Before the 1980s, the powerful link between empire and race was marginalised in British imperial history. The postcolonial 'turn' opened up new ways of exploring racial constructions of colonised subjects and stimulated debate over the extent to which representations of the colonised in colonial discourse underpinned imperial power.
The dissolution of the British Raj in the Subcontinent in 1947, and the accompanying mass migration across the new borders between the newly-independent states of India and Pakistan, are certainly among the most momentous developments in recent history.
Gerald Horne is a powerhouse. He has authored close to 20 books, many of them setting the terms for debates on various issues (from the Hollywood blacklist to the Watts Uprising, from labour movements in the Caribbean to liberation struggles in Africa, from the African slave trade to the life of Shirley Graham Du Bois). Little seems to escape his pen.
The first question which may spring to the mind of any reader of this collection is: is it necessary or useful? Given the appearance in the not too distant past of the Oxford History of the British Empire, together with its themed volumes, can another edited collection on the empire contribute anything new or revealing?
In this stimulating book (or ‘thesis’ as it is described on p. 2, rather betraying its origins), the author claims to meet four principal objectives. First, the book seeks to contribute to the process by which (in the words of Erskine Childers (as quoted in the Irish Press, 10 Aug.
The intention of this book is to ‘retell’ the history of the Middle East through ‘the medium of individuals’ (p. 18). But not any individuals, only those in the ‘Middle East kingmaking business’ (p. 158). None of the thirteen men, ten British and three American, and two women, both British, who feature most prominently in this nicely produced volume ‘attained the summit of national power’ (p.
Sascha Auerbach’s Race, Law and ‘The Chinese Puzzle’ in Imperial Britain is a truly unsettling account of how in the 19th and early 20th centuries media, politicians, trade unionists, writers, thespians, film makers, and not least police and court officials across the British realm stolidly and uncompromisingly articulated and executed racist, Sinophobic judgements, deliberately whippe
This excellent book is about some of the writers – mainly those living in Europe from the 1930s till the 1960s – whose writings were either wholly or partly about the ‘ending of British rule in Africa’. The main writer dealt with is George Padmore; the others are Jomo Kenyatta (while he lived in the UK), C. L. R. James, Peter Abrahams, Ras T.
Scholars continue to find new things to say about the Irish Diaspora. For many of them-especially those in Ireland and America-the term Diaspora, when applied to the Irish, has a deep, politicised meaning. We can see this point exemplified in two observations.
The bowels of university libraries are often cluttered with the remnants of past historical approaches. The Cambridge History of the British Empire (1929-59) is one such work.