1757 to 1947, abridged

From Plassey to Partition – Sekhar Bandyopadhyay

From Plassey to Partition is a book on Indian history. Some history books can be read before going to bed, some have to be read at ungodly hours of the morning to remember every line of it; to a casual reader, this book is an engaging read that takes him through two hundred years, at lightning speed; to a student, this book is invaluable, and it tires him with its depth and vastness. The book starts at the battle of Plassey and concludes with the partition of India at independence.

Written with authority, it is crisp in its content. It captures many facets of the colonialisation of India, and gives vibrant perspective to revolts, movements, government action and important events.

The negative, in my opinion (as a student), is that it is (albeit a little humorous) a serious book that does not let you relax and weighs you down. Blink, and you’ve missed a couple of years.

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The huge positive is that, if read casually, it is a page turner. For example, the otherwise boring initial years of the English East India Company’s occupation of India, and the unfolding of events during it, is written with a generous amount of drama (much to my amusement and relief at having found a book on those decades that doesn’t induce sleep).

I highly recommend the book for students of history. This is a fun textbook, trust me. For casual readers, this will be the shortest version of the Indian story of Independence that spans two centuries. In any case, it is the most interesting and credible book of its kind, in my opinion.

3/5

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