Freedom at Midnight Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Apr 2013
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From the Back Cover
Fifty years ago, seconds after midnight on 14-15 August 1947, the Union Jack, emblazoned with the Star of India, began its final journey down the flagstaff of Viceroy's House, New Delhi. One fifth of humanity claimed their independence from the greatest empire history has ever seen. But 400 million people were to find that the price of freedom was partition and war, riot and murder.
In this new edition of their superb reconstruction of events at the time, Collins and Lapierre recount the eclipse of the fabled British Raj and examine the roles enacted by, among others, Mahatma Ghandi, Lord Mountbatten, Nehru and Jinnah in its violent transformation into the new India and Pakistan.
'Thrilling…staggers the imagination'
'There is no single passage in this profoundly researched book that one could actually fault. Having been there most of the time in question, I can vouch for the accurate of its general mood. It is a work of scholarship, of investigation, research and of significance.'
JAMES CAMERON, 'New York Times'
'The song of India… illuminated in scenes like a pageant.'
'A heroic tale that has not been told a tenth as well before… It will give more non-Indians more knowledge of the vast circumstances surrounding the birth of India than anything previously written. With an instinct for drama and a skill in narration, the authors take the reader from Whitehall to Delhi, to Calcutta, to Lahore, to Pula, to the villages of the Punjab and Bengal; their hold on the reader never falters.'
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH
About the Author
The enormous success of the international writing partnership of Collins and Lapierre is based on the phenomenal non-fiction bestsellers OR I’LL DRESS YOU IN MOURNING, IS PARIS BURNING? and O JERUSALEM! More recently Lapierre wrote CITY OF JOY (about Calcutta) and Larry Collins has written a number of thrillers published by HarperCollins (FALL FROM GRACE, MAZE and BLACK EAGLES). Lapierre is French, Collins American.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The writer made a good case for Gandhi and very cleverly pictured that what one man had done (N Godse) that many badly wished for. Either the Writer or the Translator chose words with utter contempt ie. 'Pathetic Indians' or 'Hindu Zealots' etc.
Instead of writing 'Hindus' the term 'non-Muslim' or 'non-Christean' would have been more appropriate. I expected an Interview from Gandhi's eldest son about his farther that I did not get. Its clear that 'All Indian Radio' made Gandhi famous. Bose's name was mentioned only once in the entire book.
Many historians and scholars understood and admitted that then weak British empire backed off facing tremendous pressure from Subhash Bose and his INA who wanted to take the freedom rather than getting a handover like Gandhi had, yet only Gandhi was mentioned and credited for the 'Freedom". It may not be the writers' opinion but that's what it read.
Mountbatten was always named with his full title whenever he was mentioned but Indian characters were not. A non Indian would find Indians no different from Africans and perhaps compare Godse with Idi-Amin dada!! Its very clear from the wording that Indian's were looked down upon given their physical structure shorter than occidentals exactly as Churchill perceived. It proves ignorance.
The way, Nehru and Jinnah were pictured was rather childish.Read more ›
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).
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read this book a couple of times and always enjoy it. The authors make a great team and know how to tell a good story. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr. C. A. Lachman
We concur some reviewer's comment. Well written but totally from the perspective of official story line . Read morePublished 15 months ago by Adlerinternational
History presented as a thriller. An interesting couple of pages from Freedom at Midnight made me want to read the source material referred to in the extensive bibliography, the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by a prendergast
This book had been recommended and it is wonderful. Tells all about the partition of India in 1947. It is full of details and is so interesting. Read morePublished 18 months ago by poppy
Read very well, was well written & researched. I'd certainly read it again as it contained a lot of interesting information which did get quite involved. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
I have read many books on the Indian Independence as well as partition but this sets the standard. There is so much intricate detail about all the relevant parties involved in the... Read morePublished on 19 May 2014 by Jasvinder Badh