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Indian Summer

The Secret History of the End of an Empire

Alex von Tunzelmann

Picador

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Empire withdrew from India, inviting in all the exhilaration and turmoil of a newly free society. In this vivid, atmospheric popular history, Alex von Tunzelmann chronicles these times through the most prominent figures: Dickie Mountbatten, Britain’s dashing, inept last viceroy; Dickie's savvy, glamorous wife, Edwina, who found the love of her life in Jawaharlal Nehru, India's new prime minister; Muslim leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and Mohandas Gandhi. Tunzelman's thrilling chronicle "removes the veil from the colorful personalities and events behind Inida's independence and partition with Pakistan" (The Washington Post).

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INDIAN SUMMER
Part OneEmpire1In Their Gratitude Our Best RewardIN THE BEGINNING, THERE WERE TWO NATIONS. ONE WAS A vast, mighty and magnificent empire, brilliantly organized and culturally unified, which dominated a massive swath of the earth. The other was an undeveloped, semifeudal realm, riven by religious factionalism and barely able to feed its illiterate, diseased and stinking masses. The first nation was India. The second was England.The year was 1577, and the Mogul emperors were in the process of uniting India. The domain spread twelve hundred miles along the Tropic of Cancer, from the
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REVIEWS

Praise for Indian Summer

"A brilliantly vivid page-turner that captures the backstage dramas raging on the eve of India's independence."--Tina Brown

"Irreistible . . . A fascinating book that may well change how we look on the benighted world in which we live today."--Los Angeles Times

"[A] captivating group portrait, pulling forth the most telling details of each figure's inner life. . . . To have turned an era of such significance and continuing relevance into a page-turner, to both entertain and educate, is an an admirable accomplishment."--San Francisco Chronicle
 
"A fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the breakup of British rule in India."--NPR's Fresh Air

"[Von Tunzelmann] keeps us riveted. . . . [She] has a fine knack for teasing out the play of personality in momentous events."--Houston Chronicle

"Von Tunzelman is witty, erudite, and thoughtful about her subject. . . . An oppinionated and sardonic writer, [she] is perfectly willing to take on both saints and heroes."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Scintillating . . . compelling narrative history, combining dramatic sweep with dishy detail."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This is history as multiple, interconnected biography. . . . Indian Summer achieves something both simpler and rarer, placing the behavior and feelings of a few key players at the center of a tumultuous moment in history."--The New York Times Book Review

"
Stirring . . . brisk . . . absorbingly readable."--Fortune

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alex von Tunzelmann

  • Alex von Tunzelmann was educated at Oxford and lives in London. Indian Summer is her first book.

  • Alex Von Tunzelmann
    Alex Von Tunzelmann
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    Indian Summer

    The Secret History of the End of an Empire

    Alex von Tunzelmann

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