RAJ: The Making and Unmaking of British India

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9780316640725: RAJ: The Making and Unmaking of British India

This is the brilliantly told story of one of the wonders of the modern world - how in less than a hundred years the British made themselves masters of India. They ruled it for another hundred, departing in 1947, leaving behind the independent states of India and Pakistan. British rule taught Indians to see themselves as Indians and its benefits included railways, hospitals, law and a universal language. But the Raj, outwardly so monolithic and magnificent, was always precarious. Its masters knew that it rested ultimately on the goodwill of Indians. This is a new look at a subject rich in incident and character; the India of the Raj was that of Clive, Kipling, Curzon and Gandhi and a host of lesser known others. RAJ will provoke debate, for it sheds new light on Mountbatten and the events of 1946-47 which ended an exercise in benign autocracy and an experiment in altruism.

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About the Author:

Lawrence James was born in Bath and was educated at the University of York and Merton College, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career he has emerged as one of the outstanding narrative historians of his generation.

Review:

'The range, sweep and sheer verve of theb ook are prodigious....A masterpiece.' A N WILSON 'His feeling for historical detail cannot be faulted and is made more engaging by his scholarship and infectious enthusiasm for the subject.' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'With this superb history of the mammoth subject (James') writing career has reached its apogee.' THE TIMES 'James never loses sight of his grand design, yet he still finds room for the telling detail which illuminates and enriches the narrative.' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'James' epic is not only a first rate narrative, but also a penetrating portrait of the British...Having largely, if often inadvertantly, selfishly or ham-fistedly, engineered the world we live in, we need the courage now to face up to our record as coolly and intelligently as Lawrence James has done.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'Outstanding....An intelligible introduction to a grand subject.' SPECTATOR

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