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The Cold War in South Asia
Britain, the United States and the Indian Subcontinent, 1945–1965


  • Date Published: November 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107595507

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About the Authors
  • The Cold War in South Asia provides the first comprehensive and transnational history of Anglo-American relations with South Asia during a seminal period in the history of the Indian Subcontinent, between independence in the late 1940s, and the height of the Cold War in the late 1960s. Drawing upon significant new evidence from British, American, Indian and Eastern bloc archives, the book re-examines how and why the Cold War in South Asia evolved in the way that it did, at a time when the national leaderships, geopolitical outlooks and regional aspirations of India, Pakistan and their superpower suitors were in a state of considerable flux. The book probes the factors which encouraged the governments of Britain and the United States to work so closely together in South Asia during the two decades after independence, and suggests what benefits, if any, Anglo-American intervention in South Asia's affairs delivered, and to whom.

    • A truly transnational approach incorporating analyses of Soviet, Chinese, British, American, Indian and Pakistani policy-making in the region
    • The first systematic examination of Britain and America's relationship with post-independence South Asia
    • Strong contemporary relevance, offering important historical context to current Western interactions with South Asia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'McGarr has crafted a superb international history. [He] tracks not only the rise and fall of Anglo-American influence in South Asia during the first two decades after Independence and Partition until the end of the 1960s, but, just as importantly, he provides a broad assessment of the regional policies of India, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, and China … [He] has done an extraordinary job of constructing an international narrative by conducting rigorous multi-archival research in several countries. This is no mean feat, especially given the difficulties of using archives in India and Pakistan … The Cold War in South Asia should be required reading for anyone interested not only in South Asia, but also the global Cold War.' Eric Pullin, H-Diplo

    'It is hard not to applaud The Cold War in South Asia. There is hardly a question - hardly a document - about UK-U.S. relations within the context of South Asia policy that is not accounted for in this book. American presidents and British prime ministers, as well as their foreign secretaries, ambassadors and security advisers brilliantly come to life as they interact with the top leadership in Pakistan and India … There is no doubt that scholars interested in South Asia will take recourse to this book. Even decades from now they will find a meticulously produced gold mine of information.' Markus Daechsel, H-Diplo

    'McGarr sheds new light on British attitudes and approaches toward the subcontinent, as well as on Anglo-American collaboration and competitiveness … [He] does all this in a book that is well written, with a style that keeps the reader engaged … There is a lot to recommend in this book. It will make a valuable addition to the bookshelves of not just scholars, but also policymakers who continue to grapple with the subject of influence and of how to work with their allies and partners in third countries.' Tanvi Madan, H-Diplo Roundtable Reviews

    'Paul McGarr's exhaustively researched and clearly argued account of Cold War diplomacy in South Asia is a welcome addition to the growing historical literature in this area … Readers of McGarr's work will certainly be struck by some aspects of this history that seem to have recurred today … [this] book is praiseworthy not only for its reconstruction of this complicated diplomacy but also for its admonitory judgment about the limits and realities of power politics and state relationships in South Asia even today.' Andrew Muldoon, Journal of British Studies

    'A welcome addition to a body of literature that for one reason or another escapes the imagination and scrutiny of contemporary historians.' History Today

    'McGarr's The Cold War in South Asia provides rich evidence, strong arguments, and compelling insights about Anglo-American policy in South Asia; it is, in short, a new standard in the field.' David C. Engerman, Journal of American Studies

    'Excellent use is made of private papers accessed in India, Britain and the United States, as well as of government records in order to construct McGarr's authoritative and closely argued narrative. … McGarr's volume is an important addition to scholarly appreciation of the relationship of India and Pakistan with the international community in the two decades which followed independence.' Ian Talbot, Diplomacy and Statecraft

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107595507
    • length: 406 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. India, Pakistan and the early Cold War, 1947–57
    2. Eisenhower, Macmillan and the 'New Look' at South Asia, 1958–60
    3. The best of friends: Kennedy, Macmillan and Jawaharlal Nehru
    4. Upsetting the apple cart: India's 'liberation' of Goa
    5. Allies of a kind: Britain, the United States and the 1962 Sino-Indian War
    6. Quagmire: the Anglo-American search for a Kashmir settlement
    7. Realigning India: Western military aid and the threat from the north
    8. The other transfer of power: Britain, the US and the Nehru-Shastri Transition
    9. A bumpy ride: Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and South Asia
    10. Triumph and tragedy: the Raan of Kutch and the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War
    Conclusion: the erosion of Anglo-American power in India and Pakistan
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    Paul M. McGarr, University of Nottingham
    Paul McGarr is Lecturer in US Foreign Policy in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. He has published widely on aspects of transnational politics, economics, defence, intelligence and security, and postcolonial culture.

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