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India's War

GUARDIAN, SPECTATOR and FINANCIAL TIMES BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016'Authoritative, expansive and incisive...helps restore India to the global twentieth century' Sunil Khilnani'Raghavan's panoramic book deserves the accolades that it is receiving as the most comprehensive account of the subcontinent's experiences in the second world war...masterful' Financial TimesBetween 1939 and 1945 India changed to an extraordinary extent. Millions of Indians suddenly found themselves as soldiers, fighting in Europe and North Africa but also - something simply never imagined - against a Japanese army threatening to invade eastern India. Many more were pulled into the vortex of wartime mobilization.Srinath Raghavan's compelling and original book gives both a surprising new account of the fighting and of life on the home front. For Indian nationalists the war has tended to be seen as a distraction from the quest for national independence - but Raghavan shows that in fact the war lay at the very heart of how and why colonial rule ended in South Asia.By seeing the Second World War through Indian eyes, Raghavan transforms our understanding of the conflict - with famous battles such as those in North Africa and Iraq reinterpreted, as well as fascinating and little known campaigns such as the destruction of Italian northeast Africa. Time and again, it was Indian troops that made Britain into a global power and, as the war came to an end, it was the Indian army that fought the final battles which marked the end both of the Japanese empire, and of the British.
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About the Author

Srinath Raghavan is Senior Research Fellow at the India Institute, King's College London. He is the author of the highly praised 1971: A Global History of the Creation of Bangladesh. He spent six years as an infantry officer in the Indian Army.


Authoritative, expansive and incisive...helps restore India to the global 20th century -- Sunil Khilnani Absorbing and important...rational and detailed -- Philip Hensher * Spectator * An important story...Raghavan's splendid history is a reminder not just of India's historic contribution to the defeat of fascism, but also its geopolitical potential throughout the Indo-Pacific. -- Shashank Joshi * Financial Times * Raghavan's study fulfils his mission in presenting readers with intertwined narratives of military campaigns, international strategies, and the rise of the freedom struggle that was to determine the future of the subcontinent. -- Aamer Hussein * The Independent * Contains...enormous scope and a great depth of detail. -- Nigel Collett * The Diplomat * A highly readable account of one of the more complex - and ignored - phase of World War II, one that even briefly threatened the U.S.-British alliance. -- Joseph C. Goulden * The Washington Times * Raghavan excels in explaining exactly what went on behind the lines...his narrative of the military campaigns is ample reward. Exemplary and enthralling. -- John Keay * Literary Review * A book that has unearthed a lot of interesting and generally unfamiliar material. Unusually for this subject, it had no particular axe to grind or point to prove. -- Philip Hensher * Spectator * I hugely admired Srinath Raghavan's India's War; his energy and rigour told a story only familiar (to most of us) in patches. -- Philip Hensher * Guardian * Raghavan's panoramic book deserves the accolades that it is receiving as the most comprehensive account of the subcontinent's experiences in the second world war...Raghavan has unearthed much new detail and displays a masterful grasp of the interplay between wartime diplomacy, economics and military events. * Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR *

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