Caroline Elkins on the Ugly Rule of the British Empire ‹ Literary Hub



Open Supply is the world’s longest-running podcast. Christopher Lydon circles the massive concepts in tradition, the humanities and politics with the neatest individuals on the planet. It’s the sort of curious, essential, high-energy dialog we’re all lacking these days.

George Orwell stated, “It’s really easy to be witty concerning the British Empire.” As within the throwaway line that English individuals had conquered the world in a match of absentmindedness. No large deal. However that empire was no joke. Boris Johnson, within the Prime Minister’s workplace at present, says he can’t overlook that his nation over the past 200 years “has directed the invasion or conquest of 178 international locations—that’s: many of the members of the UN.”

Our visitor, the historian and prodigious imperial researcher Caroline Elkins, has written a shocker of an enormous guide about simply how the English bought to rule the world for 2 centuries, and it’s a grotesque story, all informed. The title of her large guide is Legacy of Violence, concerning the brutality of “considering imperially” to today.

Consider the British Empire in its day as a colossal buying and selling firm with the world’s number-one navy to police its site visitors in just about every thing—together with about 3 million slaves to North America within the seventeenth and 18th centuries, additionally quite a lot of notably addictive substances like opium and oil, then sugar and tobacco. It considered itself as a distinctively liberal empire, civilizing the individuals it exploited, and in all places spreading the language of Milton and Shakespeare, free speech and the rule of regulation. That’s the imperial line that our visitor Caroline Elkins got down to bury with the official information of a police state and its apply of terror that dominated half a billion individuals at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.


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