Liberty or Death

Liberty or Death by Patrick French is one of the few books on Indian independence that is not anti-Jinnah. Its portrayal of Jinnah and Mountbatten is realistic. I recommend it to anyone interested in the partition of India and Pakistan.

Liberty or Death — India’s Journey to Independence and Division by Patrick French was recommended to me by Conrad and an offline friend of mine.

It is a good, well-balanced book. In fact, it is one of the few books on the history of the independence and partition of India not written by a Pakistani that is so positive about Jinnah. May be it is my latent patriotism, but I found its somewhat sympathetic portrayal of Jinnah and its harsh treatment of Mountbatten much closer to my understanding of the history than the picture painted in Freedom at Midnight.

Probably the one thing that distinguishes Patrick French’s work here is his use of the archival records from the intelligence services.

While I would recommend Liberty or Death highly to anyone who wants to read about the history of Indian/Pakistani independence, I do think that most of the books I have read on the topic focus too much on the 1940s and not as much as they should on the earlier decades of British rule in India.

Author: Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer

2 thoughts on “Liberty or Death”

  1. “In fact, it is one of the few books on the history of the independence and partition of India not written by a Pakistani that is so positive about Jinnah.”

    I find that even some White Muslims seem to feel that being pro-Gandhi, anti-Jinnah, pro India and anti-Pakistan seems to come with being “civilized.” There is an assumption that Gandhi means “spiritual” and Jinnah means being “worldly,” “political” and manipulative. An Eric Margolis is so rare as to almost be an anomaly.

    I don’t mind critique, but the one-sided public opinion environment in the West leaves almost no room for diversity of opinion on the India-Pakistan and Jinnah-Gandhi issues.

  2. I will like to read this book. I have read many books about our great leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Ones written by Western authors are generally biased about Muslims and hence about the great leader who was an example of words not different from deeds and a great pleader not only for the cause of Muslims but also in the courts of law. In one case his pleading saved a man from death who had been ordered to be hanged by the court of law, consequently, the British law had to be amended to read “hanged to death”.

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