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Hostile takeover—how a corporation conquered India

From the start British imperialism was about loot, not spreading civilisation

By Sameer Rahim   November 2019
Clive of India memorial in Westminster

Clive of India memorial in Westminster

Taking pride of place between the modern Treasury and the Foreign Office is a statue of Robert Clive, better known as Clive of India. It is an unwittingly apposite place to remember a man whose “extreme aggression and devil-may-care audacity,” in the words of William Dalrymple, established Britain’s wealth and overseas dominance in the 18th century.

But Clive was no ordinary imperialist, and this was no ordinary conquest. As Dalrymple shows in this beautifully written history, it wasn’t…

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