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The Anarchy

The Rise and Fall of the East India Company

ISBN: 9781408864395 (PB - E)

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 trading company, dealing in silks and spices, and became something much more unusual: an international corporation and an aggressive colonial power. In less than half a century it had trained up a private security force of around 260,000 men - twice the size of the British army - and had subdued an entire subcontinent, conquering Bengal and later the Mughal capital Delhi. The company's reach stretched relentlessly until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in London. The Anarchy tells the remarkable story of how one of the world's most magnificent Empires disintegrated and was replaced by a dangerously unregulated company - based thousands of miles overseas and answerable only to shareholders. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power - and the violence and corruption that have reverberated across a continent for generations.



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