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A History of British India Audiobook

A History of British India

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Publisher's Summary

No era is more pertinent to understanding how present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh evolved than the nearly 200 years of British rule. This colonial period was a time of deep change and transformation - for India and for the world. These 24 engrossing lectures offer you new perspectives on the history of European imperialism, on world economic history, on the features of British colonialism, and on the rich cultures of the Indian subcontinent.

Over the course of this remarkable saga you'll explore:

  • How the English East India Company, a commercial trading entity, established a presence in India and took the reins of power in one of the strangest political transformations in world history
  • How the monumental Mughal Empire, builders of the Taj Mahal and longstanding Muslim rulers in India, gradually came apart in the face of British conquest
  • How Britain extended its rule across the subcontinent, built a huge economic machine in India, and ultimately exacted a heavy price from the Indian people
  • How India finally achieved independence in 1947, through one of humanity's most noteworthy examples of resourceful and philosophically sophisticated leadership

You'll trace the economic motives that brought the British and other Westerners to India, like how the emergence of the English as a stereotypically tea-drinking society was directly related to the Indian colonial economy. You will also take stock of the incredibly lavish lifestyles of India's maharajahs and how the British leveraged alliances with them. And you'll grasp the fundamental moral contradiction of the Raj, the conflict between Britain's economic interests and the human needs of the empire's Indian subjects, and more. In A History of British India, you'll relive a crucial era in international relations, one with deep and lasting implications for our contemporary world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 The Great Courses (P)2017 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (9 )
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4.4 (8 )
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4.1 (8 )
5 star
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Performance
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  • PETER
    LAWRENCEVILLE, GA, United States
    11/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good history - Annoying narration"

    Very interesting for a newbie to this important and interesting history of the region. I found the narrator a bit annoying, especially, about 100 times throughout the course his asking a question and then saying "you got it" like a half second after the question. About half way through I found myself shouting back at him #you got it" before he even said it, which most of the time he did. I'm surprised no one caught that, or that he wasn't annoyed at himself.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • J. David Green
    Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
    19/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Biased account"

    Professor Bellenoit castigates the British, mostly without citing any evidence. I am surprised this passes for scholarship.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Nashville, TN United States
    18/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "High school level"

    This is a fascinating period dominated by larger than life personalities, but this course doesn't do it justice and the prof functions at a high school level. He would do better to highlight specific personalities in each lesson and give more details. General statistics and overviews are important for context but the story needs to be fleshed out. Continual use of "remember', "think about it", rhetorical questions punctuated by a puerile "you got it" is annoying and patronizing. No profiles of individual maharajas, only a few eccentricities mentioned. Only major characters and incidents well known to anyone who knows even a little of Indian history are discussed. He gets animated with Gandhi and the National Congress. But this course either needs to be reworked for adults, both style and content, or recategorized as introductory. He hints numerous times that something is a subject for "another course". Oh my.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • ok
    30/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't know the British committed Genocide"

    Didn't learn this in school [Canada]
    Using force and violence to collect money from India and suppress Indian industry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • mark
    U.S.
    14/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "learned a lot about British India"

    a lot of surprising information about British India including the starvation of 3 million during World War II and the death of another three million during the division of India and Pakistan

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    05/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Interesting"
    If you could sum up A History of British India in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, Engaging, Fascinating


    What did you like best about this story?

    Indian history is so vast and rich that it is very difficult to tell. Looking at the history of British India gives the course a nice starting point for people (like me) who don't know Indian history in depth. It gave me an accessible introduction to the subject and I definitely want more.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Hayden J. Bellenoit’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but I greatly hope that the teaching company releases new courses from Professor Bellenoit. I would definitely enjoy a history of India before the British or post-colonial history of India or Pakistan.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The course was too long for me to do it in one sitting. However it was a great listen for my commute to and from work for a couple weeks.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Señor Fuschnickens
    Washington DC
    16/02/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inaccurate, out of date, poor pronunciation"
    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The professor needs to read scholarship on caste and any scholarship that has been inspired by Orientalism--any mainstream scholarship from the past 40 years would do. It would also help if he learned an Indian language and learned how to pronounce terms with at least reasonable accuracy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel X. Junker
    30/01/18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now I Understand "

    A few weeks ago, someone asked “how did Britain take over India? “. Years ago I saw a Bollywood movie where the British were cast as bad guys. I had always heard that Britain had left a Legacy of ‘good institutions’ in India. Now I understand how all of these fit together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • KEITH
    Canyon Country, CA, United States
    29/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Economic History of India under England"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would have heard more about the kinds of English that would travel across the world to work and serve in India. Dr. Bellenoit argues well that England did not do much good to India. This can probably be said of any imperial power who ruled native people. I wanted more of the English and not as much of the economic turmoil they caused to India.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It appears that the creation of Pakistan was a bit of an accident that even the leading Muslims did not especially want nor expect.


    Did A History of British India inspire you to do anything?

    Earlier reviews were correct; this is very Pro Indian. If you wanted to understand the social history of the English, Indian or Muslim people (what was the day in the life of people at a certain time like), this is not the series for you.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sheetal J.
    06/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "every Indian and Pakistanis should read it"

    Great insight of India history during British time, definitely lot to learn from history .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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