India’s economy is growing at a tremendous clip with its expanding, highly educated workforce competing for jobs with Western economies. Pakistan, whose President-General is allied with the U.S., in many ways has become a crucial partner (and some say a liability) in America’s adventures and misadventures overseas since 9/11. Both countries have made the world nervous with nuclear posturing over the last decade or so. So it is natural that on the sixtieth anniversary of both countries’ creation via bloody partition, a number of books have recently been published chronicling this pivotal moment in recent history. I’ve listed five of these books on the birth of Pakistan below (Please use the comments to let us know about any I’ve missed.)
- Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex Von Tunzelmann – New Yorker review; excerpt
- India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha – San Francisco Chronicle review
- The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future by Martha C. Nussbaum – NYRB review; excerpt (pdf)
- Shameful Flight: The Last Years of the British Empire in India by Stanley Wolpert – Times of India review
- The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan by Yasmin Khan – The Economist review; excerpt
The Great Partition and Indian Summer seem to be getting the most press, with both being discussed in a recent Slate article.