Smash and Grab : Annexation of Sikkim – Sunanda K. Datta-Ray
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Smash and Grab : Annexation of Sikkim – Sunanda K. Datta-Ray | This book made history. It wasn t banned, not quite, when it first appeared in 1984, but its disappearance was cleverly managed so that few got to read the only authentic account of how a protected kingdom became India s twenty-second state. As the Hon. David Astor, editor of The Observer in London, wrote, Sunanda K. Datta-Ray was alone in witnessing and communicating the essential story . He had to surmount many obstacles and incur severe disapproval to do so. Nearly thirty years later, a revised edition with the author s long new introduction reads like an exciting thriller. Rich with dances and durbars, lamaist rituals, intrigue and espionage, it brings vividly to life the dramatis personae of this Himalayan drama Sikkim s sad last king, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, and his vivacious American queen, Hope Cooke; bumbling Kazi Lendhup Dorji and his scheming Kazini, whose nationality and even her name were shrouded in mystery, and who played into the hands of more powerful strategists. Citing documents that have not been seen by any other writer, the book analyses law and politics with masterly skill to recreate the Sikkim saga against the background of a twentieth-century Great Game involving India and China. Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim didn t only make history. It is history.
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