Magazine article New Internationalist

The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational

Article excerpt

The Corporation that Changed the World How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational by Nick Robins (Orient Longman ISBN 81 250 3022 0; Pluto Press ISBN 9780745325231)

Globalization began in 1600 with a tiny trading company dealing in Asian spices.. This book tells the compelling and appalling story of what has been called 'the mother and father of all companies' -the East India Company.

Although I am Indian, have studied the colonial period and the fight for independence, no history lesson ever presented the extent of the economic devastation wrought by the East India Company on my country.

With precision and passion Robins shows how in 1600 the Indian economy was robust - healthier than the British economy, in fact - despite the efforts of corrupt, decadent nawabs. Then came the East India Company, a small-time trading outfit. Through a combination of greed, violence and corruption it acquired mafia-like power, enabling it to run the British Empire in India. …

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