In the eighteenth century, Indias share of the world economy was as large as Europes. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest and deception, 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 takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial giftfrom the railways to the rule of lawwas designed in Britains interests alone. He goes on to show how Britains Industrial Revolution was founded on Indias deindustrialization and the destruction of its textile industry. In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britains stained Indian legacy.