This book on colonial Calcutta charts the history of its urbanization from below in its streets, strikes and popular urban cultures. Claiming the City offers a close up view of the citys underbelly by drawing in a range of non-archival sources, from illustrations and amateur photographs to street songs, local histories and memoirs which show how Calcutta was not just a problem to be disciplined and governed as the colonialists would have us believe. Instead, it
emerges in Ghoshs study as remarkably lively and crucial site for the shaping of a discourse of rights and claims to the city by various marginal urban groups. In doing so, the book uses the everyday as
a prism for capturing the many urban political and social imaginaries that shaped the city through scandals, crime, street songs, protest and violence.