Peace, Poverty and Betrayal: A New History of British India w/ Roderick Matthews

16 Feb 2022 – 18:30 – 20:00 GMT
The British in India Historical Trust (online)

Join author Roderick Matthews for a talk about his new history of British India, Peace, Poverty and Betrayal.

About the book
‘Mr. Matthews’s discerning book isn’t a revisionist defense of the Raj. It is, instead, a warning against the glib postcolonial assumption “that because British rule is viewed as bad, therefore anything else would have been better.”‘ — Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal

How can we explain Britain’s long rule in India? Not by ‘divide and rule’ but by ‘oblige and rule’: the foundation of common purpose between colonisers and powerful Indians. Roderick Matthews argues that this was more a state of being than a system: British policy was never clear or consistent; the East India Company went from a manifestly incompetent ruler to arguably the world’s first liberal government; among British and Indians alike there were both progressive and conservative attitudes to colonisation. It was this very diversity and ambiguity of British-Indian relations that drove the social changes that led to the struggle for independence.

About the author

Roderick Matthews is the author of Peace, Poverty and Betrayal: A New History of British India (Hurst 2021). He studied history at Balliol College, Oxford, and is a freelance writer specialising in Indian history and politics. His other books include Jinnah vs. Gandhi.

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