Insurgent Empire -Anti-Colonial Resistance and the British Dissent
Insurgent Empire shows how Britain's enslaved and colonial subjects were active agents in their own liberation. What is more, they shaped British ideas of freedom and emancipation back in the UK.
Priyamvada Gopal examines a century of dissent on the question of empire and shows how British critics of empire were influenced by rebellions and resistance in the colnies, from the West Indies and East Africa to Egypt and India.
In additon to pivotal roles in fomenting resistance was played by anti-colonial campaigners based in London right at the heart of empire.
Much has been written on how colonised people took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determinaton.
The book sets the record straight that in demonstating that these peole were much more than victims of imperialism subsequently in the passive beneficiaries of an enlightened British conscience - they were insugents whose legacies shared and benefited the nation that once opressed them.
Review From Helen Sanso, Director of Forcera
1. What you liked about the book and why...
The compelling narratives that are nuanced and complex that reverse the age old story of victimhood of enslaved people by giving them back their voice that is rich with the ideals of liberation, resistance and solidarity.
2. What you didn't like and why.
The book is not an easy read- but it’s worth the effort. It is written in an academic style that does require a decent dictionary and often a second read through.
3. What did you learn or discover?
An important message about the unsung strong and rebellious nature of those who battled against Empire from its inception to the 50s that needs to be shared widely shared and appreciated to truly understand what it means to decolonise history.
4. Who should read this book and why?
Well as it's not easy to read I would say anyone who likes an academic perspective but one that really challenges the traditional narratives.
5. Your most favourite/special moment in world history.
Can't say I have one as I am always learning incredible things about the present which soon becomes our past as well as about our distance past.
6. Favourite novel and why
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The book maybe old but the themes are not. Still very relevant.
7. Favourite non fiction book and why...
Black Tudors by Miranda Kaufman. Got me reading again. So well written and engaging.