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Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, 1600-1947

Overview

How did a few thousand people from a small, windswept island in the northern seas end up ruling a far distant subcontinent with a population of millions? This seemed highly unlikely when the British experience with India began in earnest over four hundred years ago, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. For many years the English interlopers and traders who made contact with the country were viewed by Indians as little more than pirates and potentially troublesome, conquering barbarians. After a series of ...
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Overview

How did a few thousand people from a small, windswept island in the northern seas end up ruling a far distant subcontinent with a population of millions? This seemed highly unlikely when the British experience with India began in earnest over four hundred years ago, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. For many years the English interlopers and traders who made contact with the country were viewed by Indians as little more than pirates and potentially troublesome, conquering barbarians. After a series of titanic struggles against the French and various local rulers during the eighteenth century, Britain gained mastery of the subcontinent. This period, and the century and a half that followed, saw two powerful cultures locked in an often bloody battle over political control, land, trade, and a way of life. Denis Judd tells the fascinating story of the remarkable British impact upon India, capturing the essence of what the Raj really meant both for the British and their Indian subjects. All aspects of this long and controversial relationship are discussed: the first tentative contacts between East and West, the foundation of the East India Company in 1600, the Victorian Raj in all its pomp and splendour, Gandhi's revolutionary tactics to overthrow the Raj and restore India to the Indians, and Lord Mountbatten's 'swift surgery of Partition' in 1947, creating the independent Commonwealth states of India and Pakistan. Against this epic backdrop, and using many revealing contemporary accounts, Denis Judd explores the consequences of British rule for both rulers and ruled.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This concise, elegantly written history of the British experience in India holds interest for both experts and general readers. Judd has total command of his material, with interesting stories to tell at every turn. His account is filled with quotations and anecdotes that vividly capture the spirit of the times. The early British competition with the French, the Portuguese, and the Dutch is covered without the usual confusion over a series of oddly named wars, and his telling of the rise of the British East India Company and the transition to imperial rule illustrates the ambivalence of the British. Judd objectively covers the emergence of Indian nationalism and the struggle for independence but ultimately withholds judgment on whether this story is a positive or a negative one, whether the British developed India or exploited it. What he is sure of is that it is astonishingly complex and one of the truly great stories of world history.
From the Publisher

"This concise, elegantly written history of the British experience in India holds interest for both experts and general readers. Judd has total command of his material, with interesting stories to tell at every turn."--Foreign Affairs

"The history of British India is a dense, riveting, and hotly contested subject. It is also difficult to summarize, which makes Judd's synopsis both rare and welcome.'--New York Sun

"An excellent introduction to the rise and fall of the British Raj, accurate, succinct, and engaging."--Stanley Wolpert, author of A New History of India and Gandhi's Passion

"A short, clear but wide-ranging account of a tangled and uneasy relationship."--Sunday Telegraph

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192805799
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/19/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Denis Judd is Professor of British Imperial and Commonwealth History, at the London Metropolitan University. He is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Empire: The British Imperial Experience from 1865 to the Present (which was second on the best selling London hardback list) and most recently, The Boer War.

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Table of Contents

1. 'To fly to India for gold': Early Contacts, 1583-1615
2. 'Infamous for their honest endeavours': Laying Foundations, 1615-1708
3. Conquest and Corruption: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1708-1815
4. 'The great ends we have in view': The East India Company as Paramount Power, 1815-1857
5. 'The devil's wind': The Great Indian Uprising, or Mutiny of 1857-1858
6. Lords of All They Surveyed? The Raj at its Zenith, 1858-1905
7. The Beginning of the End? Reform and Conflict, 1905-1919
8. Gandhi and the Fightback of Indian Nationalism, 1919-1939
9. 'Engine of War' or the Enemy Within? India, 1939-1945
10. 'Tryst with Destiny': Freedom and Partition, 1945-1947
Epilogue Chronology Sources for Quotations Bibliography Index

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