Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015 - History - 328 pages
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Afew bloody months in South Asia during the summer of 1947 explainthe world that troubles us today.

Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so violent it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi s protege and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in street-gang fighting. A cycle of riots targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs spiraled out of control. As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave. Hell broke loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, carving a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils. From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight s Furies informs all too many of today s headlines.

Nisid Hajari builds his revelatory history on major new sources, including never-before-tapped intelligence reports, diplomatic records, and firsthand accounts, as well as deep archival research. Midnight s Furies offers a dramatic, gripping account of one of the world s most volatile regions in the crucible of epochal change.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

A solid narrative history, which helped me understand partition, and the mess that it caused. The first half of the book is the more interesting, the second half mostly depressing, as mobs hack each ... Read full review

MIDNIGHT'S FURIES: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

User Review  - Kirkus

This evenhanded history of the appalling slaughter at the India-Pakistan Partition of 1947 puts the blame squarely on the incendiary rhetoric of the two opposing leaders.Hindus and Muslims (and Sikhs ... Read full review


1 Fury
2 Jinnah and Jawaharlal
3 Madhouse
4 Pakistan Murdabad
5 Indian Summer
6 Off the Rails
7 Stop this Madness
8 Ad Hoc Jihad
9 Himalayan Quagmire
10 The Last Battle
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About the author (2015)

NISID HAJARI is the Asia editor for Bloomberg View. Prior to Bloomberg, he spent a decade at Newsweek as Asia editor, foreign editor, and eventually coeditor at the top of the masthead. He has appeared frequently as a commentator on foreign affairs on NPR, NBC, and CNN, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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