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Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya

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Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya Cover

ISBN13: 9780805080018
ISBN10: 0805080015
Condition: Standard
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"The colonial propaganda machine, once well-oiled, preyed on the detainees' doubts and fears. Pamphlets in the vernacular, pointing out how misguided was the detainees' belief that African land had been stolen by the British, were circulated throughout the compound. At the same time, loudspeakers blared warnings about ongoing land confiscations, describing how land taken from Mau Mau sympathizers was being redistributed to those loyal to the British cause. "Confess and Save Your Land," was one public broadcast played throughout the Pipeline, and it is bitterly remembered by many of the former detainees today. So too are photographs of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in full regalia, which were displayed alongside images of Jomo Kenyatta in shackles, wild-haired and looking rather dazed and pathetic. The contrast between civilization and savagery could not have been more stark."

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

whiteb, October 26, 2006 (view all comments by whiteb)
After listening to Caroline Elkins last night at my Grandson's Spartan scholars award, I immedately went on line and ordered two copies of this book. I am so impressed and can't wait to read the whole book and give a copy to my Grandson. what a marvelous woman and the life she is leading is such an inspiration and example of what can be done even when others are against it.
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(40 of 48 readers found this comment helpful)
mcmullenr, May 28, 2006 (view all comments by mcmullenr)
Imperial Reckoning is outstanding! It is like the book "1776" in that it gives many sources for its book and is in chronological order.
It is the first book to describe the unbiased view of the origins of the African struggle for independence in Kenya .
The role of the Home Guard which included Black tribal members including Kikuyu is tragic. Most of the killing of the Mau Mau Kikuyu was done by their own fellow Black Kikuyu who were Loyalist Kikuyu in the Home Guard.
The fact that sadistic torture and atrocities occured for over 8 years in detention camps from 1952-1960 in Kenya were denied and ignored by the British press and public is an outrage!
Amnesty International should follow up with this account of early Kenyan history. Any one interested in Human Rights must read this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780805080018
Author:
Elkins, Caroline
Publisher:
Henry Holt & Company
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Imperialism
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
Africa - East - Kenya
Subject:
Kenya - History - Mau Mau Emergency, 1952-
Subject:
Nationalism -- Kenya -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain
Subject:
World History-Africa
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
December 27, 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 photos in text; 5 maps
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.23 x 6.21 x 0.89 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » Kenya
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Western Europe » General
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » British Empire
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805080018 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An extraordinary act of historical recovery."
"Review" by , "Elkins has bravely done justice to history."
"Review" by , "A vivid portrait of daily life behind the wire."
"Review" by , "An important and excruciating record. It will shock even those who think they have assumed the worst about Europe's era of control in Africa."
"Review" by , "A profoundly chilling portrait of the inherent racism and violence of 'colonial logic'....Her superbly written and impassioned book deserves the widest possible readership."
"Review" by , "Filling a previously blank page in history, Elkins' pioneering study is a crucial recording of Kenyan history in particular, and that of African decolonization in general."
"Synopsis" by , This unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya is a major work of history detailing the prisons, work camps, and terror that the British imposed on millions just after World War II. It has chilling parallels to America's own imperial project.
"Synopsis" by ,
A major work of history that for the first time reveals the violence and terror at the heart of Britain's civilizing mission in Kenya

As part of the Allied forces, thousands of Kenyans fought alongside the British in World War II. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler, the British colonial government detained nearly the entire population of Kenya's largest ethnic minority, the Kikuyu-some one and a half million people.

The compelling story of the system of prisons and work camps where thousands met their deaths has remained largely untold-the victim of a determined effort by the British to destroy all official records of their attempts to stop the Mau Mau uprising, the Kikuyu people's ultimately successful bid for Kenyan independence.

Caroline Elkins, an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of Kikuyu men and women who survived the British camps, as well as the British and African loyalists who detained them.

The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya-a pivotal moment in twentieth- century history with chilling parallels to America's own imperial project.

 
Imperial Reckoning is the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

"Synopsis" by ,
“An extraordinary act of historical recovery.”The New Yorker

     As part of the Allied forces, thousands of Kenyans fought alongside the British in World War II. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler, the British colonial government detained nearly the entire population of Kenyas largest ethnic minority, the Kikuyusome one and a half million people.

     The compelling story of the system of prisons and work camps where thousands met their deaths was the victim of a determined effort by the British to destroy all official records of their attempts to stop the Mau Mau uprising. Caroline Elkins spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of survivors of the camps and the British and African loyalists who detained them.

     The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenyaa pivotal moment in twentieth- century history with chilling parallels to Americas own imperial project.

“Elkins has bravely done justice to history.” The Nation

“A vivid portrait of daily life behind the wire.” The Economist

“An important and excruciating record. It will shock even those who think they have assumed the worst about Europes era of control in Africa.” The New York Times Book Review

Caroline Elkins is an assistant professor of history at Harvard University. Her research in various aspects of the late colonial period in Africa has won numerous awards, including the Fulbright and Andrew W. Mellon fellowships, as well as a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She and her work were the subjects of a BBC documentary entitled Kenya: White Terror. This is her first book.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
An Economist Best Book of the Year
 
For decades Western imperialists have waged wars and destroyed local populations in the name of civilization and democracy. From 1952 to 1960, after a violent uprising by native Kenyans, the British detained and brutalized hundreds of thousands of Kikuyuthe colony's largest ethnic groupwho had demanded their independence. In the eyes of the British colonizers, the men and women who fought in the insurgencyMau Mau as it was then calledweren't freedom fighters but rather savages of the lowest order. The British felt justified, in the name of civilization, in crushing those who challenged colonial rule, even if it meant violating their basic human rights. Later, to cover up this stain on its past, the British government ordered all documentation relating to detention and torture during its last days of rule in Kenya destroyed.

In a groundbreaking debut, Harvard historian Caroline Elkins has recovered the lost history of the last days of British colonialism in Kenya. In a compelling narrative that draws upon nearly a decade of painstaking researchincluding hundreds of interviews with Kikuyu detention camp survivors and their captorsElkins reveals for the first time what Britain so desperately tried to hide. In the aftermath of World War II and the triumph of liberal democracy over fascism, the British detained nearly the entire Kikuyu populationsome one and a half million peoplefor more than eight years. Inside detention camps and barbed-wire villages, the Kikuyu lived in a world of fear, hunger, and death. Their only hope for survival was a full denunciation of their anti-British beliefs.

Imperial Reckoning is history of the highest order: meticulously researched, brilliantly written, and dramatic. 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.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
 
"When the British left Kenya in 1963, they built bonfires and burned the meticulous records they kept. Most of these dealt with a period known as 'the Emergency,' when the colonial government attempted to stamp out the Mau Mau movement . . . that arose among the Kikuyu, a hill-dwelling farming tribe and Kenya's largest ethnic group. Elkins, working in archives and traveling throughout Kenya, has undertaken an extraordinary act of historical recovery, to find out what the burned documents would have told us: the British, in their 'civilizing mission' to pacify the colony, created a cruel system of detention centers, where interrogations often ended in death. With the moral fervor [of] a prosecutor, Elkins provides potent evidence of how a society warped by racism can descend into an almost casual inhumanity."The New Yorker
"When the British left Kenya in 1963, they built bonfires and burned the meticulous records they kept. Most of these dealt with a period known as 'the Emergency,' when the colonial government attempted to stamp out the Mau Mau movement . . . that arose among the Kikuyu, a hill-dwelling farming tribe and Kenya's largest ethnic group. Elkins, working in archives and traveling throughout Kenya, has undertaken an extraordinary act of historical recovery, to find out what the burned documents would have told us: the British, in their 'civilizing mission' to pacify the colony, created a cruel system of detention centers, where interrogations often ended in death. With the moral fervor [of] a prosecutor, Elkins provides potent evidence of how a society warped by racism can descend into an almost casual inhumanity."The New Yorker
 
"An important and excruciating record."Daniel Bergner, The New York Times Book Review
 
"[A] scholarly and very important book . . . Records and honors the voices of those who have been humiliated by the denial of their memory."Neal Ascherson, The New York Review of Books
 
"[Offers] an important corrective to the long-distorted story of the end of British empire in Kenya but also [serves] as a stark reminder of the cynical justifications that fear can foster and that history eventually lays bare."Daphne Eviatar, The Nation
 
"A vivid portrait of daily life behind the wire . . . Elkins forces the reader to view this conflict from the Africans' side in a way that few western historians writing about Kenya have done before."The Economist
 
"The voices Elkins has recorded preserve an important chapter in colonial history . . . [Imperial Reckoning] illuminates a critical colonial period from which far too few lessons appear to have been learned."John Ness, Newsweek (International Edition)
 
"Remarkable and lucid . . . [A] distinguished addition to African colonial history."Stanley Meisler, Los Angeles Times
 
"Elkins has written an important book that can change our understanding not just of Africa but of ourselves. Through exhaustive research in neglected colonial archives and intrepid reporting among long-forgotten Kikuyu elders in Kenya's Rift Valley, Elkins has documented not just the true scale of a huge and harrowing crimeBritain's ruthless suppression of the Ma

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