The Corporation That Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational

The English East India Company was the mother of the modern multinational. Its trading empire encircled the globe, importing Asian luxuries such as spices, textiles and teas. But it also conquered much of India with its private army and broke open China’s markets with opium. The Company’s practices shocked its contemporaries and still reverberate today.

The Corporation That Changed the World is the first book to reveal the Company’s enduring legacy as a corporation. This expanded edition explores how the four forces of scale, technology, finance and regulation drove its spectacular rise and fall. For decades, the Company was simply too big to fail, and stock market bubbles, famines, drug-running and even duels between rival executives are to be found in this new account.

For Robins, the Company’s story provides vital lessons on both the role of corporations in world history and the steps required to make global business accountable today.