Reviews

  • Much of the best scholarship today is ­distinguished by a vigorous and sustained challenge to old imperialist verities. Priya Satia's Time's Monster, which comes out of a long, if little-noticed, intellectual ­counter-tradition in Asia and Europe, bracingly describes how our moral and political imagination became so constrained and how it could be liberated

    Pankaj Mishra, New Statesman, Books of the Year
  • Vital. . . a coruscating and important reworking of the relationship between history, historians and empire

    Kenan Malik, Observer
  • Phenomenal . . . in asking how British men felt able to justify running an empire rooted in violence and systemic inequality, Satia's discussion of this ethical conundrum runs into wonderfully imaginative, even astronomical and spiritual spaces

    Priya Atwal, BBC History Magazine
  • Priya Satia's book dazzles by its brilliance but also points to other enigmas and mysteries that historians have to confront and unravel

    The Wire
  • Turns the lens on history as a subject, asking how we have told the story of empire in the past. Satia offers a scholarly and analytical interpretation of how historians themselves have framed the ways that empire is understood in British history writing - from John Stuart Mill to EP Thompson

    Yasmin Khan, BBC History Magazine, Books of the Year
  • Not only a sweeping account of the British Empire over the past three centuries, but also an ambitious intellectual history, touching on everything from the Mahabharata to Marx, and from Shakespeare to Said. . . This urgent and compelling book encourages us to listen to different voices, to tell different stories, and ultimately to rethink what it means to be a historian and to engage critically and imaginatively with the past

    Kim Wagner, author of Amritsar 1919
  • In this searing book, Priya Satia demonstrates, yet again, that she is one of our most brilliant and original historians. Time's Monster casts new light on the British Empire by homing in on a fundamental question --how did 'good' men, acutely concerned with their consciences, preside over systematic exploitation and repeated atrocities? Satia shows that only if we grapple with the complicity of historians in assuaging their moral qualms can we confront empire's darkest legacies in our troubled world

    Sunil Amrith, author of Unruly Waters
  • Deeply thought-provoking and incisively argued, Time's Monster is sure to become a classic for anyone interested in European empires and the role of history in shaping human behaviour. In this extraordinary book, Priya Satia weaves wide-ranging evidence into a lively narrative, proving incontrovertibly why she is one of the most important historians of our time.

    Caroline Elkins, author of Imperial Reckoning
  • A pathbreaking study of the historical imagination's founding in colonialism. Moving from historical counternarratives to anti-historical thinking and poetry, Priya Satia guides us through important new ways of understanding the imperial past and its effects on our shared future.

    Faisal Devji, author of The Impossible Indian
  • A deeply insightful account of the way historical thinking informs the exercise of power. If historians are to play a positive role in the struggle to bend the arc of human history away from tyranny and toward justice, the lessons of this book should weigh heavily on our collective conscience. But more than that, this work is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand how the way we know the past shapes our future possibilities

    Vincent Brown, author of Tacky’s Revolt

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