Documenting History

I must admit to having agreed to review this book with a high degree of trepidation. How could a single volume hope to cover in 658 pages, so vast an area with all its dimensions, conflict and, most of all the variety and the depth of its impact on civilizations across the world? And yet, by this singular work Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California at Berkeley, has, in a book more compact, placed himself in the recording of Islamic history on a pedestal equivalent to Gibbon’s for that of Rome.

This book contains a number of papers, mostly in the field of public fin­ance, written by Professor Nanjundappa during the years 1961-1968. Except for two articles on ‘Wages, Prices and Em­ployment’ and ‘Restrictive Trade Pract­ices and Public Policy’, the articles in­cluded in the volume deal with questions in public economics ranging from inci­dence theory to problems of federal finance in India.