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Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II / Madhusree Mukerjee

Paperback 332 pages
£12.99
A dogged enemy of Hitler, resolute ally of the Americans, brilliant political strategist, and bold leader of Great Britain through WWII, Winston Churchill is venerated as one of the great political minds of the last century. But while he has been widely extolled for numerous successes, parts of Churchill s record much of which is written by Churchill himself have gone woefully unexamined. As historian Madhusree Mukerjee reveals, at the same time that Churchill brilliantly opposed the genocidal barbarism of the Nazis, he governed India with total contempt for Hindu lives. A series of his decisions between 1939 and 1944 directly and knowingly resulted in the deaths of some four million Indians. The streets of Indian cities were lined with the emaciated bodies of the dead, yet in response to an urgent plea from the Indian secretary of state for emergency shipments of food, Churchill is reported to have only responded with a peevish telegram asking why, if food was so scarce, Gandhi hadn t died yet. Combining close research with a vivid narrative, Churchill s Secret War places thisoverlooked tragedy into the larger context of the Second World War, India s fight for freedom, and Churchill s larger legacy. Winston Churchill may have found victory in Europe, but, as Mukerjee reveals in this groundbreaking historical investigation, his decisions nevertheless ravaged India, and ultimately set the stage for the massive bloodletting that accompanied independence.
A dogged enemy of Hitler, resolute ally of the Americans, brilliant political strategist, and bold leader of Great Britain through WWII, Winston Churchill is venerated as one of the great political minds of the last century. But while he has been widely extolled for numerous successes, parts of Churchill s record much of which is written by Churchill himself have gone woefully unexamined. As historian Madhusree Mukerjee reveals, at the same time that Churchill brilliantly opposed the genocidal barbarism of the Nazis, he governed India with total contempt for Hindu lives. A series of his decisions between 1939 and 1944 directly and knowingly resulted in the deaths of some four million Indians. The streets of Indian cities were lined with the emaciated bodies of the dead, yet in response to an urgent plea from the Indian secretary of state for emergency shipments of food, Churchill is reported to have only responded with a peevish telegram asking why, if food was so scarce, Gandhi hadn t died yet. Combining close research with a vivid narrative, Churchill s Secret War places thisoverlooked tragedy into the larger context of the Second World War, India s fight for freedom, and Churchill s larger legacy. Winston Churchill may have found victory in Europe, but, as Mukerjee reveals in this groundbreaking historical investigation, his decisions nevertheless ravaged India, and ultimately set the stage for the massive bloodletting that accompanied independence.