How does history get rewritten? How do victimizers become victims, and the valiant turn into villains? As Harvard history professor Caroline Elkins has learned, this process can be a hazardous one. The Pulitzer prize-winning author of Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya devoted many years to the study of the Mau Mau uprising in the early 1950s, and the British response, a model of counter-insurgency technique — or so she thought.
The Mau Mau were a group of native Kenyans who turned to violence and terror to drive out their colonial British masters, but as Elkins discovered, they weren’t the only ones to use such tactics. Now a court case will decide where the truth actually lies, as you will hear in this Faculty Insight interview, produced in partnership with ThoughtCast and Harvard Extension School.Tags: british empire, caroline elkins, colonialism, counter-insurgency, Faculty Insight, gulag, harvard extension school, jenny attiyeh, kenya, mau mau, revisionist history, thoughtcast