Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Yes and No
on 16 November 2013
No question, the author tells a good story and has built on relatively recent releases to The National Archives at Kew. A review ought to be by a professional historian, which I definitely am not. The running theme is the Comintern (Communist International) intent to stir up unrest in British India in the period 1919 to 1921, but this damp squib is sauced up with well documented British spying activity elsewhere in the brand new Bolshevik 'October' Revolution of 1917. Why 'damp squib'? Because Lenin, as the author relates on p324 et seq., gave priority to his country's economic state: an international trade agreement was signed with Britain in March 1921, and his New Economic Policy (NEP) introducing a limited level of private enterprise, was inaugurated. Before that, in November 1920, the author tells us, 'a huge military entourage slipped unnoticed out of Moscow's Paveletsky station'. Two trains were bound for Tashkent. 'Their task was to raise a Soviet-Islamic Army of God ... The person in overall command ... was not Russian and .. could not speak the language'. ... 'curt order from Moscow to abandon his training camp and disband his army.'
It is up to others to determine if there was a real threat to British India, given that the new USSR was riven by civil war and roaming White Russian armies. The author bolsters his case with so many unjustified adverbs and adjectives that the feeling the reader has is that, despite what read like revelations, his case is not made.