The Raj at War

The Second World War was not fought by British alone. India produced the largest volunteer army in world history: over 2 million. 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.

raj at warAt the heart of the Raj at War are the many lives and voices of ordinary Indian people. From the first Indian to win the Victorian Cross in the war to the three soldiers imprisoned as ‘traitors of the Raj’ who returned to a hero’s welcome, from the nurses in Indian General Hospitals to the laborers, prostitutes and families – their testimonies reveal the great upheaval experienced throughout the land.

Yasmin Khan presents the hidden and sometimes overlooked history of India at war, and shows how mobilization for the war introduced seismic processes of economic, cultural and social change – decisively shaping the international war effort, the unraveling of the Empire and India’s own political and economic trajectory.


elephant warThe Raj at War published by Vintage Books this July brings to light India’s home front in the Second World War, as told by the many lost voices of Indian soldiers and civilians.

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 long-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2008.


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