At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the British Empire withdrew from India, igniting the exhilaration and turmoil of a newly free society. In this vivid, atmospheric popular history, Alex von Tunzelmann chronicles these times through the most prominent figures: Dickie Mountbatten, Britain's dashing, inept last viceroy; Dickie's savvy, glamorous wife, Edwina, who found the love of her life in Jawaharlal Nehru, India's new prime minister; Muslim leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah; and Mohandas Gandhi. Tunzelman's thrilling chronicle "removes the veil from the colorful personalities and events behind India's independence and partition with Pakistan" (The Washington Post).
©2007 Alex von Tunzelmann (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"In her scintillating debut, British author von Tunzelmann keeps one eye on the big picture, but foregrounds the personalities and relationships of the main political leaders - larger-than-life figures whom she cuts down to size.... [A] compelling narrative history, combining dramatic sweep with dishy detail." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is history as multiple, interconnected biography... a book more concerned with the smaller, more colorful threads of individual character than with the broader tapestry of history and retrospective judgment.... Indian Summer achieves something both simpler and rarer, placing the behavior and feelings of a few key players at the center of a tumultuous moment in history." (The New York Times Book Review)
“Nicola Barber’s narration is warm and intelligible, despite her entirely appropriate posh British vowels. Barber does an excellent job of pronouncing the names and titles of the various Indian places, princes, and pundits.” (AudioFile)
I had started reading the book several times and never got past the firts few chapters. It is a piece loaded with historical facts and the lovely and melodious voice of Nicola Barber makes it very easy to digest, follow, understand and most of all, enjoy.
I was aware the subcontinent was partitioned at independence and little else. I had heard of Lord and Edwina Montbatten and was faintly aware of rumors of Nehru and Edwina's special relationship. Of course, who has not heard of Mahatma Gandhi. "Indian Summer" gives background to the events of 1947 in terms of personalities, geography and historical events. It also provides insights into how Pakistan has developed from what was intended to be a secular nation into what we see today.
I am certain there is more to learn, but "Indian Summer" is a great beginning and a solid base to build on.
The narrator is emotional.... The narrative is biased... Reads more like the Mountebatten history... India comes second...
No. The narrator is trying to bring in modulations but did not do a good job. It gets irritating after a point.
This is a good book. However the experience would've been much better had the narration discounted the emotion. The volume of the narrative suffered quite. A few times due to this. But the content was good overall.
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Of India. Part of this book is written when I was a child growing up. So, it was on the daily news. It's wonderful to put it all together!
Thorough and thoughtful.
The narrator's voice was not a good match for the story, in my opinion. However, she was able to pronounce some very tongue twisting names with ease.
This epic story gives insight into the key characters of the independence of India - the largest democracy in the world - and the legendary men and women behind the peaceful revolution- Lord and Lady Mountbatten, Gandhi and Nehru. It does not sugar coat their vices, failings and fears but it also clearly defines their contributions and passions. I loved the personal insights into the diaries and love letters. The speaker was a great choice because her feminine voice helps listeners to enjoy the interpersonal dynamics instead of just looking at this as a political documentary. Well done! poignant!
A lot of misconceptions and sweeping judgements about the characters and decisions of various actors in this epic drama were brought to light and dare I say that I almost could see why they did what they did.
The missing history from history books and the maligned live story felt so humane that one cannot stop from adoring it.
The reference to the movie "The men from two worlds" implying Gandhi as the local shaman and Nehru as the western doctor, both getting wrong the malady of India was poignant.
From promiscuity to patron,Edwina's journey reminds of any modern day celebrity but her acuity puts all of them to shame.
The simpleton Mountbatten's rise to power and ultimate dramatic exit reminds ordinary mortals like us how ordinary our lives are compared to these troubled actors who played in this episode.
The narrator was very good, clear and emphatic as required but she couldn't be forgiven for pathetic pronunciation of Indian names. They weren't too difficult and a lack of trying kind of rubs off badly. At places towards the end she got them almost right but mostly it was off putting and confusing to say the least.
All in all, a very enlightening reading.
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