An American Witness to India's Partition

An American Witness to India's Partition

By: Phillip Talbot (author)Hardback

1 - 2 weeks availability


In 1938 few Americans knew about British-governed India or the nationalist movements then burgeoning there. Addressing this, a New York-based foundation, the Institute of Current World Affairs, awarded 23-year-old Phillips Talbot a fellowship to spend several years in India learning about the country. This volume is a collection of Talbot's letters written between 1938 and 1950, on the buildup to the independence of India and Pakistan, and the early experiences of the new states. Talbot's letters and reports from the field, presented here in the original, include his first-hand observations on student life at Aligarh Muslim University, local life in a small Muslim community in Kashmir, a Vedic ashram in Lahore, Tagore's Shantiniketan, Gandhi's Sevagram, the Kodaikanal Ashram Fellowship, and Hindu and Muslim urban communities in Lahore and Bombay, and Afghanistan.Learning about Indian politics, Talbot attended crucial meetings of the Indian National Congress, including the Ramgarh Conclave at the beginning of World War II, and the All India Muslim League's Lahore session at which the Pakistan resolution was adopted in 1940, along with other assemblies such as the Asian Relations Conference in the spring of 1947. He came to know Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Jinnah and other leaders. A trained journalist, Talbot reports with flair, whether he is recounting the Lahore session of the Muslim League, or describing a walk with Gandhi in Noakhali district of East Bengal after "the great Calcutta killing" of 1946, or his last interview with Gandhi a few weeks before the latter's assassination. For anybody wishing to get a ground-level view of South Asian society in its decisive decade, these letters from an American observer promise to be an enjoyable read.

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About Author

Phillips Talbot is President Emeritus, The Asia Society, USA. A distinguished journalist, he was the India correspondent of the Chicago Daily News in 1946. In 1961 the Kennedy administration named him Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs, covering the geographic area from Greece to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He has served as Ambassador to Greece from 1965 to 1969, and is a trustee emeritus of the Aspen Institute, the US-Japan Foundation and a number of other Asia-related organizations. His writings include South Asia in the World Today (edited); India and America: A Study of Their Relations (co-authored with S. L. Poplai); India in the 1980s and numerous other articles and reports. In 2002 the Indian Government awarded him the Padma Shri. He has also received the (New Delhi) Institute of Economic Studies' Bhartiya Shiromani Puraskar, the (Bombay) Indo-American Society's Annual Citation, the (New York) Taraknath Das Foundation's Distinguished Award, and the (Washington) Embassy of India's Videsh Samman.


Preface Foreword by B R Nanda India In London My Introduction to India and its Politics Kashmir and Lahore Tour of Afghanistan, Novemeber 12-26, 1940 Gandhi's Ashram; and on to War Service India after the War Indian Ashrams, 1947 Asian Relations Conference and Beyond Finally, the Arrival of Independence Two Years after Independence Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 18/09/2007
  • ISBN13: 9780761936183
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 448
  • ID: 9780761936183
  • weight: 703
  • ISBN10: 0761936181

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