My interest in Asia stems from childhood. However, I grew up in a time when the study of Asia was absent from public education and from most college curricula. Graduate work in Chinese history expressed this interest, but I was not committed to the intensive study of the Chinese language. My doctoral study led to a dissertation on a British Imperial movement, the Round Table Group, in the early twentieth century and involved India as one important element. Subsequently, my broad interests were in relationships and interactions between societies and cultures, particularly European and Asian societies. Pursuing this interest, I turned increasingly to the Indian subcontinent and Asia for research, study, and teaching.
Having worked on British Imperial views and movements, I wished to look at the British-Indian relationship from an Indian perspective. My familiarity with early twentieth-century India and with World War One led me to choose the Indian soldier as a point of Indo-British contact and interaction. This choice was fortuitous, for South Asian military history had been a neglected area of study and was ready for development. I profited appreciably from the growing body of work, stimulated by Morris Janowitz of the University of Chicago, on relationships between armed forces and societies.
World War One was a rich topic of study because of the unexpected involvement of the Indian Army in Europe and elsewhere. An extensive India Office Library collection of censored Indian soldiers' wartime letters, touching on a wide variety of topics, enriched my study notably.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (777)
Emperor & Queen (488)
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