On 14th August 1947, Britain's 300-year-old Indian Empire collapsed and mass migration occurred as Muslims fled north and Hindus fled south. This text examines this event, analyzing the rise of India's freedom movement, the growth of Congress and the Muslim League, and the transfer of power into Indian hands. The book examines the disastrous mistakes made by politicians, and the interplay between figures such as Churchill, Mountbatten and Gandhi. The sources used range from newly declassified secret documents to the memories of refugees. The book has been published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of India's independence.
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At midnight on 14 August 1947, Britain's 350-year-old Indian Empire was cracked into three pieces, creating India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The greatest mass migration in history began, as Muslims fled north and Hindus fled south, nearly a million being massacred on the way. Britain's role as a world power came to an end, and the course of Asia's future was irrevocably set.
Using a compelling mixture of scholarship, travel and personal narrative, Patrick French reveals the story behind this crucial period in world history. He analyses the rise of India's freedom movement in the early part of this century, the growth of Congress and the Muslim League, and the final, fateful struggle that led to the collapse of British rule and the transfer of power into Indian hands. Journeying across the subcontinent from Karachi to Dhaka, he encounters figures ranging from displaced feudal matriarchs to a sculptor of national heroes.
'Liberty or Death' offers a radical reinterpretation of the events surrounding India's independence and partition, including the disastrous mistakes that were made by politicians, and the bizarre reasoning behind many of their decisions. Exploring the interplay between opposing characters such as Churchill, Wavell, Nehru, Patel, Jinnah, Mountbatten and Gandhi, it reveals a fascinating tale of idealism and manipulation, hope and tragedy. With sources extending from newly declassified intelligence documents to the memories of families of Bihari refugees, Patrick French gives a riveting account of an epic decade, the impact of which reverberates across the subcontinent to this day.
ACCLAIM FOR PATRICK FRENCH'S YOUNGHUSBAND 'The Last Great Imperial Adventurer:'
"One of the most dazzling debuts British biography has witnessed in decades"
NIALL FERGUSON, 'Daily Mail'
"I found myself reading through the night. This is a rare gem of a book"
FIAMMETTA ROCCO, 'Independent on Sunday'
"This truly is a brilliant book, and brilliantly funny as well"
JOHN KEEGAN, 'Daily Telegraph'
"They don't come much more enjoyable than this"
JAN MORRIS, 'Independent'
JONATHAN KEATES, 'Observer'
Patrick French was born in England in 1966. He spent four years at Edinburgh University studying English and American literature, and is the author of ‘Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer’ (1994), which won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize.
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Book Description HarperCollins. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0002557711 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0000550
Book Description HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS LTD, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002557711
Book Description HarperCollins, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002557711