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Inglorious Empire

What the British Did to India
Narrated by: Shashi Tharoor
Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (292 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Inglorious Empire, written and read by Shashi Tharoor. 

In the 18th century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased sixfold. The empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism and caused millions to die from starvation. 

British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' - from the railways to the rule of law - was designed in Britain's interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation and the destruction of its textile industry. 

In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy. 

©2018 Shashi Tharoor (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

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An informative and entertaining audiobook.

I really enjoyed listening to this informative audiobook. I bought the hard back but didn't manage to get very far. I was thrilled when the audiobook was produced. Shashi Tharoor narrates the book well. I feel I have gained a better understanding of the impact of British rule in India.

7 people found this helpful

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Eloquentand awful truth about the British empire

I was fascinated, horrified and saddened by this brilliant and coolheaded account of the atrocious behaviour of the British in India. It says much of the country and its people that they do not all hate our guts. 35 million deaths from famine under British rule and I never heard a word about the evils of empire at school. Tharoor's English is wonderfully rich if at times quaint in his pronunciation.

6 people found this helpful

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The title of the book says it all.

A story of the horrors of the Raj., well written and narrated by the author. I learned a lot about the racism behind British rule and the greed of the east India company. And the lasting problems that can arise with colonialism. which still exist to this day because of the lack of concern for the governed by those in power.

5 people found this helpful

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Hard hitting and educational

I came across this author through various short media bites on social media and bring a Indian born and British raised adult in recent years I've wanted to learn about Indian history, moreso the years during the colonial past of India under the British. This is merely one perspective and factual account often referencing material from official British records I was traumatized by some of the revelations of the action s under British rule (no spoilers) make or it what you will by having a listen. The narrator is Shashi Tharoor for me I found it difficult to engage with his style but this may also be due to the fact the book is written from a analytical and referencing perspective so it maybe a better read than listen. However it's a great piece of literature and worth having in your collection.

5 people found this helpful

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Encaptured

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, I had never known this side of the story regarding England's relationship with India during its colonial days.

Simply by listening I felt educated.

I also feel both informed and disappointed at the same time. The reason for this is that I idolised Churchill above all other PMs for his "in my oppinoin" can do attitude coupled with common sense... however after listening to what I felt was a fairly neutral view, drenched in evidently researched facts, I can no longer see Churchill in the same way.

Another disappointing part being how Britian was so ruthless and self serving whilst in controller of India... I strongly feel that after listening to this account that if Britain had either left India alone or simply reinvested part of the sums they made back into India , we could as a people be so much further on globally, both socially and technologically.

Thank you to the author for publishing such a work to pay tribute to his country that suffered such hardship under mine. I wanted to say sorry for what happened myself although as he stated today's generations where not at fault for their ansestors past ventures, but during those century's I don't believe my ansestors where british either prior to Churchills time, more likely they where colonials from Ireland and else where...My point being anyone who loves thier country and hears how ruthless it was in the past would feel guilt towards those wronged as I did listening to this account of events.

The book is well read, encaptures the open minded and inquisive reader/listener. It has also given me an interested in learning more about other lands colonised by Britain during its emipers rein.

7 people found this helpful

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illuminating

what a well structured informative and insightful look at India during before during and after the Raj.
Tharoor builds his opinions from contemporary accounts both from within India and international scholars.
The book is not looking to be a chronological accountee of events but a discussion spanning India's history to assess the reasons for the Raj and it's motivation.
British and Indian history is intertwined through colonialism, this book addresses the paternalism and pillaging.

6 people found this helpful

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Magnificent

This is absolutely essential reading. It's a book that everyone needs to read. Very recent history, and how the effects of it still linger. Phenomenal.

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Excellent

Interesting account of History not being taught in school today supported by factual anecdotes in brilliant literary style

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Damning

Superbly researched, lucidly written, and in the words of historian David Olusoga, "damning". This books delves into the finer threading of colonialism in India, and rips apart stitch by a stitch colonial apologetics. Makes for uncomfortable reading, but that is exactly why Inglorious Empire is necessary.

1 person found this helpful

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Eye opening

I was aware that perhaps British colonies were perhaps treated better than those of other countries, or so ithought. The sheer scale of the management of cash extraction and ruination is eye watering. Very well presented. Knowing the mindset of the aristocracy and landed gentry it sounds like a simple continuation of "more for me" that we are all used to. Interesting summary of Ghandis non violence vision.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-07-18

Excellent.

An intricate crash course on the British Empire from the very brilliant Shashi Tharoor. A must read for every Indian & for any one interested in Colonial Geo Politics.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bharadhwajan S
  • 06-06-18

Simply awesome

Well researched, very well written and narration is one of the best one would ever listen to in english. This audio book made me look forward to my daily commute and appreciate traffic delays :-).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-05-20

LEGENDARY!!

it's a must read for every nationalist or student of history! An eye opener and a slap in the face of the British who claim that they helped India by colonizing this great land! Jai Hind

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  • Arbee02
  • 02-04-19

Stirring listen

Loved this book. Well researched and analysed. Shattered many myths for me and will serve as a reference.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-19

A must read for every Indian <br />

Very insightful and informative. A cure for anyone with a colonial hangover. Forgive (if you are inclined to) but never forget.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-03-19

Must know ... Inglorious Empire

Must know ... Inglorious Empire bloody past and dark cruel history. Excellent book and must read to know truth of British empire

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  • akshyata naidu
  • 28-01-19

Really cool

I didn't feel it was baised. it covers all the angles! Must read for youngsters!

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  • PS
  • 18-09-18

Must hear. Don't miss.

Must hear. In fact this has prompted me to consider reading the book. Well presented by the author.

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  • Kainene
  • 15-09-18

Must be part of all Indian and British curriculum

Why we get only half assed stories about the greatest conquest of our country in schools? Mr Tharoor is right on we Indians forgive and forget easily. We should forgive but not forget. Never forget.
I felt like I needed a punching bag when listening to this audiobook, it really makes me angry at the wrong doings. Our present we owe to our history, so please don’t tell me that’s all in the past. Thank you.

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  • Santhosh Koshy George
  • 23-06-18

Awesome book by Dr. Tharoor

The book is so detailed about the times of the British Raj. It was really great to hear the history during the time in Shashi's own voice.

1 person found this helpful