This is the history of the East India Company and its enduring legacy as a corporation, dealing in exploitation and violence.
The English East India Company was the mother of the modern multinational. Its trading empire encircled the globe, importing Asian luxuries such as spices, textiles and teas. But it also conquered much of India with its private army and broke open China's markets with opium. The Company's practices shocked its contemporaries and still reverberate today.
This expanded edition explores how the four forces of scale, technology, finance and regulation drove its spectacular rise and fall. This story provides vital lessons on both the role of corporations in world history and the steps required to make global business accountable today.
Nick Robins has more than 20 years experience in the policy and practical realities of corporate accountability. A historian by training, he currently works on sustainable and responsible investment in London. He is the author of The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational (Pluto, 2012), and has written on the East India Company for the Financial Times, New Statesman and Resurgence.
Acknowledgements Lists of Tables, Figures, Maps and Illustrations Chronology Introduction 1. The Hidden Wound 2. This Imperious Company 3. Out of the Shadows 4. The Bengal Revolution 5. The Great East Indian Crash 6. Regulating the Company 7. Justice Will be Done 8. The Toxic Exchange 9. A Skulking Power 10. Unfinished Business Epilogue Notes Index