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Description - The Proudest Day by Anthony Read

At midnight on 14 August 1947, Britain finally granted independence to the peoples of India. Throughout the world, the end of the colonial era was in sight. India was the first great domino to fall, setting off a train of events that was so spread across Asia and Africa, culminat-ing in the collapse of th Soviet empire. The story of the winning of freedom by the peoples of the Indian empire is one of the great sagas of the twentieth century. Bathed in the rosy glow of retrospect, the birth of modern India and Pakistan has come to be guarded in the West as a great achievement, 'the proudest day in Britain's history', as predicted by Lord Macauley in 1835. But how justified is the romantic popular image? Was Indian independence a noble gesture by abenevolent colonial power or was freedom wrested from the British by indian nationalists after more than a quarter of a century of bitter struggle? Was the result a triumph or a tragedy? The Proudest Day sets the record straight.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712661423
ISBN-10: 0712661425
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 25mm)
Pages: 592
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 6-Aug-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - The Proudest Day by Anthony Read

Book Reviews - The Proudest Day by Anthony Read

UK Kirkus Review » Taking its title from Macaulay's belief that India would eventually demand self-rule on the 'proudest day in British history', this book, written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence, portrays the struggle for Independence in epic and heroic terms. It conjures out of the historic record some good old-fashioned drama and offers us a personality-driven political history. Rousing stuff. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A change of pace for the authors, who have written extensively on Germany (The Fall of Berlin, 1994), but their history of the British in India is just as good. The British government got into the act with the Honorable East India Company in 1773 when the company was baled out of a financial embarrassment. British rule of the subcontinent was always remarkable for the way in which a tiny civil service, some 1,000 strong, and a small army controlled a country that, by the end of British rule, had a population of 400 million. Equally remarkable was the loyalty of the Indian people: During the WW I, nearly one and a half million Indians volunteered for military service. By the end of the war, the mood had soured, in part because expectations had been raised as to what Britain's reaction would be. The history of the next 30 years, in less skillful hands, could have been a dreary tale of misunderstandings, mistrust, and missed opportunities, but it is relieved by the unflagging zest of the authors and their lively understanding of the frailties and foibles of the participants: Gandhi, part politician, part saint, of whom it was said "Ah, if the Mahatma only knew what it costs us for him to live the simple life"; Nehru, who followed him and spent nine years of his life in prison; Jinnah, a brilliant lawyer who found in Pakistan his last and greatest client; and Mountbatten, whose charm rescued negotiations time and again, but at whose door the authors lay the blame for the haste of the British departure and the huge loss of life. They may be too severe. Something drastic was needed just to bring the arguments to an end. The authors may also err in describing this as Britain's proudest day. But their history is a stirring achievement. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Anthony Read

Anthony Read and David Fisher had extremely successful careers in television as writers and producers before embarking on their collaboration as authors. The bestselling books include The Fall of Berlin, Berlin: The Biography of a City, Operation Lucy, Colonel Z, The Deadly Embrace and Kristallnacht, for which they were awarded the H.H Wingate Prize in 1989.

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