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on 4 August 2017
I have always loved shashi tharoor for his splendour in writing skills and also it's Deliverance. Before reading this book I came across his video ,where he has delivered a speech in Oxford union ,on " Britain owes reprations to her former colonies". Well i loved that speech,it was a kind of perfect saying on the perfect place. Mr.tharoor nailed it. Well I suggest the readers who have not read this book ,before reading this ,you must first go and watch the video of his in YouTube,you will be amazed and then come to this book.
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on 31 October 2017
4.5 rating

I can’t seem to recall the exact quote by John Oliver which went something along the line that most, if not all, international problems of the world today can be traced back to a the last 100 years with A few white men in a room with a map and drawing lines. Believe me I spent almost a day searching for it. Haven’t found it yet but I am sure it’s there. I digress.

The reason for the publishing of this book is quite a well known fact. Shashi Tharoor (former diplomat, current politician and a Member of Parliament) made an impassioned speech at the Oxford University during a debate on British colonisation of India back in 2015. There, he highlighted the degradations of Indian society at the hands of the British, and their long-lasting after effects (hint: they’re not good). Once the video got online and took a viral life of its own, earning praise from most of the Indians, irrespective of their own political stance. People came forward to support him and asked him to write a book on the subject.

This book is a detailed version of that talk. It starts with the comparison of Indian economy’s percentage in the world to that of British and other European nations. From there, it moves through the 200 year rule the British maintained in the subcontinent, first the company and then the Crown rule.

The rule wasn’t benign or even mostly harmless (as some people choose to describe). It was out and out exploitation of resources, both human as well as material. All the ‘gifts’ the empire imparted to the subcontinent, including education, the English language, railways, parliamentary system of government, and even cricket, were incidental and not an objective. This can clearly be seen by comparing the statistics the country had right after the independence and the current numbers.

Although the book covers quite extensively covers all the major events in the struggle, some points are misrepresented or simplified for the sake of the narrative (I’m not sure if it was intentional or just glossed over to fir the author’s political stance). For example, Jinnah’s retreat to London and his change of attitude towards secularism is attributed to Gandhi’s fame whereas it was a little more complex. Also, there seems to be no mention of backstabbing by INC (Indian National Congress) when they chose not to honour the agreement the party had with the Muslim League post election. Furthermore, it is mentioned that Tagore gave up his Knighthood and Gandhi his title Kaiser-i-Hind to protest the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre, when the reality is that they gave up their titles because the British, instead of punishing the perpetrator General Dyer, chose to honour him. This little change in the reason of giving up the title and protesting help in understanding that they weren’t irrational in their protests, but gave a chance to the other party to accept their fault. On a side note, the release year of the movie Lagaan is erroneously mentioned as 2003 instead of 2001, but that’s just nitpicking.

The book treads some slippery slopes and becomes quite self-aware when it comes to discuss the author’s own command over English language and his fondness for a sport the empire gave to the country, cricket. But somehow, it manages to not sound hypocritical and still be engaging and informative.

Apart from all the seriousness of the book and the subject, it somehow manages to squeeze in a few moments where you would chuckle, or at the very least put a smile on the face. A simple line like “Nadir Shah stole it fair and square” does it. Also, when talking about a certain Mr. Nirad C Chaudhuri, the author choosing the most eloquent of words manages to say something on lines of “the ill-informed scholar had his nose up the colonial ass”.

If I had my way, I’d recommend this as a compulsory read in all the schools of India, in whatever language possible. It not only gives an objective outlook of the 200 history during the British Empire, but also a subjective point of view to comprehend the scale. Although, that somehow becomes slightly biased however hard the author tries to maintain to not be so. However, the writing and the language are again top notch. Definitely worth a read
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on 25 January 2018
I came across a video of Mr. Shashi Tharoor on Youtube on a debate on World Economic Forum. I was searching for some content related to Sadguru Jaggi Vasudea. In that Video sadguru coined a term on British rule in India and subsequently told about a book written by Mr Tharoor. Later I found a Video which was spectacular and well delivered by Mr. Tharoor in Oxford Union about the reparations of Britain for her Colonies. In that video whatever had been explained was systematically placed in different segments of the book.
If you believe that the usage of the word in the book will be tough, then the answer is no. An average Indian graduate can understand the way in which the book is written. An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India is an amazing book. I love History, But Some of the things I missed was fulfilled by the book. I got a lot of insights on what colonialism had done to India. I recommend all to read this book. You will love it.
Packaging is good. Paper Quality is good. Delivery was on time.
Simply Awesome.
An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India
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on 7 December 2017
I did not buy this book from Amazon as I canceled the order at the door. But, the order was delivered on time. That being said, the reason why I decided not to purchase the book from Amazon was something personal. I wanted to fetch the long-abandon habit of browsing in a bookstore. And, as for the book and the content, Dr. Tharoor is a gem on earth. I think he is one of India's most prominent leaders and writers today. The way he narrated Indian history is incredible, it's more like a fiction. I would recommend the book to all the Indians. It will make you love India more than ever - perhaps to travel abroad and settle down in countries like UK may tone down too (kidding). But, it's nice exercise to visit the past and understand the people of India.
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on 6 September 2017
‘An Era of Darkness’ is a must read for all history students in India and Britain and definitely an enlightening read for all others. Excellent arguments by Shashi Tharoor, supported by statistics and quotes from documented sources make the case against British Raj very convincing and attractive. He argues effectively that the so called benefits of British rule in India were not actually meant for benefitting India but were simply instruments for colonial appropriation of the wealth of India. Reading this book makes one realise how incomplete our history lessons were in schools and colleges.

Educational and enjoyable at the same time. A useful suggestion to readers - keep a dictionary handy as it may add to the joy of reading, even if you call English your ‘mother tongue’.
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on 5 December 2017
its quite rare to find books which are the perfect reads and this is one of them,each page just compels you to read the next ten pages.with Tharoor's Excellency in narration its a must read for one who seeks to know about the past of his nation.The deliver was quick great job Amazon.
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on 15 December 2017
Sashi Tharoor has brilliantly elucidated the loot and the deceit indulged in by the British. He has successfully carried the conviction with the readers with irrefutable facts and impeccable presentation. Overall, the book is simply brilliant and is a must read. The lone sore spot is that the packaging of the product (book) is very poor and it came crumpled at its edges. In fact, rating have to be 4 stars, but keeping in mind the value of the content of the book I am giving it 5 stars. I have bought a number of books on Amazon but shabby packaging, though price is very reasonable and the quality is good, has forced a rethink on ordering some more books. Sincerely hope that the product comes in good shape when I order my next book.
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on 9 July 2017
A lot has been said about this book - good, bad everything by people who by profession review books.

Hence I won't go into those subtle details. I loved the book because it broke any defense a British apologist might have and did so "without any farrago of misrepresentations"

Delivery by Amazon was also good.
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on 26 January 2017
It boils your blood...
Exactly why Shashi is regarded as the finest intellectual of the modern times...
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on 4 July 2017
This book is a huge eye opener. I will go so far as to state that this book is a heart opener. It establishes national pride more than all my school books combined. I grew up with the sneaking suspicion that the British actually did some good for India - possibly because our school book writers still suffer from some sort of a anglophilic hangover. The fact is that every Indian should read this book.
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