Military History Circle: Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire

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The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies invites you to attend a Military History Circle on the subject of 'Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire' by David Anderson, Lecturer in African Studies and Research Fellow, St Antony's College, Oxford; and Author of 'Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire'.


This book tells for the first time the story of Britain's first war on terror, fought in Kenya in the run-up to the country's independence in 1963. In 1952, after years of tension and bitterness, the grievances of the Kikuyu people of central Kenya exploded into open rebellion. Only 32 European settlers died in the subsequent fighting, but more than 1,800 African civilians, over 3,000 African police and soldiers, and 12,000 Mau Mau rebels were killed in total.

David Anderson provides a full and convincing account of a war in which all sides behaved badly: The violence and excess of the British can no more be excused than can the atrocities of the rebels, who would later be heralded as nationalist heroes.  His book contains the information the press, public and politicians need to decide for themselves about an important aspect of Britain's recent past. These events are still within living memory, and eye-witness testimonies provide the backbone of this controversial story.



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