The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781610392945
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Genre: History

The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781610392938
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Genre: History

From the moment in the 1680s that the East India Company began to trade with the Mughal rulers of the port cities of Surat, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, and Chittagong, the story of the Indian subcontinent was changed forever. Before its dissolution in 1857, the officers of the East India Company had under their command more than a quarter of a million troops, and functioned not as a trading partner but a quasi-imperial government whose monopolistic habits and trade preferments included the tax on tea that led directly to the American Revolution. On its dissolution the Times reported: "It accomplished a work such as in the whole history of the human race no other company ever attempted and as such is ever likely to attempt in the years to come." This was meant as a compliment, but it concealed a much more brutal truth. From the famine of 1770 in which one third of the people living in the state of Bengal perished to the Anglo-Mughal wars and the later brutal repression of the Anglo-Afghan Wars, the story of the British in India was one of conflict and divide-and-rule, relentlessly applied from the relative security of the world’s most powerful naval vessels and the forts they supplied. Interspersed between the major wars were numerous minor conflicts, most lost to popular histories, which underscore the continual violence of the imperial project. In The Chaos of Empire, Jon Wilson uses the everyday lives of administrators, soldiers and subjects, British and Indian, to lift the veil of empire to show how British rule really worked. Far from the orderly Raj that its officials sought to portray, British rule in conquered India was chaotic and paranoid, and led to a succession of unstable states in South Asia and across the world. Most importantly, empire in India created a huge gap between image and reality, enabling a small number of people--a social and political elite--to project power across the world. Among its legacies were continual cycles of hubristic state enterprise followed by massive failure--up to and including the neo-imperial adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq now. Long after the end of empire, The Chaos of Empire argues that we still try to live by the myths created by the Raj. At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is arguing that Britain should pay restitution for the damage done to the Indian subcontinent under British rule, this comprehensive, dynamic, and fierce history of Britain’s rule is timely, provocative, and immensely readable.

The Chaos of Empire

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1541767934
Release Date: 2018-03-06
Genre: History

A sweeping history of the conquest of India by the British, from the first faltering trading stations to the marbled imperial cities, emphasizing the violence of colonial rule and its chaotic inheritance. The popular image of the British Raj-an era of efficient but officious governors, sycophantic local functionaries, doting amahs, blisteringly hot days and torrid nights-chronicled by Forster and Kipling is a glamorous, nostalgic, but entirely fictitious. In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far more in violence than in virtue, far more in chaos than in control. Through the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects-both British and Indian-The Chaos of Empire traces Britain's imperial rule from the East India Company's first transactions in the 1600s to Indian Independence in 1947. The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state's ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify interventions around the world in the years that followed. But the Raj's institutions-from law courts to railway lines-were designed to protect British power without benefiting the people they ruled. This self-serving and careless governance resulted in an impoverished people and a stifled society, not a glorious Indian empire. Jon Wilson's new portrait of a much-mythologized era finally and convincingly proves that the story of benign British triumph was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

Raj

Author: Lawrence James
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312263821
Release Date: 2000-08-12
Genre: History

Spring/Summer 2000

Churchill s Secret War

Author: Madhusree Mukerjee
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 9781459613638
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Famines

Large Print.

Inglorious Empire

Author: Shashi Tharoor
Publisher: Penguin Classics
ISBN: 0141987146
Release Date: 2018-02
Genre: Great Britain

The Sunday Times Top 10 bestseller on India's experience of British colonialism, by the internationally-acclaimed author and diplomat Shashi Tharoor 'Tharoor's impassioned polemic slices straight to the heart of the darkness that drives all empires ... laying bare the grim, and high, cost of the British Empire for its former subjects. An essential read' Financial Times 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. 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 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 deindustrialisation, 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.

The Lion and the Tiger

Author: Denis Judd
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192805797
Release Date: 2005-03-24
Genre: History

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? Were the British in India intent on development or exploitation? Were they really the 'civilizing' influence they claimed? And what were Britain's greatest legacies - democracy and the rule of law, or cricket and an efficient railway system? Best-selling historian Denis Judd tells the epic story of the British impact upon India, capturing the essence of what the Raj really meant both for the British and their Indian subjects.

Battles of the Honourable East India Company

Author: M. S. Naravane
Publisher: APH Publishing
ISBN: 813130034X
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: Great Britain

This book deals with all major battles of the East India Company, starting with the naval battle off the coast of swally (Suhali) in 1612 to the Second Sikh war and Annexation of the Punjab in 1849. The Afghan and Burma Wars and the Mutiny of 1857 are excluded. Chapter II deals with the Geographical Portrait and Climate of History of India in which the company operated. Chapter III traces the Evolution of the political and Military Ethos of the Company . Chapters IV to X describe the various battles - against the Portugues and the Dutch, against the Mughals, the French, the Marathas, Haidar and Tipu, the Gorkhas and the Sikhs. Chapter XI discusses the reasons why the Company triumphed.

India Conquered

Author: Jon Wilson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781471101274
Release Date: 2016-08-25
Genre: History

For the century and a half before the Second World War, Britain dominated the Indian subcontinent. Britain’s East India Company ruled enclaves of land in South Asia for a century and a half before that. For these 300 years, conquerors and governors projected themselves as heroes and improvers. The British public were sold an image of British authority and virtue. But beneath the veneer of pomp and splendour, British rule in India was anxious, fragile and fostered chaos. Britain’s Indian empire was built by people who wanted to make enough money to live well back in Britain, to avoid humiliation and danger, to put their narrow professional expertise into practice. The institutions they created, from law courts to railway lines, were designed to protect British power without connecting with the people they ruled. The result was a precarious regime that provided Indian society with no leadership, and which oscillated between paranoid paralysis and occasional moments of extreme violence. The lack of affection between rulers and ruled finally caused the system’s collapse. But even after its demise, the Raj lives on in the false idea of the efficacy of centralized, authoritarian power. Indians responded to the peculiar nature of British power by doing things for themselves, creating organisations and movements that created an order and prosperity of its own. India Conquered revises the way we think about nation-building as much as empire, showing how many of the institutions that shaped twentieth century India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were built in response to British power. The result is an engaging story vital for anyone who wants to understand the history of empires and the origins of contemporary South Asian society.

India and the British Empire

Author: Douglas M. Peers
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192513526
Release Date: 2016-10-13
Genre: History

South Asian History has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance over the past thirty years. Its historians are not only producing new ways of thinking about the imperial impact and legacy on South Asia, but also helping to reshape the study of imperial history in general. The essays in this collection address a number of these important developments, delineating not only the complicated interplay between imperial rulers and their subjects in India, but also illuminating the economic, political, environmental, social, cultural, ideological, and intellectual contexts which informed, and were in turn informed by, these interactions. Particular attention is paid to a cluster of binary oppositions that have hitherto framed South Asian history, namely colonizer/colonized, imperialism/nationalism, and modernity/tradition, and how new analytical frameworks are emerging which enable us to think beyond the constraints imposed by these binaries. Closer attention to regional dynamics as well as to wider global forces has enriched our understanding of the history of South Asia within a wider imperial matrix. Previous impressions of all-powerful imperialism, with the capacity to reshape all before it, for good or ill, are rejected in favour of a much more nuanced image of imperialism in India that acknowledges the impact as well as the intentions of colonialism, but within a much more complicated historical landscape where other processes are at work.

The East India Company

Author: Philip Lawson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317897651
Release Date: 2014-01-14
Genre: History

This is the first short history of the East India Company from its founding in 1600 to its demise in 1857, designed for students and academics. The Company was central to the growth of the British Empire in India, to the development of overseas trade, and to the rise of shareholder capitalism, so this survey will be essential reading for imperial and economic historians and historians of Asia alike. It stresses the neglected early years of the Company, and its intimate relationship with (and impact upon) the domestic British scene.

The Poisoned Well

Author: Hardy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9781787380493
Release Date: 2018-03-29
Genre: History

Almost fifty years after Britain and France left the Middle East, the toxic legacies of their rule continue to fester. To make sense of today’s conflicts and crises, we need to grasp how Western imperialism shaped the region and its destiny in the half-century between 1917 and 1967. Roger Hardy unearths an imperial history stretching from North Africa to southern Arabia that sowed the seeds of future conflict and poisoned relations between the Middle East and the West. Drawing on a rich cast of eye-witnesses — ranging from nationalists and colonial administrators to soldiers, spies, and courtesans — The Poisoned Well brings to life the making of the modern Middle East, highlighting the great dramas of decolonisation such as the end of the Palestine mandate, the Suez crisis, the Algerian war of independence, and the retreat from Aden. Concise and beautifully written, The Poisoned Well offers a thought-provoking and insightful story of the colonial legacy in the Middle East.

India at War

Author: Yasmin Khan
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199753499
Release Date: 2015
Genre: History

"First published in Great Britain in 2015 as The Raj at War by The Bodley Head"--Title page verso.