Macaulay by Zareer Masani
Britain's Liberal Imperialist

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This engaging biography by the historian Zareer Masani is mercifully devoid of 21st-century judgmentalism.


Thomas Macaulay always inspired both admiration and hostility. He introduced English education to India, creating a class of westernised Indians often reviled as ‘Macaulay’s children’, but today many former ‘Untouchables’ literally worship him as their liberator from caste tyranny.

This biography gives a vivid insight into one of the towering intellects of Victorian Britain: a brilliant, complex, self-made man, who rose from middle-class origins to the highest circles of the world’s largest empire. We follow his meteoric journey from child prodigy to Whig parliamentary orator, then imperial administrator and liberal reformer in India, and later Cabinet minister, revered elder statesman and famed historian back in Britain.

Zareer Masani reclaims Macaulay as a pioneer of globalisation based on the English language and Western values. A strong advocate of liberal interventionism across the globe, he was the ideological precursor of today's Western military interventions in the world’s trouble-spots.

About Zareer Masani

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Zareer Masani has an Oxford history doctorate and is the author of four previous historical books, including a widely acclaimed biography of the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He spent two decades as a current affairs producer for the BBC and is now a freelance journalist and broadcaster. A Macaulay child himself, he is the son of the late Indian politician Minoo Masani and grandson of the eminent historian Sir Rustom Masani.
Published July 4, 2013 by Vintage Digital. 292 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Young Adult.
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Reviewed by John Kampfner on Jul 20 2013

This engaging biography by the historian Zareer Masani is mercifully devoid of 21st-century judgmentalism.

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