The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company
Edmund Burke called the East India Company “a state in the guise of a merchant”: here is its history from its founding in 1599 to the expiry of its charter in 1874, a decade and a half after it was nationalised by Parliament. In between it became the world’s first multinational corporation, ruthless in its subjugation of the Indian subcontinent and in the collection of taxes by means of a private army of a quarter of a million men. Dalrymple – as ever – is a witty, thorough and eloquent historian, and here he has written detailed and compelling account of the Company, its “unregulated plunder” and its consequences. “The Company’s conquest of India almost certainly remains the supreme act of corporate violence in world history”. Eye-opening and brilliantly researched.
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