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British East India Company - Book recommendation?


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Prem Watsa in his latest letter to shareholders mentions the British East India Company as his favorite business from the past. I'd like to read more on the story of that company but there are several books on it available at amazon.com and I'm not sure which one I should pick. Has anyone of you read about that business and has a book to recommend?


thanks in advance


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I haven't read any books on the British East India Company, but I have to think that Watsa's comment about his "favorite company" was a bit tongue in cheek. 


It would be really odd if an Indian proclaimed that the East India Company was his favorite company, since the activities of the British East India Company went hand in hand with British imperialism in South Asia. 

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Yes they were imperial bastards, but they were also extremely good at what they did - & the basic model worked in pretty much any location (India, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, etc.)


Some of the 'unpopular' but extremely practical legacies, have been English as the 'language of business' - & the 'colonial' universities using the 'English' educational system as the matriculation screen for an extremely limited number of places. Graduate only the best & the brightest, in something very similar to the old Chinese 'madarin' system, & have all your future leaders in one place during some of their cultural 'formative' years. Of course if you're in the 98% that didn't make it - this is a terrible system!


Most local indians speak the common language of their state, & English; without English, even talking to the guy in the next state would be extremely difficult. Rather than reinvent the wheel, learn from those who've allready worked the bugs out!



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Give it another 100 years, and the common language of India (and much of rest of world) might be an amalgam called "filmi".


Indian storytelling is outstanding, 2500+ years, tremendous wealth of stories/ideas --- and now technology allows distribution.

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