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A radical reassessment in British colonial history by the former ADC to the last Viceroy of British India is important, but Sarila’s claim that current Islamic terrorism is partially rooted in Partition has wider implications. Historians have underestimated the role of British strategic interests: fears about the USSR’s control of Middle Eastern oil wells and access to the Indian Ocean. New material on figures like Gandhi, Jinnah, Mountbatten, Churchill, Attlee, Wavell, and Nehru are offered.
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Narendra Singh Sarila was aide-de-camp to Lord Mountbatten and served in the Indian Foreign Service,1948–85. He joined the Indian delegation to the UN, and was India's ambassador in Spain, Brazil, Libya, Switzerland, and France.From Booklist:
The 1947 partition of the British Raj led to the displacement and death of millions, three wars between India and Pakistan, and chronic instability in Pakistan. The consensus among historians is that the partition was a hastily done effort by a British government eager to divest itself of an imperial burden. Sarila, a former aide-de-camp to the last viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, has a different view. Utilizing a variety of sources, including previously classified documents, he asserts that the British government supported the creation of Pakistan with the understanding that British military bases there would provide easy access to the oil fields of the Middle East. Sarila cites numerous statements by British officials, particularly Churchill, to support his case. Unfortunately, he has cherry-picked the evidence, ignoring equally strong documentation that supports the conventional view. Still, this is a useful look at a tumultuous series of events. Sarila provides interesting perspectives on key historical figures. Gandhi, for example, is shown as infuriatingly naive and self-righteous. Sarila does not prove his case here, but this is a work likely to engender additional discussion and controversy. Jay Freeman
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Book Description Carroll & Graf, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110786719125
Book Description Carroll & Graf, 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0786719125