Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire

[PDF / Epub] ✅ Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire By Larry Collins – The end of an empire The birth of two nationsSeventy years ago at midnight on August 14 1947 the Union Jack began its final journey down the flagstaff of Viceroy’s House New Delhi A fifth of humanit The end of an empire The birth of Midnight How PDF º two nationsSeventy years ago at midnight on Freedom at PDF/EPUB ² August the Union Jack began its final journey down the flagstaff of Viceroy’s House at Midnight How PDF/EPUB ì New Delhi A fifth of humanity claimed their independence from the greatest empire history has ever at Midnight How Britain Gave PDF \ seen—but the price of freedom was high as a nation erupted into riots and bloodshed partition and warFreedom at Midnight is the true story of the events surrounding Indian independence beginning with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten of Burma as the last Viceroy of British India and ending with the assassination and funeral of Mahatma Gandhi The book was an international bestseller and achieved enormous acclaim in the United States Italy Spain and France“There is no single passage in this profoundly researched book that one could actually fault Having been there most of the time in uestion and having assisted at most of the encounters I can vouch for the accuracy of its general mood It is a work of scholarship of investigation research and of significance”—James Cameron The New York Sunday Times“Freedom at Midnight is a panoramic spectacular of a book that reads like sensational fiction than like history even though it is all true The narrative is as lively as informative and as richly detailed as a maharaja’s palace”—Judson Hand The New York Daily News“Outrageously and endlessly fascinating is my awestruck reaction to Freedom at Midnight The new sure to be bestseller by Larry Collins and Dominiue Lapierre It is all here maharajas and tigers filth and sualor extravagance and macabre sex massacres smells starvation cruelty and heroism Collins and Lapierre have made human history breathtaking and heartbreaking”—Margaret Manning The Boston Globe“No subject I thought as I picked up Freedom at at Midnight How Britain Gave PDF \ Midnight could be of less interest to me than a story of how Independence came to India after three centuries of British rule I opened the book and began to flip through the photographs here was a picture of Gandhi dressed in his loincloth going to have tea with the King of England; there was a picture of a maharaja being measured against his weight in gold; and another of thousands of vultures devouring corpses in the street I began to read fascinated Here was the whole chronicle illustrated with anecdotes and masterful character sketches of how the British had come to India how they had ruled it and how finally compelled by the force of economics and history they had been forced to leave it divided Collins and Lapierre are such good writers that their books are so interesting that they are impossible to put down”—JM Sanchez The Houston Chronicle.Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire

Born in West Hartford Connecticut he was educated Midnight How PDF º at the Loomis Chaffee Institute in Windsor Freedom at PDF/EPUB ² Connecticut and graduated from Yale as a BA in He worked in the advertising department at Midnight How PDF/EPUB ì of Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati Ohio before being conscripted into the US Army While serving at Midnight How Britain Gave PDF \ in the public affairs office of the Allied Headuarters in Paris from he met Dominiue Lapierre w.

Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire Kindle
  • Paperback
  • 629 pages
  • Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire
  • Larry Collins
  • English
  • 05 November 2015
  • 9788125904809

10 thoughts on “Freedom at Midnight How Britain Gave Away an Empire

  1. says:

    Oh goody yet another book written through colonial tinted glassesIt's a well written easy reading book so I can see why it's so popular and if it was labelled fictional I'd give it four stars for fictional it is speaking of a world where the British Raj and it's leaders brought civilization to the masses but the masses turned the wise Brits away even though they were led by that holiest of holy cows Lord Mountbatten and this turning away caused mass bloodshed in the process It's almost a biblical story and no wonder so many people still think fondly of empire they probably read books like this oneThe target audience for the book seems to be people who want to be able to understand just enough of the British Raj to absolve the Raj of any guilt and blame Jinnah and others for much of the ills of partitionThe authors struggle with the very basic idea of why some brown people wanted independence especially when the British were so benevolent and wise and give up and just talk about it like it was just something which was happening no hard feelings really except against JinnahThe book ignores practically all Indian writings and even famous British writers like Adam Smith or Florence Nightingale who were harping on about the British needlessly killing millions in famines every few years in British India Famines bigger than the holocaust skip that lets concentrate and talk about Mountbattens shiny medals and his big big parties And oh look Mountbatten has a Rolls Royce And he's the grandson of some ueen or the otherSo on one side we have Mountbatten working hard inviting a few brown men to luncheons every now and then working so hard with hardly any help just a few thousand servants not much at all and on on the other we have those spoilt little boys Gandhi and Jinnah needlessly talking about freedom and what not It was enough to put Mountbatten of his tea but poor little Mountbatten suffered through it all why one year he met Jinnah twice And after each visit he had to go recover in the hill stations of Simla because Jinnah was such an unpleasant little man asking uncomfortable uestions Forget the uestions did you know Jinnah was a stiff man who had this very uncomfortable stare?What were those uncomfortable uestions? If you only read this book you won't know for the authors were obviously very aware that Mountbatten descendents themselves would be reading this book and they didn't want to make them uncomfortable with annoying little uestionsSome reviews point out that this book is well researched I'm sure it is but only in that section of the British Imperial Archives which has been scrubbed of voices which are in any way critical of British rule or attempt to look at it honestlyLittle things like India having to bear the staggering high military cost of Empire don't exist in the authors fictionalized world Heck the authors go all the other way and say that the British lost money during the Raj and it was literally out of the goodness of their white hearts that the British ruled India History is a story and the problem with this book is not that it's a story the problem is that it's a glib view which completely omits and washes British hands of what they did during their occupation and departure from India

  2. says:

    Very rarely comes a defining moment that changes history to the extent of being un recognizable and very rarely comes a book that changes your life perceptions and everything that you presumed to be true once and for all Independence of India was the defining moment in modern India and this book by the author duo Dominiue Lappierre and Larry Collins on the before and after math of the same is the defining book in my lifeHonestly speaking not even the most lauding words of mine can do justice to this beautiful poignant and soul stirring historical documentary cum novel in which we glide through the charming yet terrifying history of our own nation during the period of 1939 49 stupefied terrorized and wide eyed in awe and chill as the author duo take us on a once in a lifetime kind of ride that is bound to change our very perceptions of history beliefs and ideologies regarding the very country and society that we inhabit Frankly never has a single book amazed and intrigued me so much while being so educative and informativeThe most astounding achievement of this book is that it rips out the aura of myths that have agglomerated around our political figures associated with the freedom movement and humanizes each and every one of them while being totally neutral and being absolutely honest with the facts Every Indian has grown up on a staple of myths and legends associated with our freedom fighters These fables have a tendency to sweep history in very broad strokes ignoring much and instead forcing us into believing generalised facts such as those about all Britishersforeigners being diabolic all freedom fighters being pious to the hilt and many others Well be rest assured that this book will end up ripping out each of those notions and burning them to cinders Another fascinating aspect of this book is its characterization of Mahatma Gandhi so real yet surreal at times It shows you in clear light the real essence of being the father of a nation It shows you what it meant to be one MKGandhi You are bound to bow in humility and fall in love with this mahatma whether you have read good or bad or nothing about him beforeThe other facets of the Indian independence story like the Kashmir problem and the issue of princely states have also been dealt in a very detailed manner too and are wonderful read on their own accord themselvesThere is also a very horrifying and realistic account of the tragedy of partition and its bloody aftermath Through this piece the author duo have delved into some of the darker sides of the prominent figures of that era and the whole populace as a whole This portion is the most gut wrenching one and you are left to wonder in amazement at the sheer magnitude of craziness and horror of the whole episode One gets to know why this is the one deep blemish that has stained the minds of every subseuent generation on the both sides of the border This book is recommended for anyone interested in knowing our freedom fighters freedom movement the Raj the Maharajas and the Mahatma very substantially if not wholly or in full measureAbove all this is recommended for every Indian who wants a tryst with the uandary that is INDIA Lastly I am sorry if I ended up writing a eulogy instead of an honest critical review but such is the place of this book in my life that it is almost impossible for me to view it in a critical way

  3. says:

    A highly biased book which masuerades as non fiction but actually reads like sensational fictionIt was an international bestseller and any readers from outside the subcontinent are likely to get a very misleading pictureIf one wants to read an objective and impartial analysis of the events that led to Indian independence and the creation of Pakistanone should stay away from this bookIf one wants merely to be entertainedthenthis book will doReaders in Pakistan may find it particularly off putting as it gives a very negative portrayal of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and essentially is an argument against partitionThe book looks at events through the eyes of Lord MountbattenIndia's last viceroyHe is the good guy as far as the authors are concernedand must save India from itselfThe British were a race that God had destined to rule the Indians and had acuired India naturallyThe authors use the mass communal slaughter that was taking place at the time as a device to keep the tension buildingThey relate how a canal ran red with blood and the description of the killings is very graphicIt is lots of scenes like this which helped to turn the book into a huge bestseller My distaste for this book notwithstandingI acknowledge that the authors possess good storytelling skillsA colourful chapter describes the lavish lifestyles of Indian Maharajas as the fate of the princely states hung in the balanceI read this book several years agoit kept me turning the pagesBut looking back I don't remember it fondly because of its very obvious bias

  4. says:

    The saga of the Indian subcontinent’s independence from Britain and the creation of the states of India and Pakistan told through a collection of interrelated stories about major events and important figures that influenced the independence movementA case of interesting history writing that doesn’t present events in the dry matter of fact chronological order although the semblance of chronology have to be and is maintained in the narrative as we find in usual history books This makes it an accessible book for new readersAll ualities counted however there is a big problem with the perspective This book comes off as portraying the functioning and benevolent British Raj that sadly and unfortunately had to go due to extenuating circumstances The consensus among historians puts much blame on the short sightedness of the last British Viceroy Lord Mountbatten and the fake urgency he created for his personal reasons to “get over with it” by prematurely taking the decision to partition the country This urgency to finish the job as uickly as possible led to decisions that ripped apart the social fabric of the country echoes of which are still heard in contemporary Indo Pak relationsThis book in the most part is written by using Mountbatten’s archives and his direct interviews Not surprising then that he comes across as a helpless and powerless spectator who could do nothing in the face of consummate madness rioting killing raping and plundering that swept the Indian society on the eve of Partitionindependence and continued into many months Lord Mountbatten is almost absolved of making a terrible blunder whose conseuences his administration was unprepared to deal with even though he himself later admitted to the historian Stanley Wolpert confessing “I fucked it up”Mahatma Gandhi gets good coverage as he deserves He was the only major politician to see through the horrors of Partition and the bloodshed it would unleash No one listened to his warnings; Jinnah turned a deaf ear Nehru Patel duo were eager to see British go and rule an independent country; but all of them were in for a rude shock when rioting and killing on a large scale ensued as soon as Partition and independence were formally announced Originally posted 301214

  5. says:

    This is a terribly difficult book to rate One the one hand it will give the reader a profound sense of the tragedy of Indian partition upon independence in 1947 Ten million people were displaced in the border crossings that followed the creation of India and Pakistan The loss of life is epic and extraordinary and any who read it will uickly realize that members of all religious groups in this case Christians Muslims Sikhs and Hindus are capable of horrific violence as well as heroic acts of self sacrifice The book is over 500 pages long and covers only one year there is no mistaking how high and how vast the stakes are as one works through it And the portrait of Gandhi is truly spectacularOn the other hand the authors were clearly Anglophiles enad of the last British Viceroy in India Lord Mountbatten Though they acknowledge a few of his epic mistakes several bits of history are conveniently left out such as the fact that the British largely created and fostered the animosities that led to pre and post partition violence by promoting Sikhs Ismailis and Hindus as imperial agents and severely disenfranchising and terrorizing Muslims representatives of the waning Mughal empire that the Brits conuered in order to take India within a climate of extreme disparity One possible reason for this lack of crucial details the authors want the readers to believe that the violence of partition and partition itself was largely the fault of Muhammad Ali Jinnah the political force behind the creation of Pakistan The authors depict Jinnah as absolutist in his ego maniacal need to be the father of a new nation rather than acknowledge the validity of his concerns that Muslims would never be treated eually in a majority Hindu independent India and might come to suffer even worse than they did under the British Perhaps this is also the reason why they scarcely mention BR Ambedkar self appointed political leader of India's dalit untouchable populations? Ambedkar one of the authors of the Constitution also feared the fate of that community in an independent India and converted to Buddhism on his deathbed as an act of symbolic resistance to Hindu majority rule If one is looking for a gripping narrative however this book is certainly it The authors delve deeply into orientalist lore to depict the exploits of the maharajas princely rulers of various territories who had their sovereignty revoked upon independence in 1947 and their titles and privileges rescinded 25 years later and are not shy about including salacious often stomach churning and horrifying stories Indians even Gandhi at points come off looking like a pretty debilitated bunch and certainly not fit for self rule Unfortunately but perhaps not surprisingly this book is still the best selling account of Indian independence

  6. says:

    Until I read Freedom at Midnight I really had no desire to visit the Indian subcontinent Now I really want to visit India and if it were safe to do so visit Pakistan What a remarkable story these authors tell So many great passages to read and note Some humorous some factual some tragicThree centuries of ruling India had its impact on the men and women who came to work and rule The authors point out that getting young men to come to the “Jewel in the Crown” to make a name or a fortune was easy before WWI and hard after view spoiler Their great weakness was the distance from which they exercised their authority the terrible racial smugness setting them apart from those they ruled Never was that attitude of racial superiority summed up succinctly than it was by a former officer of the Indian Civil Service in a parliamentary debate at the turn of the century There was he said “a cherished conviction shared by every Englishman in India from the highest to the lowest by the planter’s assistant in his lonely bungalow and by the editor in the full light of his presidency town from the Chief Commissioner in charge of an important province to the Viceroy upon his throne the conviction in every man that he belongs to a race which God has destined to govern and subdue” The massacre of 680000 members of that race that God had destined to govern and subdue in the trenches of World War I wrote an end to the legend of a certain India A whole generation of young men who might have patrolled the Frontier administered the lonely districts or galloped their polo ponies down the long maidans was left behind in Flanders fields hide spoiler

  7. says:

    This is a highly readable look at one pivotal year in the history of India 1947 the year that marked the end of British rule and the partition of the subcontinent into two new nations India and Pakistan As an introduction to the topic it is hard to beat but readers need to be aware of several limitations1 It was written in 1975 All of the main players were dead with the exception of Mountbatten the last British Viceroy2 It was written in 1975 India and Pakistan were both hard at work rewriting their own histories and much archival data was impossible to find 3 Over four prior book collaborationsLarry Collins and Dominiue Lapierre honed a winning formula for accessible page turning popular histories focus on a narrow dramatic moment in time using a restricted point of view In Freedom at Midnight they do this superbly the back story is filled in with just enough detail for comprehension the focus is on just five key players and the narrative pacing is nothing short of breathtaking 4 Collins and Lapierre hit the historians' mother lode with unprecedented access to the papers and person of Louis Mountbatten; fortuitously since he would be murdered by IRA terrorists just four years later The 30 hours of interviews and thousands of pages of private diaries and notes the authors sifted through give this history a special inside look as seen by the man who than anyone shaped the final outcome The authors have done plenty of primary research and interviewing with staff and family of other players but there is no doubt that Mountbatten is front and center in this narrative and that the book occasionally veers towards hagiographyBecause of these limitations this book is a place to start not the place to stop in any serious study of South Asia but reviewers who have suggested that the authors are apologists for the British are dead wrong Collins and Lapierre make it clear that the British did a great deal of damage both before and during the final year click through to the full review to read uotes There were also many many stories not told by this book and key players who were missing from the narrative but that is the limitation of this type of history Jinnah does come off rather badly but again access to archival material was somewhat limited when the authors were penning this account Jinnah himself was dead in 1948 and his personality meant that most of his thoughts were carried to the graveThose interested in recent and expansive views of the events leading up to and following 1947 should consider The Great Partition The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin KhanThose looking for the inflection point when it all started to go wrong between England and India could hardly find a better place to start than White Mughals Love and Betrayal in Eighteenth Century India by William Dalrymple

  8. says:

    The best book ever written on the birth of Pakistan as a nation If you watch the movie Gandhi and read this book you have pretty much got the history of the time covered and a good understanding of the politics of the time Millions of people died when Hindus marched from the north and Muslims marched to the north Some years ago I had an Pakistani friend who showed a group of us some photos of his old school MY God our mutual Indian friend exclaimed That school building is my family homeVirtually overnight millions just picked up what they could carry and migrated either north or south depending on their religion Houses were abandoned on both sides and empty homes were claimed uickly by anyone opportunistic enoughThis account of the events leading up to partition and the subseuent creation of a new nation holds nothing back It was very upsetting in part graphic descriptions of the violence Loving citizens who were once neighbours turned on each other instantly Massacres were common India and Pakistan are still political foes I for one wish partition never happened It seems a terrible waste of life the country is better of united as one

  9. says:

    This is the first book I always recommend to anyone wanting to understand India better It covers the six months prior to and six months after 81547 when India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain So basically it starts with the decision to uit India a decision made so suddenly and brazenly and devoid of conscience in its execution as to totally boggle the mind and we still bear the fruits today witness what's going on in Pakistan And it ends with the assassination of Gandhi It opens with a full description of all the scriptural and other sacred referents involved in a Brahmin man heading out to the fields to take a dump in the early morning Nothing is as it would seem to an outsider in India After reading this book you begin to be something other than a total outsider

  10. says:

    Oh dear This book gets high marks from many reviewers for its easy reading and whilst there are some nice rhetorical flourishes they become overused to the point of cliche if I never see the words 'ueen Victoria's great grandson' again it will be too soon If you want to read a romanticised hagiography of Mountbatten or if I'm being charitable a version of the liberation of India as seen through Mountbatten's eyes read this If you want to read something that really gets to the heart of the enormous complexities of British rule in India the Indian liberation movement the key characters on all sides and the results of partition including present day legacies read Michael French's excellent 'Liberty or Death'

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