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  • Uncommon Wealth

  • Britain and the Aftermath of Empire
  • By: Kojo Koram
  • Narrated by: Kojo Koram
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Summary

Britain didn't just put the empire back the way it had found it.

In Uncommon Wealth, Kojo Koram traces the tale of how, after the end of the British empire, an interconnected group of well-heeled British intellectuals, politicians, accountants and lawyers offshored their capital, seized assets and saddled debt in former 'dependencies'. This enabled horrific inequality across the globe, as ruthless capitalists profited and ordinary people across Britain's former territories in colonial Africa, Asia and the Caribbean were trapped in poverty. However, the reinforcement of capitalist power across the world also ricocheted back home. Now it has left many Britons wondering where their own sovereignty and prosperity has gone....

Decolonisation was not just a trendy buzzword. It was one of the great global changes of the past hundred years, yet Britain - the protagonist in the whole messy drama - has forgotten it was ever even there. A blistering uncovering of the scandal of Britain's disastrous treatment of independent countries after empire, Uncommon Wealth shows the decisions of decades past are contributing to the forces that are breaking Britain today.

©2022 Kojo Koram (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Brilliantly arranged and rich with fresh insights, Uncommon Wealth reminds us how the forgotten stories of empire and decolonisation continue to impact our daily lives in Britain - and throughout the world - up to today." (Akala)

What listeners say about Uncommon Wealth

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Read this book, it's good.

I really enjoyed this, it is beautifully written and read by the author; it was for me a lot of disparate threads that I was more or less aware of, woven together in a (to me) novel and highly instructive way. I found I understood a lot of things differently by the end of the book, and I felt strongly how lacking my British education has been in so many areas.

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Highly Recommend Reading

A really easy read which helps to explain the connection between empire and its legacy and the ever increasing wealth inequality that exists not just in the world but within our nations and cities.

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Review

Loved this book. I have just bought two more copies to share with my friends.

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Curate’s egg

A curate’s egg of a book. Poor narration. Promises more than it gives and has some strange conclusions. Very disappointing.

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Awful

Terrible narrator really providing delivery should never narrate anything spoils whiole story. Unbearable to listen to . Do not wish to listen to it narrator is so bad.

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Decolonising everything benefits you!

The theses of this book are old.

That poverty is not innate to Africa or Asia but is a consequence of an extractive economic system in which Euro-American, Asian and African elites collaborate to the detriment of billions of working class people.

That the tactics of empire - old or new - all too often come home to roost, whether it’s the deployment of anti-Mau Mau tactics in Northern Ireland or the disciplining of labour and the dismantling of state provision of basic services to yield higher profits.

That the culture wars being waged by the ruling class and their media talking heads is a distraction - that irrelevances such as removing portraits of the queen or even arguing about street names covers up the on-going robbery both of British working class people and the former subjects of empire by the capitalists.

It’s accessible,it threw in a few details about Jamaican and Singaporean political history I didn’t know, the authors voice is pretty mellifluous, all in all this gets a good rating from me.

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Packed with insights about the roots of British capitalism

This book is completely fantastic.

Kojo lays out the history and connections of Britain’s former colonies and it’s current murky financial structures.

Kojo shows how the current racial injustices came about.

He is also a fantastic narrator.

I can’t recommend this book enough

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  • cat9090
  • 14-09-22

Excellent Analysis of the Post Colonial Power Structure

Really well thought out analysis of the decoupling of private power from the colonial states and the rise of the neoliberal order. Loved the historical portraits of Michael Manley, Kwame Ture, Singapore, etc. The tax haven portion, while important, was a bit less engaging. I didn’t love the voices the author used for quoted text I’m the reading. Overall though, very glad to have listened. Going to check out his interview on The Dig podcast for a recap next. Recommended.