Contrary to nationalist legend and schoolboy history lessons, the British Empire was not a great civilizing power bringing light to the darker corners of the earth. Richard Gott’s magisterial work recounts the empire’s misdeeds from the beginning of the eighteenth century to the Indian Mutiny, spanning the red-patched imperial globe from Ireland to Australia, telling a story of almost continuous colonialist violence. Recounting events from the perspective of the colonized, Gott unearths the all-but-forgotten stories excluded from mainstream British histories.
“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. ”
“His message is stark but Gott is never shrill. He writes as a scholar, not an accuser. ”
“A welcome, even necessary, corrective. ”
“Stimulating, inspirational and much needed. ”
“Pungent and provocative ... a rich compendium of revolt. ”
“A tour de force.”