The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

by William Dalrymple

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Overview

Finalist for the Cundill History Prize

ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal and NPR

“Superb … A vivid and richly detailed story … worth reading by everyone.” —The New York Times Book Review

From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country.

In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army.

The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company’s reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London.

The Anarchy tells one of history’s most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire—which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources—fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.

Bronze Medal in the 2020 Arthur Ross Book Award

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635573954
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 09/10/2019
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 31,171
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

William Dalrymple is the author of nine books about India and the Islamic world, including Return of a King, which won the Hemingway Award and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, PEN Hessell-Tiltman, and Duff Cooper Prizes. He writes regularly for the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and the Guardian and is one of the founders and a codirector of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Table of Contents

Maps ix

Dramatis Personae xiii

Introduction xxiii

1 1599 1

2 An Offer He Could Not Refuse 59

3 Sweeping With the Broom of Plunder 99

4 A Prince of Little Capacity 137

5 Bloodshed and Confusion 173

6 Racked by Famine 215

7 The Desolation of Delhi 259

8 The Impeachment of Warren Hastings 307

9 The Corpse of India 335

Epilogue 393

Glossary 399

Notes 407

Bibliography 469

Image Credits 497

Index 503

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