- Hardcover: 191 pages
- Publisher: The Lyons Press (1 February 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585740594
- ISBN-13: 978-1585740598
- Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.9 x 27.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,30,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600 Hardcover – 1 Feb 2000
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Description for The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600
In his third book about the East India Company, Wild, one of its present directors, chooses facts and period illustrations to support his tales about the British Empire's weapon of expansion: trade. No truths are spared; he writes matter of factly about the arrogance of nabobs (Englishmen returning home with vast fortunes) and the alcohol-and-opium-infused environment under company commanders, or rajs. At the same time, we get a real sense of the flow and ebb of the empire, without an overly heavy dose of English history or of the company's contributions to its parent and to the world. After all, who could argue with these legacies: pajamas, Worcestershire sauce, Lloyds of London, and the establishment of English as the world's most widely spoken language? An eye-opening account. Barbara Jacobs
About the Author
Antony Wild is a director of the East India Company and an undisputed authority on its history. He is a member of the Musicians Union, the Performing Rights Society, the Guild of Food Writers, the British Actors' Equity Association, and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazing book, would recommend to those who wish to know more about this great period in World History.
As a historian myself, the biggest problem in expressing yourself is making "old" topics informative and interesting to modern generations. Antony Wild has succeeded beyond any scale of recognition in his book The East India Company: Trade and Conquest from 1600.
This book, which details the English East India Company's history will appeal to anyone with an interest in British, Indian, Asian, American, military, nautical, or commerical history-- it is that wide-ranging. This book is also a must-read for anyone interested or concerned over the so-called modern phenomenon of "globalization." After reading Wild's account, one can see that globalization has been around for nearly four hundred years, if not longer.
The English East India Company, acting under a royal charter from Queen Elizabeth I, sought entry into the Spice Trade in Asia. Soon, however, it found itself involved with Indian piece trade and trade from the Middle East and Arabia. Its trade interests in India eventually led to de facto conquest and colonization on that subcontinent-- all with the tacit support of the crown. The company reached into China and even North America-- it was East India Company tea that got dumped into Boston Harbor during the Tea Party.
The company exported and imported goods, laid the foundations for three important Indian cities, fought land wars and naval battles with other European merchant powers or local natives, and brought a host of new products and new words into the consciousness of the English-speaking world.
India proved to be the company's lasting legacy, and not always a positive one. However Wild provides a well-balanced account that does not paint the company as either completely ethical traders or imperialistic devils. No matter one's opinion, India proved to the company's (and Britain's) largest asset and also the cause for the company's eventual dissolution.
The book is well-illustrated and is an easy but very informative read. I would rank this amongst the top 10 books I have read in the last 5 years.