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

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 9, 2015 - History - 304 pages
Named one of the best books of 2015 by NPR, Amazon, Seattle Times, and Shelf Awareness

A  few bloody months in South Asia during the summer of 1947 explain the world that troubles us today.

Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody — 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 protégé 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 let 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, searing 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 explains all too many of the headlines we read today.

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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 foreign affairs commentator on NPR, NBC, and CNN and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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