She concludes that the war, one of the bloodiest and most protracted decolonization struggles of the past century, was anything but the "civilizing mission" portrayed by British propagandists and settlers. Instead, Britain engaged in an amazingly brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing that seemed to border on outright genocide. While only 32 white settlers were killed by Mau Mau insurgents, Elkins reports that tens of thousands of Kenyans were slaughtered, perhaps up to 300,000. The British also interned the entire 1.5 million population of Kikuyu, the colony's largest ethnic group, in barbed-wire villages, forced-labour reserves where famine and disease ran rampant, and prison camps that Elkins describes as the Kenyan "Gulag." The Kikuyu were subjected to unimaginable torture, or "screening," as British officials called it, which included being whipped, beaten, sodomized, castrated, burned, and forced to eat feces and drink urine. British officials later destroyed almost all official records of the campaign. Elkins infuses her account with the riveting stories of individual Kikuyu detainees, settlers, British officials, and soldiers. This is a stunning narrative that finally sheds light on a misunderstood war for which no one has yet been held officially accountable. --Alex Roslin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A compelling account of a forgotten past, one that tried to stay buried. It is sad, shocking, a little tedious, but well researched and written. Read morePublished 1 month ago by toolman
This is a well researched yet flawed book. The research is unquestionably good, thus the three stars.
However the book has two major flaws and one minor flaw. Read more
Despite some clear merits, this is a flawed book. Much of the research is quite solid, notably the oral interviews and use of "Mau Mau" memoirs. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Chimonsho
A little heavy, but when you're done, you'll have a deeper understand of the political landscape and current political discourse in Kenya. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gray Scale
Review -Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya
"Mau Mau: The Kenyan Emergency" by Peter Baxter is a very clean, very nice and respectable... Read more
I'm an old anthropologist so that implies a long familiarity of history here in Kenya. Much of it has been hidden until particularly David Anderson's modern scholarship lifted the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by B. Goddard
Imperial Reckoning is a gripping and well written story. Unfortunately it is a dark story of genocide that has been has been told too often, but needs to be heard loud and clear... Read morePublished 7 months ago by MDCRABGUY