This is an interesting volume, which examines a very important issue, which lies at the core of history of economic development. It includes within its ambit not only the process of iron making in India and Sweden, but has taken into account the broad trends prevailing elsewhere in the world. The special feature of this volume is that the inception and progress of iron technology is seen in its entirety i.e. starting from ancient to colonial period and onwards. The volume is an unusual inter-disciplinary exercise in which scholars of different background presented their ideas on a specific research area.
The essays in this volume are organized in five different sections. Each section has its own specialty and together they present a coherent picture of iron making in history. The first section Ancient Iron and Steel and the Inception of new Technologies looks into the development of ancient method of iron making in India and Sweden and also various theories associated with this phase. The second section Interdependence and Change on the Verge of Industrialization has taken in its fold a number of issues related to the policy making in the manufacturing of iron. The third section Traditional Iron Making: Transition and Survival, takes into account the different traditional iron making practices prevailing in different parts of India and Sweden and how it encountered the changes at political and administrative levels. The forth section Twentieth Centuries Change and Restructuring deals with the chronological developments in the realm of iron technology and how both countries incorporated these developments at different levels of the production process The last section Sweden & Kumaon: An Introduction in Historical Context introduces the reader with two different geopolitical settings, Sweden and Kumaon, their historical, socio-economic, geographical as well as the cultural background.