A Separate Country

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Market Watch. Pinterest Reddit. Former British prime minister Clement Attlee told the US ambassador to the UK in June that he believed Bengal would opt to be an independent state instead of joining either India or Pakistan, according to a media report on Friday. Dawn said in a report from Washington that historical documents released recently by the US State Department show that the US was the first country that Attlee briefed on his plans to divide India.

On June 2, , the US Ambassador in the UK , Lewis Williams Douglas, sent an "urgent and top secret" telegram to Secretary of State George Marshall, stating that the same afternoon Attlee had called him to his office and shared with him "advance information" about the partition plan.

The next day, Viceroy Louis Mountbatten broadcast the plan to the Indian people while Attlee presented it to the British parliament.


Attlee told Ambassador Douglas he wanted elected representatives from Punjab and Bengal to decide which of the two major dominions these provinces would join. If they failed to do so, those two provinces would be partitioned between India and Pakistan. In that event Bengal might form a separate dominion , an alternative also open to Punjab, but which he thought it improbable that it would elect to do, Attlee told Ambassador Douglas.

Attlee told the US ambassador that power might be transferred to Hindustan sometime in August. If India was divided, Attlee told the ambassador, such problems as the partition of gold holdings, army, etc would be carried out by joint commissions of Indians representing the several Indian dominions. He told the US ambassador that in its efforts to restore order, the Indian Army would be acting under orders of the interim Indian government's defence minister. The British prime minister told the US ambassador that he thought opposition in British parliament would not object to appropriate legislation and that it would therefore go through promptly, the Pakistani daily said.

In that telegram, Secretary Marshall referred to a June 19, , dispatch by Reuters news agency, reporting that Karachi had been selected as Pakistan's capital and the US was willing to open an embassy there. Read more on Indian Army.

View all 6 comments. Feb 21, Sue rated it did not like it Shelves: historical-fiction. I feel compelled to make a comment about a book I rated so poorly. I typically like historical fiction, and having been to New Orleans many times, the setting sounded appealing also, BUT I simply could not made myself care about any of the book's main characters -- and I tried, I did. Anna Marie, in particular, came across as unbelievable to me -- I had trouble believing a girl of her social class would have been allowed so much freedom as a child which is central to one of the sub-plots.

And, I feel compelled to make a comment about a book I rated so poorly. And, with all due respect to Mr. Hicks, I had even more trouble believing that any woman bearing 11 children in rapid succession into a world of increasing poverty would still have any real longing for sex. Sadly,I found this book tedious and had to force myself to finish it.

View all 9 comments. Jun 16, Laura rated it did not like it. Even a hard core Civil War fan would find this book difficult to finish. It dragged on and on, and soon you don't even care what happens to the characters. As if that weren't bad enough, when you are finished, you still aren't sure what happened to them and why. I continued reading, thinking that it HAS to get better.

It did not. Don't bother reading. View all 4 comments. Oct 19, John Hood rated it it was amazing.


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John Bell Hood settles in New Orleans, fathers 11 children and learns from the errors of his ways. Robert Hicks.

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Grand Central. He lost the Battle of Franklin, and with that Nashville.

A Separate Country by Robert Hicks

He lost the use of his left arm in the Battle of Gettysburg. And he lost his right leg in the Battle of Chickamauga. In fact, even when Hood won, his men didn't, as in the Battle of Gaines' Mills, where every one of his officers was either killed or wounded. In the end, of course, all the Southern generals were losers. Hood, however, seemed to make a mad art of it. Unlike most of his cohorts, he didn't lose his life. After the War, Hood scampered down to New Orleans in order to try to live as fully as possible.

That's where Robert Hicks enters in his marvelous new book, which looks back on the legendary and monstrous general of the Civil War with a brand new set of eyes. He knows nothing of the crop, and he hasn't a head for business. Naturally, by employing many of the same rash and brash tactics that he employed in battle, the general suffers the same fate in business as he did in war. Hood would later lose again, after inheriting General James Longstreet's insurance business. And again his loss would largely be due to his own obstinacy. Hicks reveals a Hood made of sterner stuff than the spine and the bravado it takes to charge a battlefield.

His Hood has the capacity to love.

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He marries and fathers 11 children and learns to see that there is great grace and glory in caring for others. He learns from the errors of his ways and oftentimes forgives the errors of those with whom he spent the last years of his life. Not always, of course -- Hicks is writing fiction, not fairy tale -- but often enough to make the story feel real. A Separate Country is written from three perspectives: Hood, his wife Anne Marie and of a young man named Eli Griffin, who first comes to kill the general and ends up becoming his confidante and protector.

Hood entrusts his secret memoir to Griffin, from whom we are best able to get some perspective. Behind the three lie a mad priest, an unscrupulous dwarf, an albino octoroon and a rabid assassin. And while these four are not the entire core of the story, each leaves a mark on the story in strange and savage aspects, much like the strange and savage tale of John Bell Hood himself, the legend, the monster, and now, the man.

John Hood is a Miami-based columnist and correspondent. Nov 02, Linda rated it it was ok. There were some things I liked about the book. The characters were well-drawn, and the Hoods are interesting people. But I thought the premise of the book was just too unlikely. The book was told through the journals of three different people. I know people keep journals, but not in the kind of detail in this book. The book was just way too long. I mean, how does a woman with eleven children and no servants or modern convenciences find time to write in a journal?


She even keeps writing at leng There were some things I liked about the book. She even keeps writing at length when she is dying of yellow fever. After having traveled to new Orleans for the first time last fall, I was stunned by the European flavor this city possesses, and yet it is unlike Europe in many ways as well. It also shares some of the flavor I enjoyed while living in the Caribbean.

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