Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II Paperback – July 12, 2011
|New from||Used from|
May's Book with Buzz
"Valiant Ambition" by Nathaniel Philbrick. George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. See more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Winston Churchill’s dislike of India and Indians has been known to scholars. But now, in Churchill’s Secret War, we have, for the first time, definitive evidence of how a great man’s prejudices contributed to one of the most deadly famines in modern history. In her book, Madhusree Mukerjee writes evocatively of how hunger and rebellion in rural Bengal was a product of cynicism and callousness in imperial London. Deeply researched and skillfully constructed, this is a major contribution to Indian history and to the history of the Second World War.”
Mike Davis, Professor of Creative Writing at University of California–Riverside
“An epic indictment of British policies that cold-bloodedly caused the death of millions of ordinary Indians during the Second World War. With impeccable research, Mukerjee debunks the conventional hagiography of Churchill, showing ‘the last imperialist’s’ monstrous indifference to the peoples of the sub- continent.”
John Horgan, Director, Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology
“Churchill's Secret War is a major work of historical scholarship, which reveals that one of the 20th century's greatest heroes was also one of its greatest villains. Mukerjee's elegant, precise prose and meticulous research make her tale of colonial brutality all the more gripping and horrific.”
“An important though uncomfortable lesson for readers who think they know the heroes and villains of World War II.”
““[W]ell-researched…This gripping account of historical tragedy is a useful corrective to fashionable theories of benign imperial rule, arguing that a brutal rapaciousness was the very soul of the Raj.”
Indian Express (India)
The Independent (UK)
Sunday Times (UK)
“A vivid account of the subject…Churchill’s Secret War is a book that needs to be read.”
New York Review of Books
“Mukerjee not only writes well, she writes from a point of view that most Bengalis and many Indians would share…her book should be welcomed as a serious attempt to deal in all its aspects with a neglected catastrophe in an era of catastrophes piled grotesquely one on top of another.”
Top Customer Reviews
As Britain prosecuted the war against Nazi Germany, much of her food and material inputs came from her Indian colony. This was a hoary tradition beginning at the outset of British colonialism in India, in which a rich country was ravaged by the expansive needs of a colonial master, who used the subject nation's wealth to fund the industrial revolution. While Indian starved in the millions, the British maintained a steady supply of calories as they fought the war- all because of a deliberate colonial policy, devised at the hands of Winston Churchill.
Elegantly written with the right balance of facts and clear outrage, this book must be read.
The book is part history.
It tells of the riches in India and Bengal before the advent of the East India Company and then English rule. This is covered in the Prologue. The bulk of the book then deals with the famine of 1943. Since that was a tumultuous period - in India on account of the independence struggle with Mahatma Gandhi at the forefront, and in the world on account of World War II, we are provided pertinent accounts of key events that had a relevant bearing on the famine. Of Mahatma Gandhi's satyagraha, of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army, of local uprisings in Midnapore and the now mostly forgotten revolutionaries like Sushil Dhara, Ajoy Mukhopadhyaya, and others, of the Japanese conquest of Singapore, Burma, and their landing at the doorstep of India'a eastern borders, of the Denial Policy (really a scorched earth policy).Read more ›
I thought the book was rather heavy on the policy aspects, dwelling on the attitudes and loyalties of the top men responsible as opposed to the downflood of misery spouting from them. However, if one can morally excuse Churchill's action as necessary for national survival and winning of the war, one must say the same for Stalin: his crash industrialization, resulting in famine in the 30s, enabled the USSR to withstand the same Nazi enemy a decade later. (Much like Hillary Clinton's contemporary hype over Syrian dictators who kill "their own people": at least they don't go halfway around the world to kill someone else's.) Mukerjee shows the West cannot eat its moral cake both ways.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
During WWII Great Britain, under the leadership of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, stood up to the Axis and would lead the Allies to victory as its senior statesman. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James D. Crabtree
Although I have not yet read the book by Madhusree Mukherjee but through a reading of the dedates with Sen and Tauger in New York review of books, I find it interesting and is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
As the British did screw the Irish for 900 years with mercantilst policies so did they screw India.Published 9 months ago by cinejevu
This is a very carefully researched book. It is written with academic clarity and will serve as a reference for future scholars. I look forward to reading her next work.Published 15 months ago by ranga
A well-written carefully researched study of a highhly unpopular topic -- Churchill, a man of magnificent qualities in time of war was also brutal and openlly racist. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kairos