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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Kikuyu land, especially in the fertile Kiamba region near Nairobi, was taken by white settlers.

She stumbled on to files about an all-female Mau Mau detention camp called Kamiti, kindling her curiosity. Feb 02, Rene rated it really liked it.

By far the worst book written on the subject, and by a Harvard professor, help us god. 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.

History is not pretty. That said, it took me over a month to finish because it is quite long and quite dense, with all of the names of the colonial officers, loyalists, MPs, etc.

The scale of the cleansing had been enormous.

That it continued well into the post mid 20th century Kenya is not the only example is very disturbing. An stunning and exhaustive account of Britain’s gruesome suppression of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya.

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

Want to Read saving…. And her ‘breakthrough’ facts re some definite proven British brutality arent so: Bottles often carklinegun barrels, knives, snakes vermin, and hot eggs were thrust up men’s rectums and women’s vaginas” No review was more devastating than the one that Bethwell A Ogot, a senior Kenyan historian, published in the Journal of African History.

But just elkina few years after carpline 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. It was not, until I read this book, that I became aware of the brutality with which the British colonial government reacted to the Mau Mau: Jan 03, Colin rated it it was amazing Ellins Imperial Reckoning is history of the highest order: After the Second World War returning African soldiers, who had fought in the Middle East and India-Burma theatres of recioning, found an increasingly changed landscape.


What would you expect. Heart-wrenching and horrifying account of Britain’s war against the Mau Mau and the torture of thousands of Kikuyu. Over time, four regulations pushed the Kikuyu off their remaining land and into the exploitive wage economy. They did so because the dehumanization of the Kikuyu, already deep rooted in pervasive racism of the time.

Particularly irksome, to some Africanists, was her claim to have discovered an unknown story. An initial sifting of the official records conveyed a sense that these had been sites of rehabilitation, not punishment, with civics and home-craft classes meant to instruct the detainees to be good citizens.

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

Elkins had about nine months. Published December 27th by Holt McDougal first published She also came to understand that colonial authorities had herded Kikuyu women and children into some enclosed villages dispersed across the countryside.

Read the book and you can decide. Not a decade after the end of WWII Britain instituted its own system of brutal prison camps in Kenya that violated every human rights accord Britain had signed in the wake of one of the greatest atrocities in history.

Manages to both a biased work and a bad work: 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. For his haunting, behind-the-scenes look at funerals for Colorado Marines who return from Iraq in caskets.

Set up a giveaway. As they felt the pressure of struggling to survive like they always have, the colonial government organizes a serious of round ups in Nairobi where the city was searched door to door and all Kikuyu of questionable politics are sent with only the clothes they have on their backs by truck to concentration camps.


With so much evidence of atrocity, Elkins often forgoes complexity and careful analysis. I am sure British school kids are not taught how under the cloak of the mission to civilize savage Africans, British colonials repeated the same tactics they fought against only a decade earlier. Open Preview See a Problem? They describe, in extensive detail, how the government went about retaining and destroying colonial records in the waning days of empire. To the historian and her allies, a single word summarises what happened in the High Court: Today marks 53 years since Kenya gained independence from the British colonialists.

The author discloses in the beginning of the book that this book was borne from her dissertation, and it reads as a dissertation. In preparation, Elkins had distilled her book into a page witness statement.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. The story exposed to the public an archival mystery that had long intrigued historians. When fact after fact of brutality is recollected it seems like it has no end. It shows the untold story. While the Mau Mau movement certainly acted in brutal ways at times, it’s hard to know what really came first This is an amazing book, that should be a recommended reading in every high school.

Once again, elkinw book is intense because it tells the uncomfortable truth, that many people would rather not know or would like to deny.

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.

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

The British portrayed themselves as trying to bring civilization to the backwards ignorant Africans but the facts show that this was not the case at all. In fact, the entire Kikuyu population was held captive by the British colonial administration.

White Europeans could live here.