War Volume published by Indian Review

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A special wartime edition of the journal Indian Review, described by the Madras-based editor G. A. Natesan as 'A comprehensive and authentic account of the War with numerous illustrations, portraits, cartoons, maps and diagrams contributed by officers of the Indian Civil, Military and Medical Services, Ministers of Native States, Engineers, Educationalists, Journalists, Lawyers, Publicists and other Specialists. Edited by G.A.Natesan, with an introduction by H.E.Pentland and an appreciation by H.E.Lord Hardinge.' Price Rs 4. To Subscribers of the ‘I.R.’ Rs 3. G.A.Natesan & Co., Sunkurama Chetty Street, Madras.


The book was mainly a collection of articles on the war which had appeared in former issues of Indian Review, a monthly journal edited by Natesan with contributions in English by Indians and available at an annual subscription rate of five rupees. It was highly acclaimed by journals such as The Liberty Review, The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, The Anglo-American Gazette, and The Japan Daily Mail. Indian Review was the moderate voice of modern India. Representing the educated middle classes, it was critical of discriminatory policies and argued for greater political autonomy but at the same time with a continuing loyalty and support for the British Raj. With an introduction by Lord Pentland, Governor of Madras, and endorsed by Lord Hardinge, the war volume was necessarily pro-war and pro-empire, given the tightening of colonial laws around wartime publishing. However, it did include some critiques of colonial policies, with extracts of speeches from prominent nationalist leaders such as Dr Dadabhai Naoroji, Annie Besant, B.L. Tilak, and Mahatma Gandhi. In many ways, the Indian Review War Book was perhaps the most compendious contemporary record of the discussions and debates concerning India and the First World War. With a sketch of a Sikh and English soldier flanking each side of its red cover, totalling 440 pages, and priced at Rs 4, the Indian Review War Book covers an extremely impressive range of subjects from economics and literature to politics and philosophy, as well as black-and-white photographs of prominent English and Indian leaders, the Indian troops, Indian hospital ships, or the Lady Hardinge War Hospital at Bombay. There are two lists of contents: the first, ‘Analytical Contents’, groups the different articles by certain common topics such as ‘The Causes of the War’, ‘War and International Law’, ‘Medical Relief in War’, and ‘Women and War’. The ‘Detailed Contents’, running into eight pages, indicates more fully the scope of the book, giving the sense of the war as being a global rather than an European conflict, with contributions on the war responses of Egypt, Turkey, and Newfoundland. Written, as Lord Pentland notes in his introduction, ‘from the standpoint of Britain and her allies’, the book tries to approach the war from different points of view: thus, we have ‘An Anti-English Poem’ by Prof. Gierke as well as a series of articles on German writers such Nietzsche and Bernhardi.