Since the publication of her first book, The Sole Spokesman, in 1985, Ayesha Jalal has been Pakistan’s leading historian. Educated at Wellesley College in the United States, and Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, she received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 for showing “extraordinary originality and dedication in [her] creative pursuits…”
Jalal has taught in the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvard University and Columbia University, and is now working as Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University. She also delivered the Lawrence Stones Lecture Series at Princeton University in 2011. These lectures gave shape to her book The Pity of Partition – an intellectual history of the life and works of Saadat Hassan Manto, who is also closely related to her.
The Sole Spokesman is the single most influential academic work on the dynamics of the Pakistan Movement and the role played by Muhammad Ali Jinnah in it. In a follow-up book, Self and Sovereignty, Jalal meticulously worked through colonial archives and multiple other sources to trace the origins and shaping of the Muslim community and its identity in British India.
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