Wednesday, January 31, 2007

For May: Imperial Reckoning

For May we have selected Caroline Elkins Pulitzer-winning Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag 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 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.

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