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FREEDOM MIDNIGHT [Unknown Binding]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 500 pages
  • ASIN: B0006DG0AU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,137,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How balanced? 17 Jun 2002
A fantastic read - moving, with the kind of sweeping coherent narrative worthy of a great fictional author. And maybe there's the rub: it has been criticised (I think with some justification) with being pro-British, and building the story from the elegiac portrayal of a fading empire whose greatness once...etc etc- and perhaps because of relying too heavily on Mountbatten as a source. So read it - but maybe read Liberty or Death by Patrick French as well! In that version of the independence struggle, the British and - heresy in India, I know - Gandhi come in for heavy criticism.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
If the 20th century history of the sub-continent is not for you, think again. You will delight in the quirkiness, be appalled at the violence and be left saddened by the inevitability of human history. All of which is brought to life by the authors. A must.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Roller Coaster Ride Through History 1 Oct 1999
By A Customer
A memorable and moving book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. A factual history that reads like a novel, this book speaks to everyone. Meticulously researched, the reader is left feeling as though they were there to experience every pain, every victory, every setback and every joy. I think this book is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the political and ethical problems that the world is still faced with today. Bravo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but... 7 Jan 2013
It is infact a hagiography of Louis Mountbatten who was an early master of spin. This is the world seen through the eyes of Mountbatten.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well presented perspective 30 Oct 2002
This book is an incredible read. It is a book that records history and tries to understand the idealogies and the struggles of British Raj and the transition from colonialism to independence in the Indian subcontinent.
This book, however, is naturally biased towards British views - but clearly, the authors seek to understand the Indian view and present it in a very readable and interesting way.
I highly recommend this book to people interested in Indian studies or people who are generally drawn by India. 'Freedom at Midnight' provides a unique and rare colection of things you always wanted to know more about.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One of the most biased books I have ever read 16 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For people totally new to the subject of India's independence from the British Empire and its subsequent horrors of the partition this is a nice introduction. It is very readable and reads like a story. Like a work of fiction with loads of footnotes. There are some MAJOR flaws that prevent this from being a great book.

The worst flaw I found was the often nauseating portrayal of Lord Mountbatten which makes him look like an Adonis-type: a leader of men, a winner of wars etc. Although some of those claims may be partially true I cringed at how much the authors of this book focused on anecdotes that seem grossly exaggerated. This also calls into question the portrayal of the other major players in the book - especially those of Jinnah, Nehru, and sometimes Gandhi.

Some parts of the book are very moving - particularly the plot and eventual success of the assassination of the Mahatma - which gives credit to the skill of the authors. (which credits my giving it 3* over 2* or 1*).

If you can swallow the biases, the book does act as a very good introduction to the story, but I highly recommend immediate further reading to elaborate on some elements of the book (as they often feel too good to be true).
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43 of 57 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have to disagree with the other reviewers on this one, I'm afraid ... this book does not at all present a balanced picture of the events surrounding the independence and partition of India ... much more than that, it is an attempted apology for the British role in that process & the authors' sycophancy to Mountbatten is frankly distasteful (they even mention that after reading this book, he asked them to be his biographers!! Say no more). That may be their view, which is fair enough, but they barely present, discuss, analyse or rebutt (more credible) opposing views. More dangerously in a work of popular history, it portrays the British Raj as an age of untarnished glory, with the prose practically dripping with the authors' romanticisation of the era. That may have been the experience of the tens of thousands Brits ruling India, but it obviously was not the much harsher historical reality of the hundreds of millions of exploited Indians or they clearly would not have been agitating for independece. Worse, this is a history-by-personality, embarrassingly light on meaningful or robust analysis of broader economic and social reasons for change ... and even as history-by-personality, it is one dimensional and full of caricatures. Mountbatten is always "dashing", the masses "unruly", Jinnah "cold and austere", etc etc. A very superficial and unobjective book, which is disappointing but probably explains why it sold so many copies. There is not enough space to set out the numerous misconceptions in the book, suffice to say, don't let this be your only source.
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By David Lusher TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This is an essential read if you are ever to understand India. It is an absorbing and, at times, poignant portrayal of the dilemmas facing India and Britain in granting independence to India. The challenges facing the last Viceroy, Mountbatten. The angst of partition, the terrible price paid by the Indian people because of the communal violence that followed, the cunning of Jinnah who insisted on the creation of Pakistan and who urged haste in resolving the issue (publicly because dragging the issue out would lead to bloodshed, but privately knowing that he was dying and only had months to live). The very moving account of the assassination of Gandhi, including insights into the sheer incompetence of his assassins as well as the Indian Police. This is a superb book, well researched and written, and I recommend it highly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom at Midnight
This book MUST be part of the historic collector's possession! I have only recently received it, but want to just say how beautifully written it is and so true to facts! Read more
Published 22 days ago by Anna Parkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable Account of Momentous Event
The prose style is fluid and easy to follow and, although we are reading about an historic event, the human factor is ever present. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jane Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful wonderful
third time reading this - wore out last copy! visited india so made sense to read this amazing book fab
Published 8 months ago by Norwegian Troll
5.0 out of 5 stars "while the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom"
Absolutely stunning and breathtaking! Each and every page is incredibly alluring.
Highly recommended work to anyone interested in Indian History. Read more
Published 12 months ago by XAVIER FRANCIS THARAMEL
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom at Midnoght
I found this a very interesting book, dealing with a most critical time in the history of India and Pakistan.
Published 17 months ago by mr m white
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book on the subject
This book is not an all balanced reading material. If someone is looking for a launch pad into the innumerable books written on this subject ie the turmoil that lead to the... Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2009 by San Roze
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is a book recommended to me by my father, who read it back in the day ('80 or something). My recent interest in history is well served by this book, even if it does somehow... Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2005 by DukeofLancasterVI
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