Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

9781947534292: Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India
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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. Beyond conquest and deception, the 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 on and 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 deindustrialization, 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.

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

"Tharoor convincingly demolishes some of the more persistent myths about Britain's supposedly civilizing mission in India."
--Financial Times

"This book burns with the power of intellect married with conviction...this is erudite, well-written, thoroughly documented and persuasive history that focuses varied sources into a coherent critique of colonialism in the Indian context. Tear up your copies of Ferguson's neo-liberal mind rot and get angry like Tharoor."
--Sydney Morning Herald

"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."
--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

"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."
--Nilanjana RoyFinancial Times

"Well-referenced and full of fascinating facts, quotes and anecdotes, Inglorious Empire is a scorching indictment of British rule in India, and of British imperialism more broadly."
--Green Left Weekly

"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."
--The Irish Times

"Eloquent...a well-written riposte to those texts that celebrate empire as a supposed "force for good"."
--BBC World Histories

"[A]t once a moral indictment and a moralistic polemic, both intended to expose the 'totally amoral, rapacious imperial machine' the British devised to plunder India."
--Canberra Times

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

"Brilliant...A searing indictment of the Raj and its impact on India...Required reading for all Anglophiles in former British colonies, and needs to be a textbook in Britain."
-Salil Tripathi, Chair of the Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International, and author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent

"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, author of This is London

"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

About the Author:

Shashi Tharoor served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary-General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fourteen previous books, and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers' Prize. Tharoor has a PhD from the Fletcher School, and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a Global Leader of Tomorrow.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781849048088: Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

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ISBN 10:  1849048088 ISBN 13:  9781849048088
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd, 2017

9780141987149: Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Penguin, 2018

9781947534308: Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India

Scribe Us, 2018

9781925322576: Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India

Scribe, 2017

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