ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEARNAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal and NPR
"Superb ... A vivid and richly detailed story ... worth reading by everyone." --The New York Times Book Review From the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country. In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company's reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London. The Anarchy tells one of history's most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire--which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources--fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.
In her twenties, journalist Sarah Macdonald backpacked around India and came away with a lasting impression of heat, pollution and poverty. So when an airport beggar read her palm and told her she would return to India--and for love--she screamed, "Never " and gave the country, and him, the finger.But eleven years later, the prophecy comes true. When the love of Sarah's life is posted to India, she quits her dream job to move to the most polluted city on earth, New Delhi. For Sarah this seems like the ultimate sacrifice for love, and it almost kills her, literally. Just settled, she falls dangerously ill with double pneumonia, an experience that compels her to face some serious questions about her own fragile mortality and inner spiritual void. "I must find peace in the only place possible in India," she concludes. "Within." Thus begins her journey of discovery through India in search of the meaning of life and death. Holy Cow is Macdonald's often hilarious chronicle of her adventures in a land of chaos and contradiction, of encounters with Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, Sufis, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians and a kaleidoscope of yogis, swamis and Bollywood stars. From spiritual retreats and crumbling nirvanas to war zones and New Delhi nightclubs, it is a journey that only a woman on a mission to save her soul, her love life--and her sanity--can survive.
The world's largest democracy and second-most populous country, 21st-century India is a dynamic nation with a thrivting economy, made up of a variety of beliefs and peoples united under one flag. Ancient India was home to myriad kingdoms with boundaries that were ever changing while a variety of cultures and religions flourished over the millennia as the influence of foreign invaders and occupiers has come and gone. The country was under foreign rule from the early 1800s until independence in 1947. From the late 1980s, India opened itself to the outside world, encouraging economic reform and foreign investment, and is now courted by the world's leading economic and political powers. It is a major power with a burgeoning middle class, having made substantial strides in areas such as information technology. The availability of a large, skilled workforce makes it a popular choice for international companies looking to outsource work. It has launched a space program and boasts a massive film industry, its "Bollywood" films being amongst the most-watched in the world. Meanwhile, India still has major issues with poverty and illiteracy, and campaigns have been launched to alleviate these problems.
An extraordinary story of romance, history, and divided loyalties -- set against the backdrop of one of the most dramatic events of the twentieth centuryThe stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, liberated 400 million people from the British Empire. With the loss of India, its greatest colony, Britain ceased to be a superpower, and its king ceased to sign himself Rex Imperator. This defining moment of world history had been brought about by a handful of people. Among them were Jawaharlal Nehru, the fiery Indian prime minister; Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the leader of the new Islamic Republic of Pakistan; Mohandas Gandhi, the mystical figure who enthralled a nation; and Louis and Edwina Mountbatten, the glamorous but unlikely couple who had been dispatched to get Britain out of India. Within hours of the midnight chimes, their dreams of freedom and democracy would turn to chaos, bloodshed, and war. Behind the scenes, a secret personal drama was also unfolding, as Edwina Mountbatten and Jawaharlal Nehru began a passionate love affair. Their romance developed alongside Cold War conspiracies, the beginning of a terrible conflict in Kashmir, and an epic sweep of events that saw one million people killed and ten million dispossessed. Steeped in the private papers and reflections of the participants, Alex von Tunzelmann's Indian Summer reveals, in vivid, exhilarating detail, how the actions of a few extraordinary people changed the lives of millions and determined the fate of nations.
As a young woman, Amma joined forces with a band of revolutionary freedom fighters. Later, in her work with the Mahatma Gandhi-led Civil Disobedience movement, she was connected with a vast network of women whose courage and activism is not adequately understood or rightfully celebrated in connection with India's independence. Drawing on a rich oral history and her mother and grandmother's diaries, as well as their published work, Shrivastava tells the story of the women in her family and their acts of resistance in deeply patriarchal 1920s British India.
A place of spectacle and ruin, Mumbai exemplifies the cosmopolitan metropolis. It is not just a big city but also a soaring vision of modern urban life. Millions from India and beyond, of different ethnicities, languages, and religions, have washed up on its shores, bringing with them their desires and ambitions. Mumbai Fables explores the mythic inner life of this legendary city as seen by its inhabitants, journalists, planners, writers, artists, filmmakers, and political activists. In this remarkable cultural history of one of the world's most important urban centers, Gyan Prakash unearths the stories behind its fabulous history, viewing Mumbai through its turning points and kaleidoscopic ideas, comic book heroes, and famous scandals--the history behind Mumbai's stories of opportunity and oppression, of fabulous wealth and grinding poverty, of cosmopolitan desires and nativist energies.
Starting from the catastrophic floods and terrorist attacks of recent years, Prakash reaches back to the sixteenth-century Portuguese conquest to reveal the stories behind Mumbai's historic journey. Examining Mumbai's role as a symbol of opportunity and reinvention, he looks at its nineteenth-century development under British rule and its twentieth-century emergence as a fabled city on the sea. Different layers of urban experience come to light as he recounts the narratives of the Nanavati murder trial and the rise and fall of the tabloid Blitz, and Mumbai's transformation from the red city of trade unions and communists into the saffron city of Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena. Starry-eyed planners and elite visionaries, cynical leaders and violent politicians of the street, land sharks and underworld dons jostle with ordinary citizens and poor immigrants as the city copes with the dashed dreams of postcolonial urban life and lurches into the seductions of globalization.
Shedding light on the city's past and present, Mumbai Fables offers an unparalleled look at this extraordinary metropolis.-- "Choice"