The Blood Telegram

The Blood Telegram

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0307744620

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Blood Telegram

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0307744620

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction
Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Book Award

Winner of the Lionel Gelber Prize for Best Foreign Affairs Book
Winner of the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz Book Award

Winner of the Cundill Prize for Historical Literature
Winner of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations' Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize
Winner of the Ramnath Goenka Award

One of the Best Books of the Year at • The Economist • Financial Times • The New Republic • The Washington Post • Kirkus Reviews •
New York Times Notable Book 

This magnificent history provides the first full account of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s secret support for Pakistan in 1971 as it committed shocking atrocities in Bangladesh—which led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia, and left major strategic consequences for the world today.

Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently declassified documents, and his own extensive investigative reporting, Gary Bass uncovers an astonishing unknown story of superpower brinkmanship, war, scandal, and conscience. Revelatory, authoritative, and compulsively readable, The Blood Telegram is a thrilling chronicle of a pivotal chapter in American foreign policy.

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of Hindus, he described “the hate and terror and fear” throughout the “conquered province.” Back in Dacca at last, Schanberg found the city “half-deserted,” with fresh loads of troops arriving daily from West Pakistan at the airport. Terrified merchants had taken down signs in the Bengali language and put up new ones in English, because they did not know Urdu. He wrote that foreign diplomats estimated that the army had killed at least two hundred thousand Bengalis.22 Soon after, Schanberg says,

rebels, Kosygin uncomfortably suggested that the Indians maintain total secrecy about what was happening at their borders. Not pledging Soviet support in the event of a war, he instead urged India to strengthen its own military. Even at this climactic moment, he reiterated the “absolute need of protecting peace,” and bluntly said that war was not in India’s interest. On the single most important issue, the two states were at odds.9 Still, on August 8, Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet foreign minister,

Democracy (New York: Penguin, 2003); and Perry Anderson, “Gandhi Centre Stage,” London Review of Books, 5 July 2012, pp. 3–11. See Steve Coll, On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (New York: Times Books, 1994), pp. 33–52, 118–23, 262–63; Atul Kohli, ed., The Success of India’s Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen, “Putting Growth in Its Place,” Outlook India, 14 November 2011; Ashutosh Varshney, “Is India Becoming More Democratic?”

“A Dhaka Debacle,” Indian Express, 30 July 2011, and Naeem Mohaiemen, “Flying Blind,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 46, no. 36 (3 September 2011), pp. 40–52. For an exchange between Bose and Mohaiemen, see Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 46, no. 53 (31 December 2011), pp. 76–80. 58. White House tapes, Oval Office 477-1, 12 April 1971, 10:24–10:33 a.m. For a partial transcript, see FRUS, pp. 65–66. CHAPTER 6: THE INFERNO NEXT DOOR 1. MEA, HI/1012/30/71, Chib to Kaul, 8 April

Mukti Bahini Wins Victory (Dacca: Columbia Prokashani, 2004), pp. 131–33. Pakistan later tried to lure these dangerously trained men back, with a hedged offer from General Tikka Khan, East Pakistan’s military governor, that those who returned to their posts would be “treated compassionately” (POL 23-9 PAK, Box 2531, Bell to Shakespeare, 19 April 1971, Dacca 1386). Library of Congress, Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, Foreign Affairs Oral History Project, Archer Blood interview, 27

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