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Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India Paperback – 17 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; Reprint edition (17 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195393945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195393941
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 1.5 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 720,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review


"The independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 was a historical watershed that marked the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the liberation of the rest of Asia and of Africa. In his admirable account of this seminal event, Wolpert makes the compelling case that whereas independence and
partition were inevitable, the horrible cost in the destruction of lives was not. He attributes the latter to a failure of political leadership, especially the British through its representative Viceroy Mountbatten, whose compulsive and egotistical conduct constituted a major contribution to the
massive human disaster. This is a clinically powerful study of triumph and tragedy by a distinguished historian who is also a great humanitarian." --Jamsheed Marker, Former Ambassador of Pakistan and former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations
"In this engrossing, but very controversial, book, Wolpert considers the responsibility of the leaders, both British and Indian, for the immediate consequences of the partition in 1947 of British India into India and Pakistan when hundreds of thousands were killed in riots and millions became
homeless refugees. Shameful Flight is sobering reading for anyone interested in the rise and fall of Western imperialism." --Ainslee Embree, Columbia University
"Wolpert's book is a delightful read and will shine for its stellar quality of scholarship among the growing body of partition literature that has surfaced in the last two decades. It will be of great interest to anyone curious about whatever happened to the great British Empire and those who often
wonder why Indians and Pakistanisendlessly fight with each other." --Dilip Basu, University of California, Santa Cruz


"The independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 was a historical watershed that marked the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the liberation of the rest of Asia and of Africa. In his admirable account of this seminal event, Wolpert makes the compelling case that whereas independence and
partition were inevitable, the horrible cost in the destruction of lives was not. He attributes the latter to a failure of political leadership, especially the British through its representative Viceroy Mountbatten, whose compulsive and egotistical conduct constituted a major contribution to the
massive human disaster. This is a clinically powerful study of triumph and tragedy by a distinguished historian who is also a great humanitarian." --Jamsheed Marker, Former Ambassador of Pakistan and former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations
"In this engrossing, but very controversial, book, Wolpert considers the responsibility of the leaders, both British and Indian, for the immediate consequences of the partition in 1947 of British India into India and Pakistan when hundreds of thousands were killed in riots and millions became
homeless refugees. Shameful Flight is sobering reading for anyone interested in the rise and fall of Western imperialism." --Ainslee Embree, Columbia University
"Wolpert's book is a delightful read and will shine for its stellar quality of scholarship among the growing body of partition literature that has surfaced in the last two decades. It will be of great interest to anyone curious about whatever happened to the great British Empire and those who often
wonder why Indians and Pakistanis endlessly fight with each other." --DilipBasu, University of California, Santa Cruz
"An entertaining and highly controversial account of the British transfer of power in India."The International History Review


"The independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 was a historical watershed that marked the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the liberation of the rest of Asia and of Africa. In his admirable account of this seminal event, Wolpert makes the compelling case that whereas independence and partition were inevitable, the horrible cost in the destruction of lives was not. He attributes the latter to a failure of political leadership, especially the British through its representative Viceroy Mountbatten, whose compulsive and egotistical conduct constituted a major contribution to the massive human disaster. This is a clinically powerful study of triumph and tragedy by a distinguished historian who is also a great humanitarian." --Jamsheed Marker, Former Ambassador of Pakistan and former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations
"In this engrossing, but very controversial, book, Wolpert considers the responsibility of the leaders, both British and Indian, for the immediate consequences of the partition in 1947 of British India into India and Pakistan when hundreds of thousands were killed in riots and millions became homeless refugees. Shameful Flight is sobering reading for anyone interested in the rise and fall of Western imperialism." --Ainslee Embree, Columbia University
"Wolpert's book is a delightful read and will shine for its stellar quality of scholarship among the growing body of partition literature that has surfaced in the last two decades. It will be of great interest to anyone curious about whatever happened to the great British Empire and those who often wonder why Indians and Pakistanis endlessly fight with each other." --Dilip Basu, University of California, Santa Cruz
"An entertaining and highly controversial account of the British transfer of power in India."The International History Review



"The independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 was a historical watershed that marked the end of the colonial era and the beginning of the liberation of the rest of Asia and of Africa. In his admirable account of this seminal event, Wolpert makes the compelling case that whereas independence and partition were inevitable, the horrible cost in the destruction of lives was not. He attributes the latter to a failure of political leadership, especially the British through its representative Viceroy Mountbatten, whose compulsive and egotistical conduct constituted a major contribution to the massive human disaster. This is a clinically powerful study of triumph and tragedy by a distinguished historian who is also a great humanitarian." --Jamsheed Marker, Former Ambassador of Pakistan and former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations


"In this engrossing, but very controversial, book, Wolpert considers the responsibility of the leaders, both British and Indian, for the immediate consequences of the partition in 1947 of British India into India and Pakistan when hundreds of thousands were killed in riots and millions became homeless refugees. Shameful Flight is sobering reading for anyone interested in the rise and fall of Western imperialism."--Ainslee Embree, Columbia University


"Wolpert's book is a delightful read and will shine for its stellar quality of scholarship among the growing body of partition literature that has surfaced in the last two decades. It will be of great interest to anyone curious about whatever happened to the great British Empire and those who often wonder why Indians and Pakistanis endlessly fight with each other."--Dilip Basu, University of California, Santa Cruz


"An entertaining and highly controversial account of the British transfer of power in India."--The International History Review


"A lively...account of the end of the British Raj...The text is well crafted." -- H-Net


About the Author

Stanley Wolpert is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Gandhi's Passion, Nehru: A Tryst With Destiny, Jinnah of Pakistan, and A New History of India.


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Fascinating truths behind the window dressed India's modern history. Until I read this book, all I knew was lies, and utter lies taught through Congress Party ruled Indian governments. They did not want people to know that their incompetent and self serving leaders including so called 'Mahatma' were equally responsible as much as then British government for the sufferings of people of India and Pakistan during the dying years of British Raj. A must read for all those who wants to know the truth behind the politics, personalities and intricacies of India's freedom struggle. Once read you will be able to identify the true leaders from traitors and back stabbers.

The written style and commentary by Stanley Wolpert makes it so easy reading book.
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Excellent read. opens yr eyes to how one persons (Lord Mountbattens) haste costed millions of lives. if interested in indian, pakistani history should read this. would recommend. also shows how the indian/pakistani leaders missed opportunities.
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This is an amazing book about the episode in history which is a massive blot on the history of Britain - decisions and actions precipitously made and put in place which led to the biggest migration of humanity in peace time and a death toll in excess of 1 million people. It is simply and beautiffuly told in an evocative style that does lend justice the the gravity of that whole episode. The fact that it has subsequently led to 3 wars and many other episodes of conflict including both sides being nuclear armed and sighting each other, has led to a death toll that continues to rise and escalate. The latest Mumbai attacks are part and parcel of this single episode of shame and obfuscation that Lord Mountbatten (and the British Cabinet, in the name of the people of Britain) initiated. Summary: Read this if you want to be informed
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Good book. Worth reading, if only to show that what we did in other countries was certainly not to benefit the "natives". What goes round is soon coming around for us with Islam at out front door, unfortunately.
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This book makes a wonderful reading material to adorn bookshelves of people who know too little or nothing about the subcontinent. But if you actually do know about the region (or from the subcontinent itself) you would rather find it easy to see that the author is not truthful enough. One should note that Stanley Wolpert is also the author of "Jinnah of Pakistan" glorifying Jinnah. So it shouldn't be surprising that he very skilfully skips the parts where Jinnah's leadership would be shown in bad light. For example, Rahmat Ali's actual demand of Pakistan was never mentioned, but it is made to believe that Jinnah was the one who came up with the cause. Neither any criticism on Jinnah agreeing to a lesser Pakistan is made. Moreover, it is rather astounding that someone who is an "expert" in history of South Asia would state that Congress party was an Hindu organisation when organisations such as "Hindu Mahasabha" and "RSS" which are Hindu rightwing parties had always (and still) crossed swords with the Congress party. Moreover, Wolpert repeatedly claims that Congress was a party of higher caste Hindus - something that is rather surprising to deduce since Gandhi himself was a Banya of lower strata of the caste system. There had been many books written about the partition supporting the Indian argument and making the readers think less of Pakistan. One would have expected that Wolpert, with his anti-Hindu bashing in several other books would have done justice to Pakistan's or League's side of the story. But what he leaves the reader to believe (if at all he convinces with the patchy read) that Muslims of India had no other leader other than Jinnah.Read more ›
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