Liberty or Death
India's Journey to Independence and DivisionBook - 2011
'A fine, lucid book . . . vividly drawn with novel-like touches'
At midnight on 14 August 1947, Britain's 350-year-old Indian Empire was broken into three pieces. The greatest mass migration in history began, as Muslims fled north and Hindus fled south, and Britain's role as an imperial power came to an end.
Patrick French's vivid and surprising account of the chaotic final years of colonial rule in India has been acclaimed as the definitive book on this subject. Journeying across India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, he brings to life a cast of characters including spies, idealists, freedom fighters and politicians from Churchill to Gandhi. The result is a compelling story of deal-making, missed opportunities, hope and tragedy.
'Extraordinarily able and nuanced . . . a brilliant book on an important subject . . . French is the most impressive Western historian of modern India currently at work'
'French is a natural storyteller . . . a delightful tale of intrigue, ham-handedness and just plain blundering'