A first-time account of the East India Company from the perspective of Indian business history....
For over 200 years, the East India Company was the largest and most powerful mercantile firm in Britain and Asia. Set up to procure Asian goods for British consumers, the Company's business network spanned Persia, India, China, Indonesia, and North America. In the late 1700s, its career took a dramatic turn as the Company lost ground as a trading firm, but founded an empire in India. Why did a merchant firm end up being an empire builder? Why did politics mesh so closely with the conduct of business in this time?
This new account of the East India Company answers these questions by taking a fresh look at the world of Indian business. The story fits together many pieces of a vast jigsaw puzzle, and shows how trading in India changed the Company and how the Company changed Indian business.
©2012 Tirthankar Roy (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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"Super overview of the East India Company"
This little book is an excellent overview of the 275 year existence of the first modern corporation. Anyone interested this topic will find this to be an excellent source. It contains many interesting dates, names and significant historical events. I also enjoyed the audio format because I would not how to pronounce the trough of Indian words, names and places that would naturally be contained in such a book.
"A novel approach to a complex subject"
There were two thinks I especially appreciated about this book, which I read (or listened to) in preparation for a trip to Chennai and Kolkata. First, this is one of the few histories of India where the narrator pronounces the Indian words correctly. Mispronunciation can be very irritating over the course of an audio book; Mr. Adam's care to pronounce both north and south Indian city names correctly makes the book much more pleasurable. Second, Mr. Roy's approach, focusing on the economics that led to the Raj provide a context from which you can understand the roots of European involvement in India, but also sheds a new light on ones understanding of the Raj and Independence.
The description of the Clive campaign at Plassey.
"A broad perspective"
This book was both more and less than I expected. More in that the views presented were combined from a plethora of sources of Hindustani origin, and less in that I expected it to cover the Sovereign Rule of India too. It takes you right up to that point and that's where this story ends. I can't complain though as the title makes it clear what it does and does not cover!
This book is very well balanced and tells the history of the Company from the point of view of it's merchants, Indian Traders and Kings. It's told more from the perspective of the effect the company had on India and Great Britain and makes it quite clear that there wasn't really a driving force or goals being the Company any different from any other company i.e. to make money. The fact that Hindustanis adopted british law as defined by Company contracts is a quirk of the relationship not a master plan by the UK to rule India.
I thoroughly enjoyed this broad and insightful book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
"Good History About a Fascinating Subject"
The East India Company helped shape modern international business. This book gives the reader a good basis and appreciation for that company's efforts.
"Hard to follow"
Too much material to cover in such a short time. My friend and I both found this book difficult to follow because it jumped from person to person and even to event. The topic is very interesting and the book is accurate but I'm not sure I would suggest listening.
On another note, I did enjoy listening to the narrator.
"Good book, poor narrator"
The narrator's mispronunciation of many Indian words ("Malabar" and "Calcutta," for example) spoil the enjoyment of an otherwise excellent, deeply-researched account.
"Academic Economic / Business History"
I'm an academic, so this book was wonderful for me, an easy way to "read" for work. However, it's not for everybody - it's not "lite" history or economics. I enjoyed it very much and also I enjoyed hearing the names pronounced as they should be. More of the same please!!
"As dull as dishwater"
I have listened to several histories involving the British Raj and its precursor the East India Company so I was intrigued to hear a history of the Company from an Indian point of view. Unfortunately somehow the colourful history was blanded down to the colour of dust and ashes, the narrator spoke in a monotone and made the history monotonous.
I severe disappointment but luckily was only a few hours long. I did hear it to the end as I wanted to hear about the Mutiny but it was glossed over.
Not recommended except to prospective producers of talking books on how not to produce a book and how not to narrate.
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