Inglorious Empire: what the British did to India

Front Cover
Scribe Publications Pty Limited, Jul 31, 2017 - Political Science - 336 pages

Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India — from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj — and reveals how Britain’s rise was built upon its plunder of India.

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. Beyond conquest and deception, 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 on and 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.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2017)

Shashi Tharoor served for twenty-nine years at the UN, culminating as Under-Secretary-General. He is a Congress MP in India, the author of fourteen previous books, and has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Tharoor has a PhD from the Fletcher School, and was named by the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998 as a Global Leader of Tomorrow.

Bibliographic information