By William Dalrymple

Gleaming with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels again the layers of Delhi's centuries-old background, revealing a rare array of characters alongside the way-from eunuchs to descendants of serious Moguls. With refreshingly open-minded interest, William Dalrymple explores the seven "dead" towns of Delhi in addition to the 8th city-today's Delhi. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits which are acknowledged to guarantee the city's Phoenix-like regeneration regardless of what percentage occasions it truly is destroyed. pleasing, attention-grabbing, and informative, City of Djinns is an impossible to resist mixture of study and experience.

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Extra info for City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

Sample text

The broader perspective reveals systemic network effects that could not have been pieced out or observed at the level of individual ports of call. Theoretical Framework There were two novel aspects to the English East India Company. It was one of the very first large and bureaucratic commercial organizations. In this sense, the Company was novel in that it was more centralized than previous forms of early modern commercial organization, such as partnerships or joint ventures. However, it also had extremely high levels of employee autonomy, indicating that it was more decentralized than other similar joint-­stock companies.

To further complicate its role, the Company prefigured organizational forms that were not widely adopted until the twentieth century. Thus, the Company seems to have both contributed to many of the changes we associate with the transition to modernity and at other times impeded that change, as when it sided with James II in the Glorious Revolution, and in addition it offers a vision of a path not taken—­in terms of networked organizations, multinational business forms, or sovereign corporations.

Smuggling goods into England cut into Company profits by creating an alternative supply in England. The country trade of the employees hurt the Company in different ways. Some embezzled Company monies to fund their own trade (Furber 1965: 29). Private trade buyers were also usually in competition with the Company in Asian ports—­with the private traders representing both parties. This situation usually led to higher prices and lower quality goods for the Company. Nevertheless most historians now agree that England’s fortunes in the East were closely tied to the rise of the private trade.

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