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Keeping the Jewel in the Crown
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History, Politics & Current Affairs
Publication Date
19 May 2016
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8pp b/w plates

Keeping the Jewel in the Crown

The British Betrayal of India


eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘a thorough and hard-hitting account…presented with clarity and sobriety' – BBC History Magazine

‘It is a rare book that will alter the way you look at one of history’s pivotal events and one of its greatest tragedies, but this is one of them’ – Matt Rubin, Washington Times

‘an excellent and original work … a meticulously researched, pioneering study that will appeal to many in both countries’ – The Open (India)

'Given the author, Walter Reid is a hugely admired and respected writer on military and political history whose research is incredibly impressive, his viewpoint should not be ignored. Keeping the Jewel in the Crown is an incredibly readable work of non-fiction that deserves to be read’ –

'Reid’s book makes for absorbing reading. He has the capacity to make his characters come out alive with all their human frailties. We are constantly reminded that imperialism, despite being such an awesome phenomenon, has had after all to operate through human agencies’ –  Outlook, New Delhi

‘Reid’s indictment [of British policy] is probing and unsparing and lucid. For all its grand hopes, the raj ended in hypocrisy and violence’ – The Telegraph, Kolkata

When India became independent in 1947, the general view, which has prevailed until now, is that Britain had been steadily working for an amicable transfer of power for decades. In this book Walter Reid argues that nothing could be further from the truth. With reference to a vast amount of documentary material, from private letters to public records and state papers, he shows how Britain held back political progress in India for as long as possible – a policy which led to unimaginable chaos and suffering when independence was granted, and which created a legacy of hatred and distrust that continues to this day.

Walter Reid studied at the universities of Oxford and Edinburgh. He has written a number of acclaimed books of military and political history, including Churchill: Under Friendly Fire and Empire of Sand: How Britain Made the Middle East.

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