Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India â€” from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj â€” and reveals how Britainâ€™s rise was built upon its plunder of India.
In the eighteenth century, Indiaâ€™s share of the world economy was as large as Europeâ€™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 â€˜giftâ€™ â€” from the railways to the rule of law â€” was designed in Britainâ€™s interests alone. He goes on to show how Britainâ€™s Industrial Revolution was founded on Indiaâ€™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 Britainâ€™s stained Indian legacy.