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The Men Who Ruled India

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  119 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Hardcover, Abridged, 368 pages
Published March 1st 1985 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Tariq Mahmood
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a subject which has intrigued me for some years now, how we're a handful of foreigners able to rule over millions of Indians for so long? Are the Indians inherently pliant and servile by nature? Or did the Indian see some clear benefit from the new master race?

The author starts from 1600, when the East India Company applied for their first warehouse in Surat from a drunken and debauched Emperor Jehangir. One of the first differences to be noted by English ambassador Hawkins was the nature
Pramod Pant
'Men who ruled India' could have gained a bit more of credibility by adding 'for 200 years' to the title. That actually is the problem with the Raj period. It is close to us, it is personal to a lot of people, both British and Indians and some tend to forget that the men who ruled 'India' go way back thousands of years. British Raj was merely a blip.

The idea of India as 'a Nation created by the Raj' was orchestrated by the British to make the occupation comfortable for them. It was a fable. Tra
Sajith Kumar
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
India has a tradition several millennia old, of which the last two centuries wrought more change than all the others combined. A great part of this last period saw the country ruled by the British, who first came here as traders, then accumulated military power for the protection of trade from brigands who arose from the unsettled nature of affairs caused by the political vacuum of post-Mughal era, and who afterwards found it expedient to set their own rules and administer the country. This str ...more
Mansoor Azam
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: raj
If you haven't read much on British Raj in India then this one is an ideal first picking, for a couple of basic reasons. The author, Philip Mason, was a civil servant in India in the last days of Raj and thus a reliable first hand man to read on the subject. Secondly, comparing to the years in question, (early 1600's till 1947), a whopping 350 years give or take, the book is not tons of pages but around same as the years i.e 350 pages (give or take a few). Thus for starters it's a comprehensive ...more
a classic that gives a lot of the early English figures - though this is abridged version of his more thorough work. I am taking this one slowly. Enjoyed in the end but not for everyone - Only really of interest in modern Indian History
Gareth Hughes
An interesting book with regards to insight in to certain events and the culture of the EIC and the ICS, and the privileged wealthy elite class who staffed them, and their self belief that they were 'superior', to the Indian population, and also the lower classes of Britain...and to other Europeans....actually to basically everyone. the factual narrative is quite detailed, but culture the author demonstrates is more. The author often turns from a character description, to adoration of the 'heroi ...more
Kaustubh Kirti
A beautifully written book circa 1955, a great power pact account of the 350 years of British rule in India but as what people say about history it is always open to interpretations. The book is a great account of Generals and Viceroys since Hawkins and Roe walked in India. It talks of the British against the Mughal Rule, against the French the Carnatic Wars etc. War after war they story progresses towards 1947 when the British grant India freedom.

The key issue that I find in the book are a few
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: colonial
A quite detailed expose of the English administrators, soldiers, traders, merchants who made up the British imperial tide washing over India, tracking their progress beginning from the 16th century through the gradual buildup and accumulation of territories by the EIC, the Mutiny and taking over by the Crown and so on till postwar Independence that marked the end of this jewel of the empire. Mason tells brief stories of all sorts of characters involved, from the famous to the lesser known, so it ...more
Rohan Puri
Jan 21, 2014 rated it liked it
A great book for any Indian who wants to see both sides of a coin.
Throughout all known works in India regarding the British rule, they have always been portrayed to be on the negative side.(Though which side they actually belonged to is not the point.)
This book gives us an understanding of the British rule from the British perspective. A fine and extensive piece of work which enlightens a lot more than what is typically presumed to have occurred during the British times in India.
Syed Naser
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it
The book is inclined to convince the reader that the British Rule in India has been a blessing and the poor Indians were always in love with their British Rulers over the native Rajas which cannot be always true. But is a good account of two hundred years of British Rule from the perspective of Britishers.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
A nice look back at how British went into ruling our country, but from a different perspective. Enlightens us about the difficulties they had to face and problems they had to solve, which is often not said anywhere in the stories we hear about the British raj. Also, shows the differences among the different kingdoms that made the sub-continent and how it was advantageous to someone taking over.
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Mason was an officer in the Indian Civil Service and his books were written almost to justify the British role in India. They were well written and accurate, and are now fascinating to see how the British felt about themselves in this colonial role
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book gives a clear insight about the British rule in India. An engrossing read put down in admirable style by the author. A must for anyone interested in history and India's past.Revealing, wish i had read it earlier.
Subroto Chattopadhyay
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Plato scripted the philosophy, the English put it into the curriculum in hailebury ..... Wonderful book
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Older book. Interesting perspective of the British in India.
Praval Priyaranjan
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Abhishek Kumar
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Diana Chambers
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From the obituary in The Independent: PHILIP MASON OBE, CIE will be remembered first and foremost as a writer of history, not of the exhaustively researched, academic kind addressed to fellow specialists, but sound, well-reflected, worldly-wise history, beautifully written and effortlessly read, such as appeals to people of experience in every walk of life. Less well-known, but no less important, ...more
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