Author(s): Yasmin Khan
The Second World War was not fought by Britain alone. India produced the largest volunteer army in world history: over 2 million men. But, until now, there has never been a comprehensive account of India's turbulent home front and the nexus between warfare and India's society. In The Raj at War we hear the myriad voices of ordinary Indian people, from the first Indian to win the Victoria Cross to the three soldiers imprisoned as 'traitors to the Raj' who returned to a hero's welcome, from the nurses in Indian General Hospitals to labourers and their families in remote villages. Yasmin Khan presents the overlooked history of India at war, and shows how mobilisation for the war unleashed seismic processes of economic, cultural and social change - decisively shaping both the international war effort and the unravelling of the empire and India's own political trajectory.
India's home front in the Second World War, as told by the many lost voices of Indian soldiers and civilians
Long-listed for Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History 2016 and Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year (Non-Fiction) 2015.
"Exceptional... balances analysis, history and human compassion in a narrative that leaves one shaken... Khan shows how the vibrancy of that great continent in all its intense colour, diversity and ebullience was washed with the grey pallor of despair... [a] magnificent, time-resistant reliquary for evanescent memory" -- Juliet Nicolson, 5 stars Daily Telegraph "This fascinating book tells the story of World War Two's impact on India: the shattering of the ordered relations which underpinned the Raj making its end inevitable. It's also a much needed reminder of India's contribution to that war" -- Mark Tully "This fascinating book tells the story of World War Two's impact on India: the shattering of the ordered relations which underpinned the Raj making its end inevitable. It's also a much needed reminder of India's contribution to that war" -- Mark Tully "Epic and intimate" -- Aamer Hussein Independent "Masterly" -- John Keay Literary Review
Yasmin Khan is a British writer and historian. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College. Her first book, The Great Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan, won the Gladstone Prize from the Royal Historical Society in 2007 and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2008.