Publication Date: 20/01/2022 ISBN: 9780008498764 Category:

Rebels Against the Raj

Ramachandra Guha

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 20/01/2022 ISBN: 9780008498764 Category:




An extraordinary history of resistance and the fight for Indian independence from Ramachandra Guha.

Rebels Against the Raj tells the little-known story of seven people who chose to struggle for a country other than their own: foreigners to India who across the late 19th to late 20th century arrived to join the freedom movement fighting for independence.

Of the seven, four were British, two American, and one Irish. Four men, three women. Before and after being jailed or deported they did remarkable and pioneering work in a variety of fields: journalism, social reform, education, organic agriculture, environmentalism.

This book tells their stories, each renegade motivated by idealism and genuine sacrifice; each connected to Gandhi, though some as acolytes where others found endless infuriation in his views; each understanding they would likely face prison sentences for their resistance, and likely live and die in India; each one leaving a profound impact on the region in which they worked, their legacies continuing through the institutions they founded and the generations and individuals they inspired.

Through the entwined lives, wonderfully told by one of the world’s finest historians, we reach deep insights into relations between India and the West, and India’s story as a country searching for its identity and liberty beyond British colonial rule.

Publisher Review

'Explores the largely forgotten story of seven white-skinned rebels who fought for India's freedom ... Guha threads together these lives in a narrative of startling originality. He recently told Outlook magazine that he had never enjoyed writing a book as much as this one, and his excitement at discovering a forgotten chapter of Indian history is contagious. What is remarkable is how important these rebels were. They weren't just minor allies of the freedom movement, but historical figures whose decisions shaped the histories of both Britain and India ... remembering them is important. Guha's book emphasises that Britain's culture wars are not new: that empire was as controversial then as it is now, and that many Britons risked their lives for its downfall. And it shows that the daughter of an imperial naval officer could become one of empire's most important and vocal opponents. As discussions of Britain's colonial legacy become increasingly polarised, we are in ever more need of nuanced books like this one' Sam Dalrymple, Spectator 'Brits and Americans who joined India's struggle against British rule are remembered in this vibrant historical study ... Guha's elegantly written group portrait ably conveys the passion and idealism of the Gandhian independence movement and its hold over the Western imagination' Publishers Weekly 'Compelling mini biographies of a group of fighters for Indian independence who were born outside India but were fiercely devoted to the cause ... An inspiring education tool for those researching India and non-violent independence movements' Kirkus Reviews

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