General Charles James Napier was sent to confront the tens of thousands of Chartist protestors marching through the cities of the North of England in the late 1830s.
A well-known leftist who agreed with the Chartist demands for democracy, Napier managed to keep the peace.
In South Asia, the same man would later provoke a war and conquer Sind.
In this first-ever scholarly biography of Napier, Edward Beasley asks how the conventional depictions of the man as a peacemaker in England and a warmonger in Asia can be reconciled.
Employing deep archival research and close readings of Napier's published books (ignored by prior scholars), this well-written volume demonstrates that Napier was a liberal imperialist who believed that if freedom was right for the people of England it was right for the people of Sind -- even if "freedom" had to be imposed by military force.
Napier also confronted the messy aftermath of Western conquest, carrying out nation-building with mixed success, trying to end the honour killing of women, and eventually discovering the limits of imperial interference.