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

Nazi Germany and the Jews, There is no statute of limitations for murder and I hope that in the near future we will be able to track down any settler still living in Kenya who is guilty of murder and torture of Africans and make them pay for their past sins. A surprising amount of my Kenyan friends, Uber drivers, folks I just meet around haven’t heard of this book or know there is a written account of an otherwise erased piece of history.

It took a L O N G time for the British people to get the story because of the lies by the colonial administration.

Elkins recounts how in the late s horrific Mau Mau murders of white settlers on their isolated farms led the British government to declare a state of emergency imperizl lasted untillegitimating a decade-long assault on the Kikuyu. One day in the spring ofafter months of often frustrating searches, she discovered a baby-blue folder that would become central to both her book and the Mau Mau lawsuit.

The book, while highlighting a tragic chapter in the history of the Carolline people as well as the horrific consequences of a paternalistic British colonialism, feels long. Elkin’s “Imperial Reckoning” which, by the way, won the Pulitzer Prize was I am sure instrumental in bringing attention to the atrocities committed by the British colonial government in Kenya.

The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya By Caroline Elkins For decades Western imperialists have waged wars and destroyed local populations in the name of civilization and democracy. The National Archives essentially said they should either be destroyed or returned to the countries from which they had been taken. A Kikuyu could not be a Kikuyu without land. They could grow and sell maize but only through the price-controlled marketing boards.

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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Return to Book Page. The stories of murder, rape, iimperial torture, and forced evacuation of their homes and villages, were confirmed when I listened to the stories of about a dozen elders [men and women ages 80 to ] while I was in Kenya. Over some interviews, she heard testimony after testimony of torture.

One person found this helpful. British East Africa, in the period known as the Scramble for Africa, was relatively ignored except for two important characteristics.

It’s depressing if not necessarily all that surprising that so soon after what was trumpeted as the victory of democracy over fascism, the nominal democrats were adopting fascist tactics themselves. Broadly speaking, she thinks end-of-empire historians have reckoninng failed to show scepticism about the archives. The other amazing thing, of course, is how little of this is known.

The author started out to research one thing and found that the accepted or common wisdom in Kenya history had been deliberately obfuscated. British and Kenyan settler security forces in the camps often killed detainees for fun. In OctoberJustice McCombe rejected those arguments, too. How the British could on one hand demonize the Nazi camps in WW2 yet turn around and brutally treat the Kenyan people is mind boggling. At some point you have to come up to breathe.

That is what is missing from this book. This same repository, Hanslope Parkheld files removed from a total of 37 former colonies. I spoke to victims of the British gulag, some of whom were my grandparents. British power at its worst. Elkins’s work here has been widely criticized for overestimating the number of rebel casualties and for failing to represent equally the brutality employed by the Mau Mau fighers.

Ogot dismissed Elkins as an uncritical imbiber of Mau Mau propaganda.

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

And her ‘breakthrough’ facts re some definite proven British brutality arent so: Africa Kenya Human rights British empire features. In a way the stories of torture and execution and all that are not so unbelievable; After all, there are always going to be sociopaths in any population.

caro,ine The empire was managed by three institutions: Choosing to forget or turning an eye only makes us more susceptible to repeating the “Pipeline”. 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.


She thinks that the fact that those records were manipulated puts a cloud over many studies that have been based on their contents. I grew up in Kenya in Kikuyu and I always heard stories from my grandmother and great grandmother how horrible the British were, but I was young and had no idea how bad it was for our grandparents who survived the colonial period.

Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire | Marc Parry | News | The Guardian

Please try again later. Some thought she was British and refused to speak with her at first. Share your thoughts with other customers. Churchill was even Prime Minister for the first part of the Emergency.

Events moved quickly from there. 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.

Jan 03, Colin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Not the kind of book that the casual reader who likes a little history now and then is going to really enjoy. That said, it took me over a month to finish because it is quite long and quite dense, with all of the names erckoning the colonial officers, loyalists, MPs, etc. Her prose seethed with outrage. Socially, the destruction was critical.

Women worked on uncontroversial topics such as maternal health, not blood and violence during Mau Mau. Land and family entitled him to certain privileges within the Kikuyu patriarchy; without land a man would remain socially a boy. The tradition amongst Kikuyu was for young men to find new land reckning farm when the time came to enter adulthood.

Feb elins, Rene rated it really liked it. What would you expect.