A fascinating window into the social and economic structures of the time, and into the intricacies of statecraft.
Ascribed to Kautilya (commonly identified as the prime minister of Chandragupta Maurya) and dating back more than 2,000 years, the Arthashastra is the world’s first manual in political economy. It has a preeminence in Indian thought that is akin to that of Machiavelli’s The Prince in Europe.
Arthashastra (literally, ‘the science of wealth’) is a study of economic enterprise; specifically, Kautilya’s treatise advises the king on the business of creating prosperity. Arthashastra also addresses the question: what makes a good leader?
This book is intended to be an introduction to the economic philosophy of the Arthashastra. Its goal is to analyse the relevance of this classic text in its own time—in a world in which kings were regulators of economic activities of their subjects, but also entrepreneurs themselves—in the conviction that it has much to teach us that has value in our own age.
About The Author :
Thomas R. Trautmann is the author of Kautilya and the Arthashastra (1971) and other books on ancient India, including Aryans and British India (1997), The Aryan Debate (2005), Languages and Nations: The Dravidian Proof in Colonial Madras (2006) and India: Brief History of a Civilization (2010). He is professor emeritus of history and anthropology at the University of Michigan.
Gurcharan Das is a world-renowned author, commentator and public intellectual. His bestselling books include India Unbound and The Difficulty of Being Good.
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