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Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India

Lawrence James

7 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History

* A book that is narrative-driven, but full of outstanding scholarship and insight.

* Subtitled 'The Making and Unmaking of British India' - how the British Raj shaped the Indian sub-continent as it is today.

This is the brilliantly told story of one of the wonders of the modern world - how in less than a hundred years the British made themselves masters of India. They ruled it for another hundred, departing in 1947, leaving behind the independent states of India and Pakistan. British rule taught Indians to see themselves as Indians and its benefits included railways, hospitals, law and a universal language. But the Raj, outwardly so monolithic and magnificent, was always precarious. Its masters knew that it rested ultimately on the goodwill of Indians. This is a new look at a subject rich in incident and character; the India of the Raj was that of Clive, Kipling, Curzon and Gandhi and a host of lesser known others. RAJ will provoke debate, for it sheds new light on Mountbatten and the events of 1946-47 which ended an exercise in benign autocracy and an experiment in altruism.

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Praise for Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India

  • 'The range, sweep and sheer verve of theb ook are prodigious .A masterpiece.' A N WILSON

  • 'His feeling for historical detail cannot be faulted and is made more engaging by his scholarship and infectious enthusiasm for the subject.' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY

  • 'With this superb history of the mammoth subject (James') writing career has reached its apogee.' THE TIMES

  • 'James never loses sight of his grand design, yet he still finds room for the telling detail which illuminates and enriches the narrative.' DAILY TELEGRAPH

  • 'James' epic is not only a first rate narrative, but also a penetrating portrait of the British Having largely, if often inadvertantly, selfishly or ham-fistedly, engineered the world we live in, we need the courage now to face up to our record as coolly and intelligently as Lawrence James has done.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

  • 'Outstanding .An intelligible introduction to a grand subject.' SPECTATOR

  • 'This is a wonderful book about the British presence in India it will remain unsurpassed in our generation as a scholarly survey for the educated general reader a superb example of modern narrative history at its bravest' - Jan Morris, THE TIMES

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Lawrence James

One of our finest narrative historians, especially on imperial subjects, Lawrence James is the author of THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, RAJ and THE ARISTOCRATS. He lives near Oxford.

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