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‘Rebels Against the Raj’: Ramachandra Guha’s next to hit stands in January

The book will tell the story of seven foreign rebels who fought for India's freedom from imperial rule.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
December 2, 2021 3:00:30 pm
ramachandra guha, freedom fightersDr Ramachandra Guha (Express Photo by Amit Mehra)

Renowned historian Ramachandra Guha’s next, slated to release next month, will tell the story of seven foreign rebels who fought for India’s freedom from imperial rule, announced Penguin Random House India (PRHI) on Thursday.

To be published under Penguin’s ‘Allen’ imprint, Rebels Against the Raj: Western Fighters for India’s Freedom, is currently available for pre-order online.

It claims to be a group biography of the seven renegades who were “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”.

Traitors to their race, religion and nation, these seven rebels — four British, two American and one Irish — made critical contributions to Indian life before and after Independence, said Guha, the best-selling author of several books including the highly acclaimed “India After Gandhi” and “Gandhi Before India”.

“This book is about seven remarkable foreigners who made that definitive show of solidarity with their adopted homeland. Tracking their journeys, through research in archives spread across the world, and in family papers never before seen by scholars, has been both arduous as well as immensely rewarding. I do not think I have ever enjoyed writing a book as much as this one,” he added.

According to the publishers, through these entwined lives, wonderfully told by one of the world’s finest historians, the readers 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.

“This is an extraordinary account of the fight for Indian independence through the unexplored narratives of seven foreigners in India, and is one of his most unusual and exciting books so far. It is elegantly crafted, a marvel of original and unique research, and is centred around a fascinating, little-known subject. I believe no one could have told this story better, and I cannot wait for the world to read this book,” said Meru Gokhale, publisher, Penguin Press, PRHI.

Guha’s previously authored works include Environmentalism: A Global History and Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World.

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