'The book is extraordinary in the diversity of themes that it handles and the chronological span it covers. ... What emerges is an extraordinarily nuanced understanding of caste that satisfies the historian and provokes the social anthropologist.' Dr Seema Alavi, The Book Review
'Susan Bayley deserves praise for attempting to explain how caste in India has come to mean what it does today. Her analysis covers almost the entire Indian subcontinent, something which today is a rarity, given the current trend of ever more narrowly focused studies.' The Journal of Peasant Studies
Adopting an historical and anthropological approach, the book seeks to account for the development and persistence of India's caste system over 350 years. Unlike many studies of the subject which are highly polemical or too technical for non-specialists, this volume is intended for a student and general market.