Imperial Reckoning

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The story

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book comes a major work of history that for the first time reveals the violence and terror at the heart of Britain’s civilizing mission in Kenya.

In 1997, Caroline Elkins, a 28-year-old doctoral student and associate professor at Harvard, embarks on research that will change the course of her life – and shed new light on a shameful and tragic part of recent history.

Her research on the Mau Mau uprising in 1950s British colonial Kenya reveals a previously hidden truth involving the extensive and horrific treatment of Kenyans by the British army. Records were destroyed, tens of thousands were killed, and the British government was bent on killing her research and her reputation.

Elkins spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of Kikuyu men and women who survived the British camps, as well as the British and African loyalists who detained them.

The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya and the eventual vindication of the Kikuyu people and Elkin’s work.