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Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Upsets received views to show how rebellious colonies changed British attitudes to empire

Much has been written on the how colonial subjects took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. The possibility of reverse influence has been largely overlooked. Insurgent Empire shows how Britain's enslaved and
Kindle Edition, 624 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Verso
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Asim Qureshi
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you could turn Priyamvada Gopal’s excellent ‘Insurgent Empire’ into a pill, it would serve as a very strong antidote to liberal-saviour narratives that we are consistently ‘treated’ to by apologists for the British empire.

Largely concentrating the early sections of the book on key moments of insurgency or insurrection within the wider British imagination in the mid to late 1800s, we come to understand through Gopal’s work that these were not unique, but rather sit on a longer continuum of ant
There is an oft repeated argument in discussion of Britain’s Imperial past (and present). For some, it is that on balance the British Empire was a good thing, spreading civilisation and well-being, despite the occasional outbreak of violence and excess in response to provocations by colonial subjects. For other apologists, it goes something like, well, even if you can’t accept that the Empire was a good thing, at least it wasn’t as bad as the others were. Still, a remarkably dubious claim. One o ...more
Callie Gardner
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is representative of everything they don't teach about the history of Britain and its colonial past in schools, through the lens of the people who opposed it. There was so much in here I didn't know about, like the Anti-Empire Exhibition/Worker's Exhibition that opposed the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow, where I live!! And the book explains it all in an accessible style that follows individual thinkers and activists while not idolising them, and placing them in the context of their move ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, history
This book is not a narrative history, but an examination of key individuals, movements and especially writings in opposition to the British Empire. It establishes their existence in both the metropolis and the colonies, it reviews some of the ways they linked with each other across time and space, and it evaluates their significance, individually and cumulatively. It takes a little time and effort to settle into the style of the book, but it rewards that investment many times over. Although it i ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book is heavy post colonial jargon, thin on facts and personally i do not recommend reading it.
Can't quite remember what drew me to the book (I may have heard of the author and by extension decided to read her work) and as part of Women's History Month I thought it would be a good read. If you couldn't tell this book is about British colonists and slaves who actively fought against British and how their battles would influence and shape the fight back home for British critics.

It was okay. Not being that familiar with the people, particular time periods or historical context made this a to
John Hardy
Jul 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Simply a venomous, hateful attack on western society and culture. An ugly book.
Jul 11, 2019 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition

Insurgent Empire by Priyamvada Gopal review – a superb study of anticolonial resistance An important new history of opposition to the British empire, at home and overseas, from the Chartists and the Indian rebels to the Mau Mau uprising
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant and important book. I just wish 1) it was slightly easier reading, for me and for my students, and 2) there was more of a focus on the history of the insurgencies themselves (the focus is overwhelmingly on how resistance in the colonies influenced the development of British anti-colonial dissent, with a focus on changing attitudes in Britain).
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant takedown of the British Empire.
Gopal doesn't pretend to be comprehensive of all resistance to the empire, because there were so many critiques and rebellions against the British Empire in its time that it would be impossible to fit them all in one book, but she is extensive in her detailing of the case studies she selects. She goes through the incidents and people she selects with exhaustive, almost excruciating detail, but you'll walk away knowing more about the British Empire and
Gemma Williams
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent academic book about how resistance to the British Empire always existed, and how the struggles of colonial subjects actively influenced Western commentators and allies. A really refreshing corrective to the patronising view that suggests colonial subjects learnt a taste for freedom purely as a result of imbibing 'British values' as a consequence of colonialism.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal work that undermines completely the idea of the benevolence of the British empire while also killing any argument for key colonial actors being 'of their time' as if they could not possibly know otherwise. The link between colonised dissenters and activists in Britain is fascinating, the colonised were the tutors.
Vid Calovski
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will come back to this review at some point, but this book is such a welcome panacea. IN an age when nationalism is really poisoning our public discourse this book opens up and leads to debates and individuals who demonstrate such an important way of thinking.
Jake Skemp
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ESSENTIAL. the "Dunkirk spirit" is a lie, from defeated imperialists, attempting to relate to the heroic people they subjugated and exploited.
Donna Hardcastle
Tremendous. Read it.
gaverne Bennett
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Instant classic. Bears re reading.
Eurethius Péllitièr
The deep analysis by Dr. Gopal of worker internationalism under Empire is vital for the struggles of today to relearn
Roger Mckenzie
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