A best-selling journalist’s illuminating tour through the hidden legacies and modern realities of British empire that exposes how much of the present-day United Kingdom is actually rooted in its colonial past. Empireland boldly and lucidly makes the case that in order to understand America, we must first understand British imperialism.
“Empireland is brilliantly written, deeply researched and massively important. It’ll stay in your head for years.” —John Oliver, Emmy Award-winning host of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
With a new introduction by the author and a foreword by Booker Prize-winner Marlon James
Empire—whether British or otherwise—informs nearly everything we do. From common thought to our daily routines; from the foundations of social safety nets to the realities of racism; and from the distrust of public intellectuals to the exceptionalism that permeates immigration debates, the Brexit campaign and the global reckonings with controversial memorials, Empireland shows how the pernicious legacy of Western imperialism undergirds our everyday lives, yet remains shockingly obscured from view.
In accessible, witty prose, award-winning journalist and best-selling author Sathnam Sanghera traces this legacy back to its source, exposing how—in both profound and innocuous ways—imperial domination has shaped the United Kingdom we know today. Sanghera connects the historical dots across continents and seas to show how the shadows of a colonial past still linger over modern-day Britain and how the world, in turn, was shaped by Britain’s looming hand. The implications, of course, extend to Britain’s most notorious former colony turned imperial power: the United States of America, which prides itself for its maverick soul and yet seems to have inherited all the ambition, brutality and exceptional thinking of its parent.
Empireland is a revelatory and lucid work of political history that offers a sobering appraisal of the past so we may move toward a more just future.