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The Corporation That Changed the World

The Corporation That Changed the World

How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational

Nick Robins

This is the dark history of the original multinational company

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.

'A powerful analysis of the rise and fall of the British East India Company, a private company that conquered a subcontinent and subjugated an entire people' - Huw Bowen, Professor of Imperial and Maritime History, Swansea University

'Elegantly written and sharply argued, Nick Robins’ gripping account of the rise and fall of the English East India Company brings to life a crucial episode in the history of globalisation' - Sankar Muthu, Princeton University

'The East India Company might have been relegated to the dustbin of history, but Robins digs it out, looks into the nooks and crannies, and comes up with plenty of insights that today's managers will find rich and rewarding' - Mick Blowfield, Senior Research Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Oxford University, co-author of Corporate Responsibility (2011)

'Nick Robins' history of astonishing corporate greed, excess and abuse of power is brilliantly told, and perfectly timed' - Isabel Hilton, Editor of China Dialogue

'A brilliant, important contribution to an understanding of development and poverty' - Mari Marcel Thekaekara, New Internationalist

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
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2012
Paperback ISBN: 9780745331959
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745331966
eBook ISBN: 9781849646925

280 pages

135mm x 215mm

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