|The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh
Memoirs of an American Diplomat
Archer K Blood
ISBN 984 05 1650 7 2002 392p 215x136mm HB Tk.450.00 US$25.00
The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh is an account of the emergence of Bangladesh seen through the eyes of a sympathetic American diplomat based in Dhaka during the gathering 4 the storm in 1970 leading to the War of Liberation in 197 1. Archer Blood glorifies the independence struggle of Bangladesh as a "Transformation of seemingly forlorn Dream into a bright shining Reality".
The book reflects a deep commitment to freedom on the part of the author and reads like an epitaph for the martyrs of struggle of the Bengali people. In 24 chapters the author chronicles the events of 1971 as he and the staff of the United States Mission in Dhaka saw them unfold.
Blood had to wait until December 1998 for the State Department to declassify the documents, telegrams and other messages related to this period before he could use them. The story that emerges, portrays large and vastly important drama of the real protagonists of the period: General Yahya Khan, Z.A. Bhutto and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Blood attempts to explain how the three men handled the enormous pressures from onrushing events - from their own constituencies, from the other two, and from their own sense of personal duty and responsibilities. The structure of the book, therefore, swings from being both an intensely personal memoir to a serious account of the many aspects of Bangladesh crisis, which was later described by Henry Kissinger as perhaps the most complex and difficult issue to confront the first Nixon term.
Archer K Blood was the American Consul General in the former East Pakistan in 1971. Earlier he served in the US Missions diplomatic positions in Greece, Germany and Afghanistan. He also held important Desk positions in the State Department in Washington. Following his term in Dhaka, Blood served the State Department in various capacities and in 1974 became the Deputy Commander for International Affairs in the US Army War College. After two terms as Charge d’ Affairs in US Mission in New Delhi, Blood retired in 1982. He was Diplomat in Residence and Professor of Political Science in 1982-1990 and Professor Emeritus at Allegheny College, USA. He has a Masters degree in International Relations from George Washington University. He had been guest lecturer a number of universities and institutes in the US and has published several articles in journals in the US.