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  • Legacy of Violence

  • A History of the British Empire
  • By: Caroline Elkins
  • Narrated by: Adam Barr
  • Length: 31 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian: a searing study of the British Empire that interrogates the pervasive use of violence throughout the 20th century and traces how these practices were exported, modified and institutionalised in colonies around the globe.

Sprawling across a quarter of the world's land mass and claiming nearly 500 colonial subjects, Britain's empire was the largest empire in human history. For many, it epitomised our nation's cultural superiority, but what legacy have we delivered to the world?

Spanning more than 200 years of history, Caroline Elkins reveals evolutionary and racialised doctrines that espoused an unrelenting deployment of violence to secure and preserve British imperial interests. She outlines how ideological foundations of violence were rooted in Victorian calls for punishing Indigenous peoples who resisted subjugation and how over time, this treatment became increasingly institutionalised. Elkins reveals how, when violence could no longer be controlled, Britain retreated from its empire, whilst destroying and hiding incriminating evidence of its policies and practices.

Drawing on more than a decade of research on four continents, Legacy of Violence implicates all sides of the political divide regarding the creation, execution and cover-up of imperial violence. By demonstrating how and why violence was the most salient factor underwriting both the empire and British imperial identity, Elkins upends long-held myths and sheds new light on empire's role in shaping the world today.

©2022 Caroline Elkins (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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Good but flawed,

I will preface my review by noting that this book was intended primarily for an American audience therefore skewed towards how Britain is viewed by the the United States. The author assumes that Britain is England and does not consist of the union of four states. Thus there is no real mention of, for example of the owning of slaves by wealthy Scottish merchants. The American voice narration is annoying, especially when attempting to impersonate British accents. On the plus side it is a visceral and believable account of the legacy of the violence perpetrated against peoples inhabiting the British empire.