The Worst of Capitalism and Colonialisn - and History Writing

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The Worst of Capitalism and Colonialisn - and History Writing

Post by Hafiz »

I wish I could say something better about this book on an important issue.

It’s the history of the British East India Company (India, starvations, opium and wars) and tries to draw a comparison between its immense power and the general conditions now applying to Amazon and others at the moment. Basically Daltymple’s point is that the UK government gave away some of its sovereignty and lived to regret the consequences including the corruption of its parliament. I mean then not now.

Many of the great aristocratic fortunes that continue to dazzle were based on the ruthless methods employed in India. It should alsobe said, but not well argued by Dalrymple, that many of the Indian Princes were as disgusting as those honorable god fearing graduates of of the MIT of its day - Haileybury.

In its favor its on an important subject.

Against it are a wandering writing style, stupendous quotes from historical documents, a windy style, extreme ignorance of business and economics and worse. There is much detailed narrative but few themes/conclusions/generalizations.

The reviews are all very positive of better.

Of course the Guardian loves it – and didn’t even need to read it to form a view. ... ple-review

Others – none of whom on my view finished it. ... ymple.html

I thought it a waste of time but await a necessary history of one of the low points of capitalism and colonialism. A subject matter as important as this and with a modern resonance has received only poor attention to date even though the archives are immense and complete. Why this is so from both the UK and India end of history writing is a mystery.

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Re: The Worst of Capitalism and Colonialisn - and History Writing

Post by newcastle »

Many thanks Hafiz!

I’ve been looking for something meaty as kindle reading for my forthcoming trip to Egypt and this will do nicely. I’ve always found the 18th-19th century history of India fascinating and who better to write about it than the much-acclaimed and much-honoured historian William Dalrymple....a specialist in the sub-continent.

I note you weren’t impressed by the book.

I’ll report back in due course. 8)
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