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TheRuling Caste

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David Gilmour's books include award-winning biographies of Rudyard Kipling, Lord Curzon and the I... Read More

Product Description

David Gilmour's books include award-winning biographies of Rudyard Kipling, Lord Curzon and the Italian writer, Giuseppe di Lampedusa. He is also the author of Cities of Spain and of several works on the politics of Spain and the Middle East. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a former Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford, he is a contributor to the New York Review of Books.

In 1900 just over a thousand British civil servants ruled a population of nearly 300 million people spread over a territory now covered by India, Pakistan, Burma and Bangladesh. In its time, the Indian Civil Service was regarded as efficient, benevolent and incorruptible, but revisionist historians have recently questioned its competence and derided its altruism.

In this absorbing, extensively researched new book, David Gilmour traces the lives of its officials, from recruitment to retirement, from jungle to Government House, from a bungalow in Burma to a residency in Rajputana. He describes their work and their leisure, their intellectual and their private lives. The result is a portrait more varied and complicated than that painted by their old admirers, and yet fairer and subtler than those routinely produced by their post-colonial detractors.

Beautifully written and endlessly diverting... ExcellentA book that is not only informative, but also lucid, witty, and extremely well-writtenBased on stunningly exhaustive research in official archives and family papers, and written with tremendous wit, style and sense of pace, Gilmour's book is a masterful account of British life in India. If you have ever wondered what it would have been like to run the Raj, The Ruling Caste has all the answers.Gilmour is the perfect companion to Victorian India - shrewd, funny, always a joy to read. He writes lean, elegant prose and wears his learning lightly... In David Gilmour, the British in India have at last found the historian they deserve. This is a marvellous bookMasterly and fascinating

Product Details

Title: TheRuling Caste
Author: David Gilmour
SKU: BK0465670
EAN: 9780712665650
Language: English

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