Military History Circle

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

Friday 18 February 2005 from 1245 - 1400

The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies would like to invite 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. 

The book will be available to purchase at the event at a cost of £20. 

Why not join other Military History Circle members for a sandwich lunch from 1215 or simply take the opportunity to make the most of this visit by calling in on the RUSI library?  The lunch costs just £6 per head which can be paid in advance or on the day.

 If you would like to take part please contact: 

 Sabrina Downey

Events Manager

Tel: +44 (020) 7747 2640.


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