Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent

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Verso Books, Jun 25, 2019 - Political Science - 624 pages
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How rebellious colonies changed British attitudes to empire

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 United Kingdom.

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 colonies, from the West Indies and East Africa to Egypt and India. In addition, a pivotal role in fomenting resistance was played by anticolonial campaigners based in London, right at the heart of empire.

Much has been written on how colonized peoples took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. Insurgent Empire sets the record straight in demonstrating that these people were much more than victims of imperialism or, subsequently, the passive beneficiaries of an enlightened British conscience—they were insurgents whose legacies shaped and benefited the nation that once oppressed them.

 

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Contents

Enemies of Empire
1
The 1857 Uprising
41
Rebel Voice
83
Egypts Urabi
127
The New Spirit
166
Shapurji Saklatwala
209
British
245
Race Resistance and Reverse
279
Race Writing
319
the New Leader and Colonial Fascism
355
Mau Mau
395
That Wondrous Horse of Freedom
442
Notes
457
Bibliography
547
Index
583
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Priyamvada Gopal is University Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English and Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge. She is the author of Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence and The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration.

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