses on the use and abuse of forest resources. In Part One, the authors present a general theory of ecological history. Part Two provides a fresh interpretative history of pre-modern India along with an ecological interpretation of the caste system. In Part Three, the authors draw upon a huge wealth of source material in their socio-ecological analysis of the modes of resource use introduced in India by the British.
The second edition comes with a new preface by the authors.
Preface to the Second Edition
Prologue: Prudence and Profligacy
PART ONE: A THEORY OF ECOLOGICAL HISTORY
1. Habitats in Human History
PART TWO: TOWARDS A CULTURAL ECOLOGY OF PRE-MODERN INDIA
2. Forest and Fire
3. Caste and Conservation
PART THREE: ECOLOGICAL CHANGE AND SOCIAL CONFLICT IN MODERN INDIA
4. Conquest and Control
5. The Fight for the Forest
6. Biomass for Business
7. Competing Claims on the Commons
8. Cultures in Conflict
Madhav Gadgil is former Professor of Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Ramachandra Guha is one of India's best-known historians, and a full-time author and columnist.