A nation’s 75th anniversary of independence naturally presents itself as a significant moment to look back and examine the journey of becoming, for in looking back, we may perhaps understand our present better. Vinay Lal’s weighty tome is such a step back in time to modern India’s most tumultuous moments during its freedom struggle from 1857 to 1948. Through this volume that combines reproduced artwork, its interpretation, and a historiography of this period within the palimpsestic framing of the past and the present, Lal offers insights into how the political and cultural imaginations of the various phases of ‘insurgency’ were shaped and fuelled by the artistic output of the time. Art here does not indicate rarefied pieces hanging in hallowed galleries but a mix of what he calls “bazaar” art that includes pamphlets, calendars, popular prints, some newspaper cartoons, collages, as well as sketches, water colours, oils, and lithographs. Photographs are largely absent from the catalogue.