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Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire

Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire
Author: David Anderson
ISBN 13: 9780393327540
ISBN 10: 39332754
Edition: N/A
Publisher: W. W. Norton
Publication Date: 2005-10-17
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448
List Price: $25.95

"A remarkable account of Britain's last stand in Kenya. This is imperial history at its very best."—John Hope Franklin

Publishers Weekly

Anderson's authoritative history of the last days of the British Empire in Kenya focuses on the colonial judicial system, which sent over 1,000 native Kenyans to the gallows between 1952 and 1959, during the state of emergency triggered by the Mau Mau insurrection. At the heart of the tale, along with blustering colonial ineptitude, is white settler ignorance of how its land grabs wreaked havoc on the Kikuyu tribe, Kenya's largest ethnic group and a people viciously targeted by the British, who were intent on rooting out Mau Mau activism at all costs. Anderson, a lecturer in African studies at Oxford, shows how paternalistic land reallocations and relocation of the Kenyan tribes to settlements fostered deep resentment, sewing the seeds of a bloody black-on-black massacre in 1952. Brilliantly analyzing the hierarchies and nuances of Kenyan society, Anderson traces how the Mau Mau hijacked the nationalist Kenya African Union, how the British scapegoated moderate leader Jomo Kenyatta and finally how the British herded virtually the entire Kikuyu population into horrific concentration camps, where thousands perished. Anderson's information-rich history vividly depicts the complex political and social dynamics of the Kenyan nationalist movement as it was confronted by the brutal waning British Empire. This is vital reading for any student of British colonial and African history. B&w photos not seen by PW; maps. Agent, Georgina Capel, London. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.