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Liberty or Death: India's Journey to Independence and Division

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  124 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
At midnight on August 14, 1947, Britain's 350-year-old Indian Empire cracked into three pieces. The greatest mass migration in history began, as Muslims fled north and Hindus fled south, over a million being massacred on the way. Britain's role as world power came to an end and the course of Asia's future was irrevocably set. Patrick French offers a reinterpretation of the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by HarperCollins UK (first published 1997)
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Paul Bryant
Jun 06, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
In 1946 Nehru told a journalist

When the British go there will be no more communal trouble in India.

In 1947 approximately one million people were slaughtered in a whirlpool of mutual hatred, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh against each other. The number of victims was never discovered. It was in everyone's interests to play down this Indian holocaust, because everyone was guilty, to one degree or another. And as Patrick French laconically observes,

mutual genocide never attracts attention in the way that
Aug 12, 2011 Katrin rated it liked it
At first a little boring, it gathers momentum, as did the events leading up to 1947, the year of Indian independence and partition. It's very captivating to read about the details of political decisions of that time, which were to determine the lifes of millions of people, yet which were often breathtakingly wrong, largely due to the incompetence, immobility and disinterest of the British government. At times, all these miscommunications and personal vanities among politicians are hilarious (and ...more
Deepankar Rawat
Aug 16, 2012 Deepankar Rawat rated it really liked it
A new insight to the last few months of India's Independence. Challenges faced by British officials, Indian Nationalists and most importantly the common people...
Sep 07, 2013 Divya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
History is a dress-maker's dummy - the one writing of it chooses the cut of the cloth, the color, the drape, fit, ruffles and flounces to create a 'version' for the reader. And often, in the cutting and fitting of a garment to the acceptance of a readership, the original form and shape of the dummy is lost...

French, thankfully, is the kind of dressmaker who does not play with the drape and fit of his final garment and the result is a book that is candid, impartial and fact oriented and yet manag
Anupam Dixit
Nov 04, 2014 Anupam Dixit rated it did not like it
I am a student of history and a great lover of contemporary as well as modern indian history. The Book, Claimed by the author as based on facts and accounts released by intelligence and state department. But his derivations from the facts are too biased and sometimes self contradictory. I will not say much about his portrayal of Gandhi Ji as it is now a tailor-made tactics to get quick fame by defaming Gandhi ji for indian as well as international authors. Patrick defamed gandhi ji in very first ...more
Conrad Barwa
Jan 01, 2016 Conrad Barwa rated it it was amazing
Pretty much the best single volume introduction to India's independence movement written in English. Very accessible to the layperson and full of sharp insights at variance to the orthodox view of the period often put forward by nationalist historians.
Feb 12, 2013 Ramesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interestingly unemotional account of the independence movement. Great if you want factual historical account.
May 14, 2010 !Tæmbuŝu marked it as to-read
Shelves: india, history
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Patrick French (born 1966) is a British writer and historian, based in London. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he studied English and American literature.

French is the author of several books including : Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer (1994), a biography of Francis Younghusband, The World Is What It Is (2008), an authorized biography of Nobel Laureate V.S Nai
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