Cover: No Birds of Passage: A History of Gujarati Muslim Business Communities, 1800–1975, from Harvard University PressCover: No Birds of Passage in HARDCOVER

No Birds of Passage

A History of Gujarati Muslim Business Communities, 1800–1975

Product Details


$49.95 • £43.95 • €45.95

ISBN 9780674271906

Publication Date: 09/19/2023


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

21 photos, 6 illus., 2 maps, and 1 table


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No Birds of Passage is a brilliant and strikingly innovative contribution to the history of trade and diaspora in the Indian Ocean. Based on an impressive array of sources, it tells a compelling story about the emergence of a distinctive form of Muslim capitalism that continues to shape the region today.—Sunil Amrith, author of Unruly Waters

The intersection of community, caste, and capitalism is a matter of abiding interest for South Asian historians of both the early modern and modern periods. Michael O’Sullivan’s well-documented and closely argued work on Gujarati Muslim entrepreneurs over two centuries is a significant intervention in this field. It merits a wide readership, and is also certain to provoke debates well beyond the confines of South Asian studies.—Sanjay Subrahmanyam, author of Europe’s India

This sophisticated and fine-grained case study is a model of how to write revisionist economic histories that resonate with the experiences of people in most of the world. No Birds of Passage succeeds precisely because its conceptual apparatus is built on giving endogenous institutions their due, bringing together a range of sources in multiple languages, and openly embracing paradoxes without which this story of Muslim capitalism would have remained illegible. This is an exciting contribution to the burgeoning global histories of capitalism.—Mrinalini Sinha, author of Specters of Mother India

A major contribution to South Asian history. O’Sullivan’s sweeping account of Gujarati Muslim business communities is more than a business history. It is an impressive examination of how the Khojas, Bohras, and Memons reshaped community corporate identities through their interactions with the colonial state, Indian nationalism, Muslim politics, and postcolonial regimes.—Douglas E. Haynes, author of Small Town Capitalism in Western India

This is a landmark work of scholarship, meticulously recovering the transimperial worldviews of Gujarati Muslim business communities both before and after the age of imperial capitalism. Attentive to historical asymmetries of race and sovereignty, O’Sullivan’s dynamic and capacious study will inform future work on imperial and postcolonial economic history as well as on the social-religious logics of capital accumulation.—Manu Goswami, author of Producing India

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