The Chaos of Empire: The British Raj and the Conquest of India

The Chaos of Empire The British Raj and the Conquest of India Jon Wilson visits often ignored arenas of British Indian contact to mount a devastating critique of British rule The exercise of sovereignty was deemed sufficient unto itself Policy making was chaotic

  • Title: The Chaos of Empire: The British Raj and the Conquest of India
  • Author: Jon Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781610392938
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Jon Wilson visits often ignored arenas of British Indian contact to mount a devastating critique of British rule The exercise of sovereignty was deemed sufficient unto itself Policy making was chaotic and implementation uneven The only constant was violence This is a brave and long overdue riposte to Raj romanticists John Keay, author of India A Histor Jon Wilson visits often ignored arenas of British Indian contact to mount a devastating critique of British rule The exercise of sovereignty was deemed sufficient unto itself Policy making was chaotic and implementation uneven The only constant was violence This is a brave and long overdue riposte to Raj romanticists John Keay, author of India A History and The Honourable CompanyThe longstanding mythology of the British Raj is starkly and critically wrong In this dramatic revisionist history, Jon Wilson upends the carefully sanitized image of unity, order, and success to reveal an empire rooted far in violence than in virtue, far in chaos than in control Following the lives of administrators, soldiers, and subjects both British and Indian this compelling narrative traces Britain s rule, from the East India Company s first transactions in the 1680s to Indian Independence in 1947 The result is a story of continual conflict and lasting legacy The Raj was the most public demonstration of a state s ability to project power far from home, and its perceived success was used to justify not only British but also American interventions around the world in the years that followed Trouble was, the story of benign British triumph in India was a carefully concocted fiction, here thoroughly and totally debunked.

    One thought on “The Chaos of Empire: The British Raj and the Conquest of India”

    1. Question: how long does a guilt trip last? Answer: 504 pages. Let this reviewer nail his colours to the mast: he is a child of empire. His father’s family worked for, kowtowed to and adopted its name from the British. We were condescended to and condescended in our turn. And we ended up here. But, like the rest of the subcontinental diaspora, and the people of India and its surrounding nations, we’ve gotten over it. Ploughing through Wilson’s work, it would appear the author hasn’t. Not [...]

    2. A very well researched account of the East India Company's power climb in India, replacing the already fragile and disintegrating Mughal rule. It is noteworthy that there were a few able administrators in the Company who were willing to place the interests of their country (Britain) or India ahead of personal greed. The book also shines a light on the many Indians who readily "collaborated" with the Company officials to further their own business/personal interests, thus facilitating the "divide [...]

    3. This is a great book for those who wondered how exactly the British ascended to power in India, and gives a lot of insight into the political and economic machinery of colonialism. It‘s a pretty good rebuttal to the argument that India was better off under, and because of, the British Raj.

    4. This was a difficult and emotional read, but it was worth it. The first part detailing the actual conquest are simultaneously the most challenging and enlightening. Wilson's evenhandedness was impressive, which makes the butthurt reviews all the funnier.

    5. Fantastic history of British in India and history of India up to '47. This book is just a pleasure to read since the editing and writing are excellent.

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