Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt

Britain's Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt

by Richard Gott
     
 

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This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britain’s Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a

Overview

This revelatory new history punctures the still widely held belief that the British Empire was an enlightened and civilizing enterprise of great benefit to its subject peoples. Instead, Britain’s Empire reveals a history of systemic repression and almost continual violence, showing how British rule was imposed as a military operation and maintained as a military dictatorship. For colonized peoples, the experience was a horrific one—of slavery, famine, battle and extermination.

Yet, as Richard Gott illustrates, the empire’s oppressed peoples did not go gently into that good night. Wherever Britain tried to plant its flag, there was resistance. From Ireland to India, from the American colonies to Australia, Gott chronicles the backlash. He shows, too, how Britain provided a blueprint for the genocides of twentieth-century Europe, and argues that its past leaders must rank alongside the dictators of the twentieth century as the perpetrators of crimes against humanity on an infamous scale. In tracing this history of resistance, all but lost to modern memory, Richard Gott recovers these forgotten peoples and puts them where they deserve to be: at the heart of the story of Britain’s empire.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Vivid and startling ... Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British Empire.”—Richard Drayton, Guardian

“His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser.”—Jonathan Steele, Red Pepper

“A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”—Stephen Howe, Independent

“Stimulating, inspirational and much needed.”—Dan Glazebrook, Morning Star

“Pungent and provocative ... a rich compendium of revolt.”—Gavin Bowd, Scotland on Sunday

“A tour de force.”—History Today

Richard Drayton - Guardian
“Vivid and startling ... Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British Empire.”
Jonathan Steele - Red Pepper
“His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser ... His book deserves to be the definitive record that other scholars will build on for years to come.”
Stephen Howe - Independent
“A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”
Dan Glazebrook - Morning Star
“Gott’s meticulous research and quotations from primary sources bring the stories to life in a gripping yet scholarly narrative. Stimulating, inspirational and much needed.”
Gavin Bowd - Scotland on Sunday
“A pungent and provocative book ... a rich compendium of revolt.”
History Today
“A tour de force.”
Red Pepper
His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser ... His book deserves to be the definitive record that other scholars will build on for years to come.— Jonathan Steele
Independent
A welcome, even necessary, corrective.— Stephen Howe
Morning Star
Gott’s meticulous research and quotations from primary sources bring the stories to life in a gripping yet scholarly narrative. Stimulating, inspirational and much needed.— Dan Glazebrook
Scotland on Sunday
A pungent and provocative book ... a rich compendium of revolt.— Gavin Bowd
The Independent
A welcome, even necessary, corrective.”— Stephen Howe
Socialist Worker
A relentless chronicle of resistance to British rule and the brutality with which that resistance was suppressed.
Irish Left Review
A salutary counterblast and a goodbye to all that Niall Ferguson and his ilk would like to establish as the official history to be taught in British schools.
Guardian
Vivid and startling ... Gott’s achievement is to show, as no historian has done before, that violence was a central, constant and ubiquitous part of the making and keeping of the British Empire.— Richard Drayton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781844678921
Publisher:
Verso Books
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
576
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Richard Gott is a former Latin America correspondent and features editor for the Guardian. A specialist in Latin American affairs, his books include Cuba: A New History, Guerrilla Movements in Latin America, The Appeasers (with Martin Gilbert), Land Without Evil, Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution, and Britain’s Empire. He is currently an honorary research fellow at the institute for the study of the Americas at the University of London.

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