Freedom at Midnight
by Larry Collins
Every Friday, Alyce At Home With Books features this meme inviting us to look back at a favorite book from the past. This week, my memory got jogged by a discussion over on LibraryThing about Salamon Rushdie's book Midnight's Children. Someone mentioned that reading Freedom at Midnight vastly helped their enjoyment of Rushdie's book, and that triggered my memory of this excellent work. I'm going to have to dig it out of that box in the attic and put it back on the re-read shelf. Here's some blurb:
Fifty years ago, seconds after midnight on 14-15 August 1947, the Union Jack, emblazoned with the Star of India, began its final journey down the flagstaff of Viceroy's House, New Delhi. One fifth of humanity claimed their independence from the greatest empire history has ever seen. But 400 million people were to find that the price of freedom was partition and war, riot and murder....Collins and Lapierre recount the eclipse of the fabled British Raj and examine the roles enacted by, among others, Mahatma Gandhi, Lord Mountbatten, Nehru and Jinnah in its violent transformation into the new India and Pakistan.
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 05 Jan 2010 22:04:26 -0500)
Writing history well enough to make sense to the layman, so that it is interesting and makes us want to re-read and find out more, is truly a gift. This book offers all that. I can still remember after all those years, the feeling that I was there, and was able to see and hear and smell what was happening. A great memory that deserves to be refreshed.