BRITISH EMPIRE: At Stake: A New World

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A stupendous historical drama had been scheduled for last week?there had never been anything like it before, on any stage—but in the acting it proved to be highly undramatic, at least to U.S. spectators. The greatest empire since Rome was offering self-rule to the vast and legendary subcontinent of India?and there was not one quotable line or breathtaking episode.

If history thus refused the spectacular, it was partly because the principal actor, Sir Stafford Cripps, was anything but glamorous. He stretched out the hand of British friendship, begging India to "accept...