Degree Coffee By the Yard: A Short Biography of Madras brings forth the rich history of the city of Madras before it was on its way to becoming Chennai. Nirmala Lakshman has done a wondrous task of painting a culturally affluent and worthy image of the coastal city of India. Madras had many things to offer to the people and with an extensive historical background replete with freedom fighters, British traders vying for its resourceful land, luminaries and rogues, political leaders and many others who wished to partake in its bountiful existence, it is one of the rarest cities in India. Transitioning from pre – independence Madras, to a city that is known for its culture and art, this book encapsulates everything that makes Madras as unique as it is known to be. With a history that dates back almost four – hundred years ago, when it was established by the British, Madras has seen major changes in its political, social, cultural, as well as economical structure. The author talks about the vibrant life of the people in Chennai or the Madras of the past, in its most – elemental setup. Independent India’s political upheaval saw many alterations in the city, which brought to the front a need for political freedom and liberation from inequality.
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