This book on the history of Mumbai is a book lovers treat. As a coffee table book it makes a wonderful gift from India. Mumbai is a city that is always on the move. It has been the site for a Buddhist ethos, a safe haven for refugees from Persia, a hub of maritime trade and a melting pot of European and Eastern influences. Enriched with in-depth historical research and exclusive photographs, 'Bombay: Then' documents the transformation of the once 'insignificant cluster of islets' into one of the most exciting spots for cultural exchange in South Asia.
Among other views, this beautiful Indian book illustrates the Mankeshwar temple and the Rajabai Clock Tower wrapped in scaffolding; the construction of Victoria Dock and the opening of its massive underwater gates; a lush and sparsely populated Malabar Hill; a rare view of the interior of a Parsi fire temple; factory scenes inside the Royal Mint and the Times of India units; what the stock exchange looked like nearly a century ago; and many breathtaking aerial shots of this beautiful island-city. A sheer visual treat through extraordinary historical photographs, 'Bombay: Then' is for keeps.
Jim Masselos is an honourary reader in history in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney. He received a doctorate from the Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, St Xavier's College, University of Bombay.