I picked up the first of Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet (1966–75)—four novels about the fall of British colonialism in India—for something to read on the plane, expecting a standard-issue historical novel, but instead was surprised to find retired missionary ladies going quietly insane from reading too much Emerson and an unsentimental description of the last days of an institution that nobody believed in anymore. It’s a good example of how not to end an occupation of a foreign country.