The praise showered by Salman Rushdie(That rarity, a scholar of history who can really write) seems well placed going by the simple and lucidly attractive style of writing. The introduction sets the pace when it is told that the Company , though thought mostly as a 'Mission Civilisartice': a benign national transfer of knowledge, railways and arts of civilisation from West to East, was actually authorised by its founding charter to 'wage war'. It indeed captured a Portuguese vessel on its maiden voyage in 1602(Pg xxiv). It goes on to narrate the story of one of the wealthiest polities of the world looted by a company. It is the story of a mighty Mughal empire being replaced by a company.