Legacy of Violence

A History of the British Empire

«Masterful, crucial ... as unflinching as it is gripping, as carefully researched as it is urgently necessary»

Jill Lepore, author of These Truths
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20 x 13 cm


«Masterful, crucial ... as unflinching as it is gripping, as carefully researched as it is urgently necessary»

Jill Lepore, author of These Truths

«Masterly... demonstrates that the British Empire, far from being part good, part bad, baked together from the outset state-sponsored violence and institutional racism with a periodic rewriting of its history as one of progress and civilisation, covering up atrocities and hiding or destroying incriminating documents. This book is dynamite»

Robert Gildea, author of Empires of the Mind

«The history of the British Empire that we desperately need today... Sweeping, forceful, and passionately argued... A monumental achievement»

Maya Jasanoff, author of The Dawn Watch

«A gripping, richly peopled, epic narrative... In stunning prose and drawing on staggering research, Elkins uncovers the reality of routine and ruthlessly violent suspension of law and militarized policing as imperial personnel and practices moved from crisis to crisis around the globe»

Priya Satia, author of Time's Monster: How History Makes History

«In nothing was the British Empire more successful than its skilful concealment of the violence that it unleashed across the globe, over centuries. Caroline Elkins' Legacy of Violence is a laudably ambitious attempt at unearthing this hidden legacy, the bitter fruits of which are becoming more and more visible every day»

Amitav Ghosh, author of The Nutmeg’s Curse

«A clear, incisive account of the way in which the British maintained public order in the colonies through 'lawful lawlessness'... An exceedingly valuable book on the dark side of the British Empire»

Wm. Roger Louis, Editor-in-Chief of Oxford History of the British Empire

«Legacy of Violence is a formidable piece of research that sets itself the ambition of identifying the character of British power over the course of two centuries and four continents... this history could not be more timely»

Tim Adams, Observer

«Legacy of Violence...is deeply researched... a powerful, compelling read»

Rana Mitter, Financial Times

«Fascinating... [Legacy of Violence] is a harrowing read, and one that brings the violence of empire sharply into focus»

Alex von Tunzelmann, BBC History Magazine

«Vividly written... [Elkins] brings together...episodes in order to draw out what she sees as their commonalities in British imperial doctrine»

John Darwin, Times Literary Supplement

«[Elkins'] magnum opus... Elkins' achievement is to chronicle how makeshift responses to rebellion evolved into a chillingly standardised playbook for the use of force»

Erik Linstrum, History Today

«Not so much a history book as a book of historical significance»

BBC History Magazine, *Best Books of 2022*

«Illuminating and authoritative... The repression and violence Elkins narrates on an epic scale matters because they continue to reverberate tragically in our global present»

Priyamvada Gopal, author of Insurgent Empire

«A work of deep archival achievement that creates a historical argument that is courageous and ambitious... This is a text for our times»

Homi Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University

«A thumping great study by a heavyweight academic historian»

Robbie Millen, The Times, *Books to Look Out For 2022*

«Legacy of Violence is beautifully written and follows through on its arguments doggedly... This is an important book that deserves to be read by everyone who wants to understand and argue against the current attempt to reinvigorate the romance of the British Empire»

Socialist Worker

«A dark, riveting book... her [Elkins'] method is what gives the book its intensity»

New Statesman, *Books of the Year*

«Fascinating... a real page-turner... the writing is backed up with considerable academic research... the evidence of systematic oppression, presented as powerfully and relentlessly as it is here, will be difficult to resist»

Literary Review

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