‘A narrative of startling originality … 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 ‘Fascinating and provocative’ LITERARY REVIEW 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.
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