On The Spot: Sunil Amrith
My favourite archive? The India Office archives at the British Library.
Why are you a historian of modern South Asia?
Because of the region’s glorious cultural diversity and its eventful, often painful, history.
What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?
That there were many paths not taken, many futures dreamed but never realised, many possible worlds that did not come to be.
Which history book has had the greatest influence on you?
Specific to my own research, C.J. Baker’s An Indian Rural Economy; outside my field, William Cronon’s Nature’s Metropolis.
What book in your field should everyone read?
Mrinalini Sinha’s Specters of Mother India.
Which moment would you most like to go back to?
New York City in the mid-1960s, to hear the Miles Davis Quintet play live.