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Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India (Paperback)
  • Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India (Paperback)
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Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India (Paperback)

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Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 01/02/2018
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In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold.

Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation. British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' - from the railways to the rule of law - was designed in Britain's interests alone.

He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry.In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141987149
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 247 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Tharoor convincingly demolishes some of the more persistent myths about Britain's supposedly civilising mission in India ... [he] charts the destruction of pre-colonial systems of government by the British and their ubiquitous ledgers and rule books ... The statistics are worth repeating." - Victor Mallet, Financial Times

"His writing is a delight and he seldom misses his target ... Tharoor should be applauded for tackling an impossibly contentious subject ... he deserves to be read. Indians are not the only ones who need reminding that empire has a lot to answer for." - Literary Review

"Remarkable ... The book is savagely critical of 200 years of the British in India. It makes very uncomfortable reading for Brits." - Matt Ridley, The Times 

"Tharoor's impassioned polemic slices straight to the heart of the darkness that drives all empires. Forceful, persuasive and blunt, he demolishes Raj nostalgia, laying bare the grim, and high, cost of the British Empire for its former subjects. An essential read." - Niljana Roy, Financial Times

"Those Brits who speak confidently about how Britain's "historical and cultural ties" to India will make it easy to strike a great new trade deal should read Mr Tharoor's book. It would help them to see the world through the eyes of the ... countries once colonised or defeated by Britain" - Gideon Rachman, Financial Times 

"Rare indeed is it to come across history that is so readable and so persuasive." - Amitav Ghosh

"Tharoor's book - arising from a contentious Oxford Union debate in 2015 where he proposed the motion "Britain owes reparations to her former colonies" - should keep the home fires burning, so to speak, both in India and in Britain. ... He makes a persuasive case, with telling examples." - History Today 

"Inglorious Empire is a timely reminder of the need to start teaching unromanticised colonial history in British schools. A welcome antidote to the nauseating righteousness and condescension pedalled by Niall Ferguson in his 2003 book Empire." - Irish Times

"Ferocious and astonishing. Essential for a Britain lost in sepia fantasies about its past, Inglorious Empire is history at its clearest and cutting best" - Ben Judah

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Reviews

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“A well written account about the British rule in India.”

If, like me, you have been brought up to view the great British empire as a force for good in the world, this book will knock that view for six! If only half of this book is an accurate reflection of what the British... More

Paperback edition
23rd January 2018
Helpful? Upvote 5

“For the Joy of Reading: Inglorious Empire”

The first thing to say is that this is not a history of the British Raj. It is a book that arose from a debate at the Oxford Union. It is a deconstruction of the arguments out forward that the British Empire was,... More

Paperback edition
27th March 2018
Helpful? Upvote 2

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