Book News American retired theoretical physicist Bernstein, best known for his Cranks, Quarks, and the Cosmos , describes the historical oddity of the tiny island of Britain becoming master of the huge tropical subcontinent of India. His story pivots on the career of Hastings (1732-1818), who made his way from the lowest clerk in the British East India Company to its highest office in Calcutta then returned to England and a seven-year trial for high crimes and misdemeanors. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Natl Book Network Nothing in the history of empire is stranger than the creation of British rule in India, where a small European island became master of a subcontinent ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayas. In the late 18th century the person most responsible for this was Warren Hastings, Britain's first governor-general of India. Jeremy Bernstein brings Hastings's story vividly to life amidst the rise of British power. His impeachment trial, one of the great spectacles of the age, forms the conclusion to this fascinating, unusual, and ultimately powerful narrative. "A riveting book, beautifully researched and narrated....It has opened a whole chapter, many chapters, of social and political history for me."—Oliver Sacks.