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The stories of Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Premchand Roychand are testament to this. The Banias also brought with them their traditional institutions and networks, which proved useful when it came to brokering the cotton business between the fields in south Gujarat and Kathiawar and the port of Bombay.

Because the early merchant princes went on to become generous philanthropists who made a visible impact on public culture, the island city acquired a modern atmosphere. Public philanthropy brought respectability to commerce and dignity to the bourgeoisie, as our author explains in some detail. But the big stimulus which lifted the island city on to the world stage came from the outside. Bombay became part of a global trading network in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

In writing about the commercial capitalism of eighteenth and nineteenth-century India, Lakshmi Subramanian has brought in a fresh perspective. While not denying that it was an age of European domination, she is concerned with how well Indian entrepreneurs adapted to the new opportunities and capitalized on their indigenous ways of doing business. There are many lessons to be learned from her book. Another lesson is that free trade holds immense potential for creating the wealth of a nation. Adam Smith and others in eighteenth-century England understood this and hence they fought to break the monopoly of the Company.

The enemy of the market and of prosperity is monopoly and lack of competition. A third lesson is the potential power of private capital to create public good. Expected to ship within 7 - 11 working days. Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate? Let us know about it. Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?

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