... a vivid and richly detailed story ... Dalrymple...is delightfully evenhanded ... the greatest virtue of this disturbingly enjoyable book is perhaps less the questions it answers than the new ones it provokes about where corporations fit into the world, both then and now ... Dalrymple is surely right that 'in the end, it all came down to money.' That is perhaps the true lesson of the company’s history—and one that makes Dalrymple’s book worth reading by everyone, M.B.A. student or not.
... rampaging, brilliant, passionate ... Mr. Dalrymple gives us every sword-slash, every scam, every groan and battle cry...The Anarchy is not simply a gripping tale of bloodshed and deceit, of unimaginable opulence and intolerable starvation. It is shot through with an unappeasable moral passion ... Mr. Dalrymple’s narrative does not carry on much beyond the brutal victories of the Wellesley brothers in the Maratha Wars at the beginning of the 1800s. He is surely right in seeing this as the crucial period. But the later eclipse and extinction of the company would make a no less thrilling sequel.
... magnificent ... Dalrymple is an accomplished historian with a gift for imposing narrative clarity on a complex story. He combines a profound understanding of the background against which the Company’s story played out with an impressive capacity to weave a range of historical voices into this history ... Dalrymple has a sharp eye for a telling phrase ... explodes myths that have accreted around the history of the Company like barnacles on the hulls of its ships. Dalrymple’s beautifully paced prose corrects the view that there was a masterplan for conquering the subcontinent. He also disabuses readers of the mystique surrounding the civilising mission of empire, and exposes 200-year-old fake news about Tipu Sultan ... could not be described as light reading ... Ultimately, Dalrymple shines a forensic light on the knotty historical relationship between commercial and imperial power.