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The Human Past
The Relentless Rise of the East India Company144
THE TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 THE TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 2020 LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2019 A FINANCIAL TIMES, OBSERVER, DAILY TELEGRAPH, WALL STREET JOURNAL AND TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India ... A book of beauty' - Gerard DeGroot, The Times In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish a new administration in his richest provinces. Run by English merchants who collected taxes using a ruthless private army, this new regime saw the East India Company transform itself from an international trading corporation into something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. William Dalrymple tells the remarkable story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power.
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An energetic pageturner that marches from the counting house on to the battlefield, exploding patriotic myths along the way -- Maya Jasanoff * Guardian * A tour de force ***** -- Anne de Courcy * Telegraph * Magnificent ... The Anarchy explodes myths that have accreted around the history of the Company like barnacles on the hulls of its ships ... Dalrymple shines a forensic light on the knotty historical relationship between commercial and imperial power -- John McAleer * Evening Standard * Dalrymple has been at the forefront of the new wave of popular history, consistently producing work that engages with a wider audience through writerly craft, an emphasis on characters and their agency, evocative description of place and time, and the inclusion of long-neglected perspectives ... The book's real achievement is to take readers to an important and neglected period of British and south Asian history, and to make their trip their not just informative but colourful -- Jason Burke * Observer * Gloriously opulent ... India is a sumptuous place. Telling its story properly demands lush language, not to mention sensitivity towards the country's passionate complexity. Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India ... A book of beauty -- Gerard DeGroot * The Times * It is well-trodden territory but Dalrymple ... brings to it erudition, deep insight and an entertaining style * Financial Times * Combining extensive research, judicious analysis and an acceptable level of outrage, Dalrymple's compelling account will cement his status as the most widely read British writer on India since Kipling ... A brave and stirring narrative of India's eighteenth-century fragmentation -- John Keay * Literary Review * [A] rampaging, brilliant, passionate history ... Dalrymple gives us every sword-slash, every scam, every groan and battle cry. He has no rival as a narrative historian of the British in India ... A gripping tale of bloodshed and deceit, of unimaginable opulence and intolerable starvation ... shot through with an unappeasable moral passion * Wall Street Journal * 'Masterful ... Dalrymple has been for some years one of the most eloquent and assiduous chroniclers of Indian history. With this new work, he sounds a minatory note ... Dalrymple has done a great service in not just writing an eminently readable history of eighteenth-century India, but in reflecting on how so much of it serves as a warning for our own time' -- Stuart Kelly * Scotland on Sunday * A magnificently readable book, deeply researched and richly atmospheric, written with a historian's understanding of power and a novelistic eye for detail ***** -- Francis Wheen * Mail on Sunday * A rip-roaring tale of wild adventure, amorality, feckless greed and despicable behaviour ... His best history to date -- Louise Nicholson * Country Life * [Dalrymple] is a terrifically good storyteller. He makes the reader see how events unfold and observe the personalities up close. He is widely read both in the primary sources and the historical scholarship. As a result, The Anarchy is one of the best books on Indian history published in a long time * Times Literary Supplement * Deeply researched yet easy to read, this landmark history of the East India Company is unputdownable. This is pure narrative joy -- HWA Non-Fiction Crown Judges
William Dalrymple is one of Britain's great historians and the bestselling author of the Wolfson Prize-winning White Mughals, The Last Mughal, which won the Duff Cooper Prize, and the Hemingway and Kapuscinski Prize-winning Return of a King. A frequent broadcaster, he has written and presented three television series, one of which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA. He has also won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Foreign Correspondent of the Year at the FPA Media Awards, and been awarded five honorary doctorates. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has held visiting fellowships at Princeton and Brown. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and the Guardian. In 2018 he was presented with the prestigious President's Medal by the British Academy for his outstanding literary achievement and for co-founding the Jaipur Literature Festival. William lives with his wife and three children on a farm outside Delhi.