This history of the Mughal empire examines the rituals of the Mughal court, the process of the empire's expansion, and Akbar's political and administrative initiatives in order to explain the fundamental characteristics of the Mughal polity. Streusand also places Mughal institutions and practices in their political and cultural contexts to explain how the Mughal ruling class coalesced from heterogeneous groups that retained their own identities.
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`Dr Streisand's book is half of a PhD thesis. It therefore provides a useful summary of much modern scholarship. Its main value, however, lies in his own theories about why the Mughals were more successful than their Muslim predecessors as rulers of Delhi.'
Asian Affairs, June 1991
`a singularly important contribution to a rather neglected field. This study helps to fill a major lacuna in Mogul historiography...a contribution of prime importance...The field has been opened up for renewed debate, and in that debate, Streusand's study will obviously occupy a prominent
place. Moreover, beyond its importance as a catalyst for research and discourse, it provides an admirable text with which to introduce undergraduates to Mogul studies.'
Gavin R. G. Hambly, The International History Review.
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