Weekend Reading

Recollections of books carried back and forth on the elevated train -- in a long-term, though belated, attempt to learn something about the world.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

History of Tipu Sultan by Mohibbul Hasan

Tipu Sultan's claim to fame is his destruction by Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington - making him a notable victim of British imperialism.  He was also defeated by Charles Cornwallis (better known to Americans as the loser at the Battle of Yorktown.). He also deployed a kind of rocket that was adopted by the British and used against Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 - hence the "Rockets red glare" in the American National Anthem.

Or, at least that's how he's  known in Anglo culture - and sadly that also seems to be the focus of this well researched but dim-witted history written by a late 20th C.  professor of Islamic history at the University of Calcutta.  Poor Tipu!  So wise - so kind - so energetic - so competent.  If only he had not been betrayed by the Nizam of Hyderabad as well as Marantha Empire as well as his own officers and agents.