Essential Reads | Recalling Jallianwala Bagh

Editor | Non-fiction

The Amritsar massacre of 1919, in which hundreds of people were killed at Jallianwala Bagh, was a seminal moment in the history of India and the British Empire. Yet, a hundred years on, it remains poorly understood and largely shrouded in myth.

In this rigorously researched book, Kim A. Wagner uncovers the experiences of ordinary people, British and Indian, and puts the reader at the centre of the simmering discontent and anxieties of April 1919. Situating the massacre within the ‘deep’ context of the colonial mindset and the local dynamics of

Indian nationalism, Wagner argues that Dyer’s order to open fire was triggered by fears of an imaginary rebellion. Jallianwala Bagh provides an innovative and nuanced approach to the dramatic events at Amritsar and unearths untold narratives that shed new light upon the bloody history of the British Empire.

Yasmin Khan, author of The Raj at War, said: “This is a vivid, finely researched account of the Amritsar massacre, which will be of great interest to both specialists and general readers alike.”

About the author:

Kim A. Wagner teaches global and British imperial history at Queen Mary University of London. His books include The Skull of Alum Bheg, The Great Fear of 1857 and Thuggee.

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