As the administrative and commercial capital of British India and as one of the earliest experiments in modern urbanization in the sub-continent, Calcutta proved enormously challenging to both its residents and its architects. In this imaginative study of colonial Calcutta, Anindita Ghoshcharts 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 city's underbelly by drawing in a range of non-archival sources - from illustrations and amateur photographs to street songs, local histories, and memoirs - which show that Calcutta was not just a "problem" to be disciplined and governed, as thecolonialists would have us believe. Instead, the city emerges as a lively and crucial site for the shaping of the discourse on claims to urban spaces and resources by various marginal groups. Ghosh uses the everyday as a prism for exposing the wide spectrum of political and social imaginaries thatshaped the city and shows how the once proverbial "City of Palaces" slowly turned into a city of endemic unrest and strife.