Moral Languages from Colonial Punjab
The Singh Sabha, Arya Samaj and Ahmadiyahs
New Delhi: Manohar, 2008

"[...] when van der Linden provocatively describes the parallels between the discourses and practices of three important reformist organizations across traditions, he successfully challenges the concept of religion, in particular its often reductionist link to belief, theology, or its antagonistic relation to science. Such a radical approach points to new directions in the reworking of scholarly narratives of secularization. It helps correct the tendency of religious language to gloss over change by its traditional vocabulary, and work against a pigeonholing of religion as distinct from concepts of progress, uplift, or rationality" - Max Stille, Contributions to the History of Concepts

“A compelling set of possibilities for complicating narratives of communal difference. In a field as sophisticated as that on communalism in colonial India, this is surely a significant achievement” - Farina Mir,

Indian Economic and Social History Review 

“[...] clearly written, accessible account [...] historically grounded and theoretically sound [...] Van der Linden is to be commended for presenting an ambitious comparative analysis of these Punjabi groups” - Michael Hawley, Contemporary South Asia 

“[...] the first work to treat all three [movements] comparatively and to address larger questions of modernity and world history [...] Its major achievement is to challenge recent scholarship’s emphasis on ‘communal’ conflict and religious difference in colonial Punjab by focussing on equally important unities”

- Timothy S. Dobe, Journal of Asian Studies 

“One of the best few [monographs] to appear so far on the social and intellectual history of Punjab” - Raj Kumar Hans, Summerhill: Indian Institute of Advanced Study Review 

 Hardback, E-book, Paperback

 Hardback, E-book, Paperback

Music and Empire in Britain and India
Identity, Internationalism, and Cross-
Cultural Communication
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013



Arnold Bake
A Life with South Asian Music
London: Routledge, 2018




"There is no doubt that this book makes a major contribution to the understanding of the relationship of music and empire. It has been exhaustively researched, is carefully argued and accessibly written, and the author has the advantage not enjoyed by previous writers in this field of combining historical understanding and musical knowledge. It is likely to hold its place in the subject area for years to come" - Jeffrey Richards, author of Imperialism and Music: Britain 1876-1953 

“In this original and thought-provoking study, Bob van der Linden brings together a colourful cast of musicians, composers, poets, music critics and researchers who shared a deep passion for Indian music and thought, and played an important role in the modern histories of musical Orientalism and Hindustani music as well as the emergence of ethnomusicology. Engagingly written and refreshingly free of jargon, this excellent book deserves to be read widely” - Joep Bor, editor and co-author of

The Raga Guide  and Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries 


[…] illuminating biography […] highly valuable contribution [...] fills a major gap in the intellectual history of ethnomusicology and, in doing so, joins recent calls within this discipline to return, again, to a historical perspective. [...] represents another important contribution to the emerging field of Global Music History in which ethnomusicologists loom large as objects of investigation and as interdisciplinary points of contact" - Martin Rempe, H-Soz-Kult