Preface [chapter]

1976 Partner in Empire  
The story of Dwarkanath Tagore first came to my attention in a seminar conducted by Richard Park at Berkeley twenty years ago. I was intrigued by the discovery that the grandfather of the poet Rabindranath and the father of the saintly Debendranath was an astute business tycoon who owned fleets of ships, coal mines, insurance companies, banks, and indigo plantations. At once I sensed the likelihood of a dramatic conflict between the worldly father and his other-worldly son and imagined
more » ... h's profound disappointment when Debendranath refused to carry on the hard-won business empire. In this case research confirmed my guess. On another point, however, I was proven wrong. I had anticipated that the adulatory historians of the Tagore family had exaggerated Dwarkanath's achievements, and I was surprised to discover that he was all they had said and more. In a British-dominated business world, a Bengali Brahmin indeed stood at the pinnacle of power.
doi:10.1525/9780520322356-001 fatcat:oleyu74lind33pgabae2bqbjdi