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Freedom at Midnight () is a book by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. It describes events around Indian independence and partition in Freedom at Midnight has ratings and reviews. failed to note that this book was written by a team of authors: Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins. Jul 19, by Ellen Mcamis. Freedom at Midnight paints a sweeping picture of the tumultuous year of India’s independence from Great Britain in

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins.

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Freedom at Midnightfeedom sign up.

I don’t think that a history book this condescending could be written anytime after about That said, do people recommend moving on past the slightly uncomfortable first chapter? Kash Gajjar Very much so. I actually found it quite factual and objectively narrated.

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Yes, the writers have an affection for Mountbatten and that comes through. But they have captured the times and the events thereof perfectly, in my opinion. See all 10 questions about Freedom at Midnight…. Lists with This Book.

May 28, KO rated it did not like it Shelves: Oh goody, yet another book written through colonial tinted glasses. It’s a well written, easy reading book so I can see why it’s so popular, and if it was labelled fictional, I’d give it four stars, for fictional it is, speaking of a world where the British Raj and it’s leaders brought civilization to the masses, but the masses lapiwrre the wise Brits away even though they were led by that holiest of holy cows, Lord Mountbatten – and this domnique away caused mass bloodshed in the process.

It’s almo Oh goody, yet another book written through colonial tinted glasses.

It’s almost a biblical story, and no wonder so many people still think fondly of empire, they probably read books like this one. The target audience for the book seems to be people who want to be able to understand just enough of the British Raj to absolve the Raj of any guilt and blame Jinnah and others for much of the ills of partition. The authors struggle with the very basic idea of why some brown people wanted independence, especially when the British were so benevolent and wise, and give up and just talk about it like it was just something which was happening, no hard feelings really, except against Jinnah.

The book ignores practically all Indian writings, and even famous British writers like Adam Smith or Florence Nightingale who were harping on about the British needlessly killing millions in famines every few years in British India. Famines, bigger than the holocaust – skip that, lets concentrate and talk about Mountbattens shiny medals and his big big parties!

And oh, look, Mountbatten has a Rolls Royce! And he’s the grandson of some queen or the other! So on one side we have Mountbatten, working hard, inviting a few brown men to luncheons every now and then, working so hard, with hardly any help, just a few thousand servants, not much at all, and on on the other we have those spoilt little boys, Gandhi and Jinnah, needlessly talking about freedom and what not.

It was enough to put Mountbatten of his tea, but poor little Mountbatten suffered through it all, why one year he met Jinnah twice! And after each visit he had to go recover in the hill stations of Simla because Jinnah was such an unpleasant little man, asking uncomfortable questions. Forget the questions, did you know Jinnah was a stiff man who had this very uncomfortable stare?

What were those uncomfortable questions? If you only read this book you won’t know, for the authors were obviously very aware that Mountbatten descendents themselves would be reading this book, laoierre they didn’t want to make them uncomfortable with annoying little questions. Some reviews point out that this book is well researched – I’m sure it is, but only in that section of the British Imperial Archives which has been scrubbed of voices which are in any way critical of British rule, or attempt to look at it honestly.


Little things like India having to bear the staggering high military cost of Empire don’t exist in the authors fictionalized world.

Heck the authors go all the other way, and say that the British lost money during the Raj, and it was literally out of the goodness of their white hearts that the British ruled India. History is a story – and the problem with this book is not that it’s a freeedom – midmight problem is that it’s a glib view which completely omits and washes British hands of what they did during their occupation and departure from India.

View all 13 comments. Very rarely comes a defining moment that changes history to the extent of being un-recognizable and very rarely comes a book that changes your life, perceptions and everything that you presumed to be true once and for all.

Independence of India was the defining moment in modern India and this book by the author duo Dominique Lappierre and Larry Collins on the before and after-math of the same is the defining book in my life. Honestly speaking, not even the most vreedom words of mine can do justic Very rarely comes a defining moment that changes history to the extent of being un-recognizable and very rarely comes a book that changes your life, perceptions and everything that you presumed to be true once and for all.

Honestly speaking, not even the most lauding words of mine can do justice to this beautiful, poignant and soul-stirring historical documentary cum novel in which we glide through the charming yet terrifying history of our own nation during the period ofstupefied, terrorized and wide-eyed in awe and chill, as the author duo take us on a once-in-a-lifetime kind of ride that is bound to change our very perceptions of history, beliefs and ideologies regarding the very country and society that we inhabit.

Frankly, never has a single book amazed and intrigued me so much, while being so educative and informative.

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins

The most astounding achievement of this book is that it rips out the aura of myths that have agglomerated around our political figures associated with the freedom movement, and humanizes each and every one of them, while being totally neutral, and being absolutely honest with the facts. Every Indian has grown ffeedom on a staple of myths and legends associated with our freedom fighters.

Well, be rest assured that this book will end up ripping out each of those notions and burning them to cinders. Another fascinating aspect of this book is its characterization of Mahatma Gandhi, so real yet surreal at times.

It shows you in clear light, the real essence of being the father of a nation. It shows midnihgt what it frredom to be one M. You are bound to bow in humility and fall in love with this mahatma, whether you have read good or bad or nothing about him before.

The other facets of the Indian independence story like the Kashmir problem and the issue of princely states frreedom also been dealt in a very detailed manner too and are mivnight read on their own accord themselves.

There is also a very horrifying and realistic account of the tragedy of partition and its bloody aftermath. Through this piece, the author-duo have delved into some of the darker sides of the prominent figures of that midmight and the whole populace as a whole.

This portion is the most gut-wrenching one and you are left to wonder in amazement at the sheer midjight of craziness and horror of the whole episode.

One gets to know why lapierfe is the one deep blemish that has stained the minds of every subsequent generation on the both sides of the border. This book is recommended for anyone interested in knowing our freedom fighters, freedom movement, the Raj, the Maharajas and the Mahatma very lapierte, if not wholly or in full measure. View all 6 comments.

This makes it an accessible book for new readers. All qualities counted, however, there is a big problem with the perspective. This book comes off as portraying the functioning and benevolent British Raj that midnibht and unfortunately had to go due to extenuating circumstances.

This urgency to finish the job as quickly as possible led to decisions that ripped apart the social fabric of the country, echoes of which are still heard in contemporary Indo-Pak relations. Mahatma Gandhi gets good coverage as he deserves. He was the only major politician to see through the horrors of Partition and the bloodshed it would unleash. No one listened to his cominique Jinnah turned a deaf ear, Nehru-Patel duo were eager to see British go and rule an independent country; but all of them were dominiwue for a rude shock when rioting and killing on a large scale ensued as soon as Partition and independence were formally announced.


Oct 30, Moomtaza rated it it was ok. This is dominuque terribly difficult book to rate. One the one hand, it will give the reader a profound sense of the tragedy of Indian partition upon independence in Ten million people were displaced in the border crossings that followed the creation of India and Pakistan. The loss of life is epic and extraordinary, and any who read midnigght will quickly realize that members of all religious groups in this case, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus are capable of horrific violence, as well as heroic This is a terribly difficult book to rate.

The loss of life is epic and extraordinary, and any who read it will quickly realize that members of all dominoque groups in this case, Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus are capable of horrific violence, as well as heroic acts of self-sacrifice. The book is over pages long and covers only one year – there is no mistaking how high and how vast the stakes are as one works through it.

And the portrait of Gandhi is truly spectacular. On the other hand, the authors were clearly Anglophiles enamored of the last British Viceroy in India, Lord Mountbatten. Though they acknowledge a few of his epic mistakes, several bits of history are conveniently left out – such as the fact that the British largely created and fostered the animosities that led to pre- and post- partition violence by promoting Sikhs, Ismailis, and Hindus as imperial agents and severely disenfranchising and terrorizing Muslims – representatives of the waning Mughal empire that the Brits conquered in order midnighy take India- within a climate of extreme disparity.

One possible reason for this lack of crucial details: The authors depict Jinnah as absolutist in his ego-maniacal need to be the father of a new nation, rather than acknowledge the validity of his concerns: Perhaps this is also the reason why they scarcely mention B.

Ambedkar, self-appointed political leader lspierre India’s dalit “untouchable” populations? Ambedkar – one of the authors of the Constitution – also feared the fate of that community in an independent India and converted to Buddhism on his deathbed as an act of symbolic resistance to Hindu-majority rule.

Freedom at Midnight: Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre: : Books

If one is looking for a gripping narrative, however, this book is certainly it. The authors delve deeply into orientalist lore to depict the exploits of the maharajas princely rulers of various territories who had their sovereignty revoked dminique independence in and their titles and privileges rescinded 25 years laterand are not shy about including salacious – often stomach-churning and horrifying – stories. Indians – even Gandhi, at points – come off looking like a pretty debilitated bunch and certainly not fit for self-rule.

Unfortunately, but perhaps not surprisingly, this book is still the best-selling account of Freedoj independence. Apr 24, Aishah Macgill rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone interested in History, Indiaphiles. The best book ever written on the birth of Pakistan as a nation. If you watch the movie Lapirre, and read this book, you have pretty much got the history of the time covered and a good understanding of the politics of the time.

Freedom at Midnight

Millions of people died when Hindus marched from the north and Muslims marched to the north. Some years ago, I had an Pakistani friend who showed a group of us some photos of his old school.

Houses were abandoned on both sides and empty homes were claimed quickly by anyone opportunistic enough.

This account of the events leading up to partition, and the subsequent creation of a new nation, holds nothing back. It was very upsetting in part, graphic descriptions of the violence. Loving citizens who were once neighbours, turned on each other lpierre. India and Pakistan are still political foes, I for one, wish partition never happened.

It seems a terrible waste of life, the country is better of united as one.