Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Paperback)
  • Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Paperback)
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Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 07/10/2021
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Waterstones Says

An urgent, incisive account of how the depredations of its imperial past dog Britain’s view of itself today, Empireland is provocative, meticulously researched writing of the highest order.

Winner of The British Book Awards 2022 Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2021

In his brilliantly illuminating new book Sathnam Sanghera demonstrates how so much of what we consider to be modern Britain is actually rooted in our imperial past. In prose that is, at once, both clear-eyed and full of acerbic wit, Sanghera shows how our past is everywhere: from how we live to how we think, from the foundation of the NHS to the nature of our racism, from our distrust of intellectuals in public life to the exceptionalism that imbued the campaign for Brexit and the government's early response to the Covid crisis. And yet empire is a subject, weirdly hidden from view.

The British Empire ran for centuries and covered vast swathes of the world. It is, as Sanghera reveals, fundamental to understanding Britain. However, even among those who celebrate the empire there seems to be a desire not to look at it too closely - not to include the subject in our school history books, not to emphasize it too much in our favourite museums.

At a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, Sanghera's book urges us to address this bewildering contradiction. For, it is only by stepping back and seeing where we really come from, that we can begin to understand who we are, and what unites us.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241445310
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 248 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'I only wish this book had been around when I was at school' - Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

'This remarkable book shines the brightest of lights into some of the darkest and most misunderstood corners of our shared history' - James O'Brien

'Empireland should be on the compulsory reading list of every secondary school in the country' - John Simpson

'Lucid but never simplistic; entertaining but never frivolous; intensely readable while always mindful of nuance and complexity - Empireland takes a perfectly-judged approach to its contentious but necessary subject' - Jonathan Coe

'Immensely readable... Sanghera's account is simultaneously personal and scholarly' - Gideon Rachmen, FT

'A gracefully written book, but its real beauty lies in its complete absence of dogmatism... Empireland is not an angry diatribe. It's a sensitive, often uncomfortable commentary on the stubborn influence of empire... The real remedy is education of the kind that Sanghera has embraced - accepting, not ignoring, the past' - Gerard deGroot, The Times

'In this witty and multi-faceted portrait of our nation, the award-winning journalist and novelist looks with great acuity at how the Empire wrought contemporary Britain' - Bookseller

'[An] impassioned and deeply personal journey through Britain's imperial past and present... a moving and stimulating book that deserves to be widely read' - The Guardian

'A wonderful, wonderful book' - David Lammy

'A really interesting look at the history of empire - everything we're not taught at school - and how learning that history could change the way we view our country today' - Krishnan Guru-Murthy

Praise for The Boy with the Topknot:

'I absolutely loved it. Heartbreaking and wonderful. He writes beautifully.'  - Maggie O'Farrell

'Could not be more enjoyable, engaging or moving.' - The Observer

'Tragic, funny and disturbing. It will challenge you, and may even change you.' - The Independent

'Gripping and entertaining, horrifying and tender... Exposes all those things we take for granted as we grow up.' - The Times

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Paperback

“Must buy for history lovers”

Fantastic read - the history book I wish I had at school instead of the skewed version we were taught about Britain's imperial past. Sathnam writes in a balanced and fair manner, without watering down the facts.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 37

“Must buy for historylovers”

Fantastic read - the history book I wish I had at school instead of the skewed version we were taught about Britain's imperial past. Sathnam writes in a balanced and fair manner, without watering down the facts.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 30

“A brilliant read”

A well researched and thoughtful book, written with a light touch. Challenged my view of the British Empire and its legacy today. The book is a call to understand a complex history before leaping to over-simple... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28

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