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The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational
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Top Customer Reviews
The title may seem like hyperbole, but when you consider the impact that the Company Bahadur had on much of the world, including India and China, mostly for the worse, and mostly with tragic consequences, hyperbole does not seem like an exaggeration.
A must read.
In 1700, the GDP of Britain was $10.7 billion, representing 2.88% of world GDP. The respective figures for China were 82.8b, 22.3%, and for India 90.7b, 24.4%. By 1870, these had changed to $100b (9.1%) for Britain, $189b (17.2%) for China, and $134b (12.2%) for India. [page 7]
Disconnect and denial abounds in some quarters of the British aristocracy even today. The chief executive of the Standard Chartered Bank remarked that the challenge is now (in 2002) to "build upon the courageous, creative, and truly international legacy of the East India Company." [page 14]. "Rod Eddington, one time chief executive of British Airways" in a similar vein saw it "as a case study in how corporations succeed 'by dint of hard work, shrewdness and charm.' " [page 14, 15]
The author points out, correctly, that these "romantic interpretations ... fail to confront the costs associated with th Company's business practices.Read more ›
As the East India companies were set up in the 1600s or earlier, East India trade also quite possibly was the reason for (to create a repository of wealth within Europe), and funded the Industrial Revolution. And funded the American exploration of many of these nations - Britain, France, Netherlands.
East India trade created many Yankee millionaires - a detailed description is given in the book Yankee India.
The Dutch East India Company paid out a 20% dividend to its shareholders, every year for 196 years.
Using the rule of 72 for calculation with compound interest, hypothetically, if a person invested $1 in the Dutch East India Company in 1602, it would be worth, $24,900 trillion (2 raised to the power of 54), in 1798.
Nick Robins make the subject exciting, weaving together many threads, in what might be the most complete and reasoned package on an otherwise complex subject, since Jared Diamonds wrote Guns, Germs and Steel.
It's concise, clear and evocative. There's not a boring or wasted page in the book, and that's an almost unbelievable accomplishment with subjects of this nature.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book's title is somewhat misleading. This is book is less about corporation and more about British colonial history. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kishore
Reading this book has made it blindingly obvious to me that the nature of men has enabled the nature of man to evolve. Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Pat Dunphey
For all of you who think along tea party lines and dream of small government: this book shows you where to go! Outsource government! Give it to the good great corporations! Read morePublished on August 10, 2011 by H. Schneider