Established by Royal Charter in 1600, the East India Company was, and remains to this day, the largest and most powerful multinational business the world has ever seen. It controlled over half the world's trade and a quarter of its population. It singlehandedly ruled India, raised its own army and navy, minted its own currency, and traded with every corner of the globe. It also trafficked in opium, greed, and brutal oppression, sowing the seeds that would lead to its downfall -- and absorption by the British Crown."The East India Company" describes how "the Honourable Company" created its extraordinary trading empire by introducing an exotic cache of tea, silks, porcelain, cashmere, and spices to a luxury-starved England. It also explains how the company conducted its day-to-day business at home and in the East, through colorful figures such as Captain James Skinner and John Nicholson; how the opulent daily life of East India Company rulers amongst the ruled led to "the Mutiny"; and why India's first war of independence spelled an end not only to the company itself, but, eventually, to an entire empire.
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Antony Wild is a director of the East India Company and an undisputed authority on its history. He is a member of the Musicians Union, the Performing Rights Society, the Guild of Food Writers, the British Actors' Equity Association, and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph, and Theatre Union.From Library Journal:
In his four previous books Wild, director and historian of the resurgent East India Company, concentrated on products from the company's glory days--coffee, tea, chocolate, and spices. This book goes one step further and serves as a reminder of the company's complex history. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, it rose to dominate world trade by the mid-18th century, then fell from grace and power following the India Mutiny of 1857. This book tells its story with an unvarnished honesty. Of special note is the author's description of the opulent lifestyles that company employees led in India, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and the Middle East. Of equal import are his observations on the impact of the Treaty of Tordesillas, Drake's defeat of the Spanish Armada, the search for the Northwest and Northeast passages, the Black Hole of Calcutta, the Boston Tea Party, and the British reliance on piracy. Richly illustrated with over 160 maps, pictures, and photographs, this is recommended for both larger public and academic libraries.
-Norman B. Hutcherson, Kern Cty. Lib., Bakersfield, CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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