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As author of the hugely influential "The Economic History of India" "1857-1947", Tirthankar Roy has established himself as the leading contemporary economic historian of India. Here, Roy turns his attention to labour and livelihood and the nature of economic change in the Subcontinent. This book covers: - economic history of modern India - rural labour - labour-intensive industrialization - women and industrialization. Challenging the prevailing wisdom on Indian economic growth - that it is bound up with Marxian, postcolonial class analysis - Roy formulates a new view. Commercialization, surplus labour and uncertainty are seen as equally important and the end result reconciles the increasingly opposed view of economists and historians.