This is a short book on a very long and tumultuous period of Indian history and Judd is ambitious in tracing the rise and fall of the East India Company rule and the subsequent British Raj in this summary fashion. However, this concise account is written in the best traditions of popular history and is aimed, one would surmise, primarily at the general reader rather than an academic audience per se. But while there are no novel interpretations or new data presented, it nevertheless has much to commend it.
The book covers the years 1600-1947 with the help of ten chapters and a short epilogue. It follows in its schematic structure the pattern of established text books on the subject – the narrative begins predictably with a sweeping account of the beginnings of the East India Company’s trading interests in the spectacular wealth of the East at the end of the 16th century and ends with the denouement of Independence with Partition in 1947.