Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

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9780544705395: Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

An NPR Book of the Year
A Seattle Times Book of the Year
William E. Colby Award Winner

“A beautifully written, deeply intelligent book about [a] crucial moment.” — Fareed Zakaria, CNN

Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so violent—it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for more than a century. But as the summer of 1947 approached, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs were heavily armed and on edge after a year of riots and gang fighting, and the British rushed to leave. Hell broke loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many of today’s most menacing security threats, from jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation. Based on major new sources, Nisid Hajari’s revelatory Midnight’s Furies lays out the searing truth about one of the world’s most momentous and least understood tragedies.
 
“Fast-moving and highly readable . . . The story of what happens when a composite society comes apart.” — New York Times Book Review

“Makes the complex and tragic story of the great divide into a page-turner.” — Guardian

 “Engaging and incisive . . . Hajari writes with grace, precision, and an unerring eye for detail. Midnight’s Furies is the best of recent offerings.” —
Wall Street Journal

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From the Back Cover:

An NPR Book of the Year
A Seattle Times Book of the Year
William E. Colby Award Winner

Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be soviolent it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for more than a century.But as the summer of 1947 approached, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs were heavily armed and on edge after a year of riots and gang fighting, and the British rushed to leave. Hell broke loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many of today s most menacing security threats, from jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation. Based on major new sources, Nisid Hajari s revelatory Midnight s Furies lays out the searing truth about one of the world s most momentous and least understood tragedies.

Fast-moving and highly readable . . . The story of what happens when a composite society comes apart. New York Times Book Review

Makes the complex and tragic story of the great divide into a page-turner. Guardian

Engaging and incisive . . . Hajari writes with grace, precision, and an unerring eye for detail. Midnight s Furies is the best of recent offerings.
Wall Street Journal

Nisid Hajari writes about Asian politics, history, and economics for the editorial board of Bloomberg View. He led international coverage at Newsweek for more than a decade and is a regular commentator on foreign affairs for the BBC, CNN, and NPR.
"

From the Inside Flap:

Afew bloody months in South Asia during the summer of 1947 explainthe world that troubles us today.

Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so violent it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi s protege and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in street-gang fighting. A cycle of riots targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs spiraled out of control. As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave. Hell broke loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, carving a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils. From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight s Furies informs all too many of today s headlines.

Nisid Hajari builds his revelatory history on major new sources, including never-before-tapped intelligence reports, diplomatic records, and firsthand accounts, as well as deep archival research. Midnight s Furies offers a dramatic, gripping account of one of the world s most volatile regions in the crucible of epochal change.
"

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