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Elkins C. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Henry Holt/Jonathan Cape; Caroline Elkins. Professor of History. Elkins, Caroline M. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Henry Holt and Company. IMPERIAL RECKONING The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. By Caroline Elkins. Illustrated. pp. Henry Holt & Company. $

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I can’t think of one example of “benevolent colonialism” and how the British ruled in Kenya will make you sick.

Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins

Incidents of violence against prisoners were described as isolated events. Their belongings and houses were given away or sold cheaply to more “loyal” Africans and sometimes white settlers. Large-scale mechanized farming no longer required squatters and reserves were over-crowded. They are “through work comes freedom”. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University’s usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice.

It took until to complete the handing over of power to the new African government. Particularly irksome, to some Africanists, was her claim to have discovered an unknown story.

She can also produce information that supports her case, yet somehow misses information that does not. The author presents her argument based on extensive research including available government documentation, memoirs, papers, and oral histories.

Caroline Elkins has done a great job in thoroughly researching what many wanted buried forever, and bringing out all the sadism and savagery in vivid detail. This was one of the hardest book that I ever read, even though it was well written and interesting.

Britains colonial record in human rights i History is not pretty. The turning point came inwhen Anderson, now serving as an expert witness in the Mau Mau case, submitted a statement to the court that referred directly to the 1, files spirited out of Kenya.


She also came to understand that colonial authorities had herded Kikuyu women and children into some enclosed villages dispersed across elkine countryside. I found this book to be well-thought out, well-supported, her argument convincing and well-grounded in fact, and her bibliography thorough and extensive.

Not that I think the casual reader reckonnig going to have a lot of trouble understanding it, but do you really want to immerse yourself in the world of concentration camps and secret torture and execution refkoning s Eeckoning But neither of these perspectives are within the relatively narrow scope of Elkins’s project.

In reality it meant giving land to Loyalist African rekoning and keeping Mau Mau supporters landless as labourers. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Her book cut against an abiding belief that the British had managed and retreated from their empire with more dignity and humanity than other former colonial powers, such as the French or the Belgians.

An unforgettable act of historical re-creation, it is also a disturbing reminder of the brutal imperial precedents that continue to inform Western nations in their drive to democratize the world. The author discloses in recckoning beginning of the book that this book was borne from her dissertation, and it reads as a dissertation.

An effort to reform the corrupt Kenyan Police force failed when the London-appointed reformer, Colonel Young, was stonewalled by the colonial governor Baring.

In camps, villages and other outposts, the Kikuyu suffered forced labour, disease, starvation, torture, rape and murder. I do not doubt the veracity of the stories. Read more Read less. British officials later destroyed almost all official records of the campaign. And she believes imperizl was more going on than the usual academic disagreement.


Now the lawyer running the case wanted her to sign on as an expert witness. Threatened and shunned by colleagues and critics, Caroline Elkins persevered and brought to life the atrocities that were committed and hidden from the world for decades. Learn more about Amazon Prime.

The files within would be a reminder to historians of just how far a government would go to sanitise its past. The first chapter of the book, Pax Britannica, lays out the sequence of events that produced the colonial state, physical, psychological and political. The Kikuyu farms are split up among their more loyal neighbors or white settlers. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

So my rating of it is post-poned indefinitely. The National Archives essentially said they should either be destroyed or returned to the countries from which they had been taken. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. After all they then couldn’t have put people to redkoning test of forced labor.

Malnutrition, disease and death reigned everywhere. Yet they conveyed none of this in their official reply to the Kenyans.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. This is an ugly chapter in British Colonial history.

By ruling in her favour, the court also implicitly judged her critics. Britain fought in the Second World War to save the world from fascism. To Elkins, the vituperation felt over the top. In fact, it wasn’t until that the ban on the Mau Ipmerial was lifted by the Kenyan government!

It seems unfair to hold this book responsible for telling the whole history of the Mau Mau uprising.