A remarkable piece of detective work . . . In addition to fascinating human stories, 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 . . . exceptionally well-written and compelling to read.' - Michael Burleigh, author of Small Wars, Faraway Places 'The last days of a Himalayan kingdom presented in glorious Technicolor. This is a superbly researched work and packed full of extraordinary characters straight out of a James Bond novel, with appearances from Indira Gandhi, Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai and Chairman Mao . . . Has great relevance to today's Asia; anyone with an interest in India and China's complex relationship should read this enthralling book.' - Prajwal Parajuly, author of The Gurkha's Daughter and Land Where I Flee 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.
Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom