Caroline Elkins

Britain's Gulag
  • Britain's Gulag

  • Only a few years after Britain defeated fascism came the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya - a mass armed rebellion by the Kikuyu people, demanding the return of their land and freedom. The draconian response of Britain's colonial government was to detain nearly the entire Kikuyu population of 1.5 million and to portray them as sub-human savages. Detainees in their thousands - possibly a hundred thousand or more - died from exhaustion, disease, starvation and systemic physical brutality. For decades these events remained untold.

    Caroline Elkins conducted years of research to piece together this story, unearthing reams of documents and interviewing several hundred Kikuyu survivors. Britain's Gulag reveals, for the first time, the full savagery of the Mau Mau war and the ruthless determination with which Britain sought to control its empire.

Caroline Elkins is a Professor of History at Harvard University and the recipient of numerous awards, including a Fulbright and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship. Her research for Britain's Gulag was the subject of the BBC documentary 'Kenya: White Terror', which was shown in Britain in November 2002 and was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross prize at the Monte Carlo Festival. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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