by Will Durant
May 12th, 2010
I actually read this little book some months ago but forgot to write up a review. The book was written in the 1930s while India was still under British rule and the Indian people were deeply desirous of freedom. This book presents the case in favor of the liberation of India.
The primary thing I learned from this book is the extent of British appropriations of Indian wealth. I knew that the East India Company had been rather aggressive in pursuing profits in India, but I did not realize that British depredations were so serious. Before the British took control of India, famines were rare; after the British started running things, famines became more frequent, because the British were taking all the food to sell elsewhere. British taxes were exorbitant, and the Indian people suffered greatly under British rule. Before the British takeover, India was one of the richest nations in the world; after they left, it was one of the poorest. It has taken 50 years for the Indian people to get their economy back to a decent state. There’s still plenty of poverty and hunger, but the improvements in the last few decades have been impressive.
This is a small book that went out of print many years ago, but it was republished for historical reasons.