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The Great Partition Yasmin Khan

The Great Partition By Yasmin Khan

The Great Partition by Yasmin Khan

Condition - Very Good
6 in stock


Examines the context, execution and aftermath of the partition of India in 1947. This book exposes the obliviousness of the small elite driving division, as well as the majority of activists on both sides, to what partition would entail in practice and its effects on the populace.

The Great Partition Summary

The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan

A reappraisal of the tumultuous Partition and how it ignited long-standing animosities between India and Pakistan

The Partition of India in 1947 promised its people both political and religious freedom-through the liberation of India from British rule, and the creation of the Muslim state of Pakistan. Instead, the geographical divide brought displacement and death, and it benefited the few at the expense of the very many. Thousands of women were raped, at least one million people were killed, and ten to fifteen million were forced to leave their homes as refugees. One of the first events of decolonization in the twentieth century, Partition was also one of the most bloody. In this book Yasmin Khan examines the context, execution, and aftermath of Partition, weaving together local politics and ordinary lives with the larger political forces at play. She exposes the widespread obliviousness to what Partition would entail in practice and how it would affect the populace. Drawing together fresh information from an array of sources, Khan underscores the catastrophic human cost and shows why the repercussions of Partition resound even now, some sixty years later. The book is an intelligent and timely analysis of Partition, the haste and recklessness with which it was completed, and the damaging legacy left in its wake.

The Great Partition Reviews

"Yasmin Khan, a British historian, has written a riveting book on this terrible story. It is unusual for two reasons. It is composed with flair, quite unlike the dense, academic plodding that modern Indian history usually delivers. Second, it turns the spotlight away from the self-posturing in the British viceroy's palace and the well-documented political wrangling between Congress and the Muslim League leaders. Instead, it focuses on a broader canvas that leads the reader through the confusion, the uncertainties, the fear and eventually the horror faced by those who were soon to become citizens of the two new states, India and Pakistan."-The Economist

". . . Rather than dwelling on New Delhi's political intrigue, [Khan's] insightful book focuses on the oft-ignored social undercurrents that contributed to the mass violence."-Tarquin Hall, Sunday Times

". . . an elegant, scholarly analysis of the chaotic severing of two Pakistans (now Pakistan and Bangladesh) from India in 1947. Khan's book is splendidly researched, and she has an eye for illuminating details of how Partition affected everyday lives."-Alex von Tunzelmann, Daily Telegraph

"Khan's angry, unsparing analysis of catastrophe is provocative and painful."-The Times

"Khan eloquently discusses the making of India and Pakistan after British rule on the subcontinent was dismantled in 1947. . . . Drawing from varied historical literature and archival sources, the author has obviously provided a new look at this still important subject. Strongly recommended for academic and larger public libraries."-Library Journal

"Much has been written on the partition of India and Pakistan, but no one work provides such a balanced account that also illustrates how few managed to foresee the consequences of their actions. . . This book, like all good history books, produces no smoking gun but shows how the blunder that resulted in so many deaths was a combination of a lack of preparation and political adventurism."-Nesrine Malik, "100 Best Political Books", Observer

". . . intelligent and empathetic. . . . Most historians like to apportion blame among the leading players, British and Indian, for the disaster that occurred. Yasmin Khan is not interested in doing so. Nor does she give time to the simplistic and oft-repeated theory that partition was the result of Britain's alleged policy of 'divide and rule.' The author's main interest is in the experience of partition, how people thought of it and how it affected them."-David Gilmour, Literary Review

"Until now, writes Yasmin Khan in The Great Partition, historians have tended either to trace the suffereing of the victims on their epic journeys, or to concentrate on political intrigue in New Dehli. But Khan's important new book marries these two approaches, showing the relationship between the human and the political."-Susan Williams, BBC History Magazine

"After independence, refugees made up almost half the population of Lahore, and almost a third of Delhi. Many were badly traumatised; some went mad. One of Khan's many achievements in this powerful book is to link this terrible suffering to the blueprint for Partition, 'loftily imposed from above.' She seethes with anger at the British manner of leaving the sub-continent, 'rushed and inadequately thought out.' She condemns the decision to send British troops home and to shift responsibility for peace-keeping to the nascent governments, before they had even begun to function."-Susan Williams, The Independent

"[A] highly intelligent and moving reappraisal of the Partition, weaving together stories of everyday life with political analysis."-Soumya Bhattacharya, The Observer

A 2008 Top Seller in Asian History as compiled by YBP Library Services

"Mahatma Gandhi called the traumatic experience of Partition 'the vivisection of India'. In this book, Yasmin Khan shows how this operation was performed. She describes the suffering of the victims with great sensitivity, and traces the perceptions of contemporary observers, most of whom were at a loss when trying to imagine the contours of the new states. To a country that took its territorial unity for granted, the partition of India came as a rude shock; its impact reverberates through the pages of this illuminating book."-Dietmar Rothermund, Professor Emeritus of South Asian History, Heidelberg University, and author of The Routledge Companion to Decolonisation and (with H Kulke) A History of India

"This is a compassionate and devastating book. It charts the long, complex and often brutal processes that engulfed millions of unsuspecting people in chaos. Few among the South Asian and British political elite could have imagined what they were letting loose, while many of those swept up even tangentially had no clear idea of what it might mean. Its long aftermath still scars the subcontinent, as India and Pakistan see each other through the lens of carefully constructed nationalist history which feeds on the partially understood history of Partition. This is a book for all who wish to understand attitudes on the subcontinent today."-Judith M Brown, Balliol College Oxford, and author of Nehru

"Yasmin Khan makes a significant contribution to the ongoing study of the Partition of India in this lucid account. Her eye for detail strongly evokes the issues, personalities and events at this crucial moment in the subcontinent's modern history. Narrative and sharp analysis go hand in hand in a work which bears all the hallmarks of a first-rate scholar."-Ian Talbot, University of Southampton

"Yasmin Khan's The Great Partition vividly and memorably portrays the sheer turmoil of decolonisation. In turning the spotlight away from high-level politics to bitter personal experience, she exposes the bewilderment, brutality and mayhem that followed the hasty British decision to 'divide and quit.' This book will be a touchstone in the retelling of one of the twentieth century's greatest calamities."-David Arnold, University of Warwick and Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Asiatic Society

"This is an exceptional book. Yasmin Khan has written a vivid, authoritative and accessible account of one of the greatest human tragedies and dislocations of the modern era. Her particular achievement is in weaving the lived experience of Partition - the agony, the uncertainty, the conflicting identities and loyalties - into a broader account of the turmoil and confusion which so gravely soured India's and Pakistan's achievement of independence."-Andrew Whitehead, editor of History Workshop Journal and former BBC South Asia correspondent

About Yasmin Khan

Yasmin Khan is associate professor of history and Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford, and author of The Raj at War: A People's History of India's Second World War.

Additional information

The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan
Used - Very Good
Yale University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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