The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company
by William Dalrymple
✅ Editor: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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The compelling story of the East India Company, a private company, which has become the de facto colonial power, the great William Dalrymple’s latest book the emotions of the high drama of imperial expansion and conquest through trade. But Anarchy is also a cautionary tale about the pernicious effects of capitalism and the dangers of unregulated corporate greed, which reads like a button historical thriller. In the month of August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish, in its richest provinces, a new administration run by English traders who collected the fees through a ruthless private army – what we would now call an act involuntary privatization. The East India Company, the statutes of the foundation is authorized to “make war” and they always used violence to achieve his ends. But the creation of this new government, marked the moment when the East India Company ceased to be a conventional international trading corporation, dealing in silks and spices, and has become something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power, in the role of a multinational company. In less than four decades they had formed a security force of about 200,000 men – twice the size of the British army, and who had subdued an entire subcontinent, winning the first Bengal, and, finally, in 1803, the Mughal capital of Delhi itself. The Company’s reach extended to almost the whole of India south of the Himalayas, has been effectively governed by a board room in London. Anarchy tells the incredible story of how one of the most beautiful of the world empires disintegrated and was replaced by a dangerous, non-regulated, private company with headquarters thousands of miles abroad, in a small office, five windows wide, and responds only to its shareholders far away. In his most ambitious and enthralling book to date, William Dalrymple, recounts the history of the East India Company, as it has never been said before, the unfolding of a timely cautionary tale, the first in the world of corporate power.
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