Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India (Paperback)
Before 1600, India was the seat of some of the greatest and most technologically advanced empires the world has ever seen. Fully a quarter of the global economy--fabrics, metals, and trade--was Indian. But then the British East India Company systematically stripped India, turning one of the richest countries in the world into one of England’s poorest colonies. This book details how the British affected the economic and cultural subjugation of a subcontinent of 200 million and how the rapacious theft of that nation’s wealth by a private corporation masquerading as a government led to the rise of the British Empire. This book is a crucial understanding of colonial economics, and would be excellent reading for anyone curious how capitalism operates on an international scale.— From Jeff
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.