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Based on exclusive interviews and new archive research, this is a thrilling, romantic and informative glimpse of life in a lost paradise.
A tale of intrigue, love and Cold War politics in India
Features newly released intelligence files shedding light on the Cold War in Asia there will be major news interest even outside of the book review pages.
Sikkim ranked #1 region in the world to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet. This is the incredible true story of Sikkim, a fairy-tale kingdom in the Himalayas that survived the end of the British Empire in India only to be annexed by India in 1975.
Sikkim: Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom tells the remarkable story of Thondup, the handsome last King of Sikkim and his young and beautiful American queen, Hope Cooke, thrust unwittingly into the spotlight as they sought support for Sikkims independence after their wedding in 1963. But as tensions between India and China spilled over into war in the Himalayas, Sikkim became a pawn in the Cold War ideological battle that played out 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 Sikkims leading political figure, coordinated opposition to the Palace. As the geopolitical tectonic plates of the Himalayas ground together, forming the political landscape that exists today, Sikkim never stood a chance. Thondup died a broken man in 1982; Hope returned to New York; Sikkim began a new phase as Indias twenty-second state.
Press coverage for Sikkim: Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
'A wonderful story, expertly told' (Sara Wheeler in The Spectator)
'A gripping page-turner' (Govindan Nair in The Hindu)
Absorbing' (Free Press Journal)
A substantial work of history' (Anjuli Kaul in Open Magazine)
A richly researched and compellingly written account' (John Keay in The Literary Review)
The last days of a Himalayan kingdom presented in glorious Technicolor' (Prajwal Parajuly, author of The Gurkha's Daughter)
A remarkable piece of detective work a very valuable addition to how the Cold War played out in South Asia (Michael Burleigh, author of Small Wars' Faraway Places)
Duff draws out the remarkable story of Sikkim's annexation and its last king' (DNA India)
Andrew Duff has connected many dots.A thoroughly readable account (Harish Khare in The Tribune)
An act of remembrance for a land that once belonged to a fairy tale. excellent research work meets historical story-telling' (Financial Chronicle)
It has all the ingredients for a major Feature Film- Love and hate, suspense and suspicion, great powers and small nations, a Shangri - la, beautiful foreign and Sikkimese princesses and a handsome king' (Sanjoy Hazarika in The Pioneer)
An enthralling retelling of the Sikkim tragedy' (Barbara Crosette, author of So Close to Heaven - The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas, in Passblue.com)
Clearly the most comprehensive account so far of Sikkim's fall (The Calcutta Telegraph)
A fast-paced, entertaining yet thoroughly researched work (Jules Stewart, author of Spying for the Raj - the Pundits and the Mapping of the Himalaya, in The Geographical)
About the Author
Andrew Duff is a freelance journalist based in London and Scotland who writes on India and related subjects. In the UK his work has appeared in The Times, The Financial Times and the Sunday Telegraph and in India in the Times of India and the India Quarterly. He travels frequently in India and East Asia.