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

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Bloomsbury USA, Sep 10, 2019 - History - 576 pages

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.

Shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize

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The Anarchy: The Rise and Fall of the East India Company

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Historian Dalrymple (Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond) delivers a sweeping account of the East India Company’s conquest of India in this vivid and accessible narrative ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

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.

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