Sikkim

Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom

By Andrew Duff

Format: Multiple Formats

A tale of intrigue, love and Cold War politics in the heart of Asia.

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Hardback

RRP: £25.00

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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This is the true story of Sikkim, a tiny Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas that survived the end of the British Empire only to be annexed by India in 1975.It tells the remarkable tale of Thondup Namgyal, the last King of Sikkim, and his American wife, Hope Cooke, thrust unwittingly into the spotlight as they sought support for Sikkim's independence after their 'fairytale' wedding in 1963. As tensions between India and China spilled over into war in the Himalayas, Sikkim became a pawn in the Cold War in Asia during the 1960s and 1970s. Rumours circulated that Hope was a CIA spy. Meanwhile, a shadowy Scottish adventuress, the Kazini of Chakung, married to Sikkim's leading political figure, coordinated opposition to the Palace. As the world's major powers jostled for regional supremacy during the early 1970s Sikkim and its ruling family never stood a chance. On the eve of declaring an Emergency across India, Indira Gandhi outwitted everyone to bring down the curtain on the 300 year-old Namgyal dynasty.Based on interviews and archive research, as well as a retracing of a journey the author's grandfather made in 1922, this is a thrilling, romantic and informative glimpse of a real-life Shangri-La.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 1 May 2015
SKU 9781780272863-grouped
Number of Pages 320

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Press Reviews

'Andrew Duff's book is a remarkable piece of detective work. In addition to the fascinating human stories Duff relates, the book is a very valuable addition to how the Cold War played out in South Asia, and to the history of the foreign policies of China, India and the US ... that it is exceptionally well-written makes it all the more compelling to read' - Michael Burleigh, author of Small Wars, Faraway Places

'An enthralling retelling of the Sikkim tragedy'

'Clearly the most comprehensive account so far of Sikkim's fall... a masterly skill in story-telling'

'Andrew Duff draws out the remarkable story of Sikkim's annexation and its last king through not just extensive historical research but fascinating human stories'

'Andrew Duff masterfully weaves together the many strands of the unfolding drama to produce a gripping page-turner' 

'Those who fantasise about Shangri-La will find this book a fascinating requiem for their dreams'

'A masterly and accessible account ... superbly researched, with sources ranging from Scottish missionary teachers' letters to classified US intelligence records and packed full of extraordinary characters straight out of a James Bond novel. The book has great relevance to today's Asia; anyone with an interest in India and China's complex relationship should read this enthralling book'

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