‘BRILLIANTLY ARRANGED AND RICH WITH FRESH INSIGHTS, UNCOMMON WEALTH REMINDS US HOW THE FORGOTTEN STORIES OF EMPIRE AND DECOLONISATION CONTINUE TO IMPACT OUR DAILY LIVES IN BRITAIN – AND THROUGHOUT THE WORLD – UP TO TODAY’ AKALA
‘A RADICAL, BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HISTORY – INGENIOUSLY PLACING BRITAIN’S RECENT TUMULT INTO CONTEXT’ – OWEN JONES
Britain didn’t just put the empire back the way it had found it.
In Uncommon Wealth, Kojo Koram traces the tale of how after the end of the British empire an interconnected group of well-heeled British intellectuals, politicians, accountants and lawyers offshored their capital, seized assets and saddled debt in former ‘dependencies’. This enabled horrific inequality across the globe as ruthless capitalists profited and ordinary people across Britain’s former territories in colonial Africa, Asia and the Caribbean were trapped in poverty. However, the reinforcement of capitalist power across the world also ricocheted back home. Now it has left many Britons wondering where their own sovereignty and prosperity has gone…
Decolonisation was not just a trendy buzzword. It was one of the great global changes of the past hundred years, yet Britain – the protagonist in the whole, messy drama – has forgotten it was ever even there. A blistering uncovering of the scandal of Britain’s disastrous treatment of independent countries after empire, Uncommon Wealth shows the decisions of decades past are contributing to the forces that are breaking Britain today.
Brilliantly arranged and rich with fresh insights, Uncommon Wealth reminds us how the forgotten stories of empire and decolonisation continue to impact our daily lives in Britain - and throughout the world - up to today. -- Akala A radical, beautifully written understanding of our history - ingeniously placing Britain's recent tumult into context -- Owen Jones Unflinching and lucidly written, Uncommon Wealth challenges everything you thought you knew about the British Empire and its legacy. This book should be part of the national curriculum -- Ellie Mae O'Hagan A challenge to a nation living in the shadow of empire: reckon with your imperial past, or it will come back to bite you . . . Stirring, rigorous and readable -- Grace Blakeley Compelling and masterful . . . Perfectly timed for a moment when more are recognizing that the past is not past, the legacies of empire are profound, and another world is possible -- Samuel Moyn, Yale University Brilliant, illuminating, often surprising and shocking, Kojo Koram's careful and sensitive telling of the stories that so many of us do not know is a masterpiece -- Danny Dorling, University of Oxford An ambitious blend of history, memoir and current affairs - Koram's superb and combative account shows how Britain's near-past can explain its present predicament. A fascinating account of the British Empire written with an exciting blend of passion and scholarship -- David Dabydeen Uncommon Wealth brilliantly exposes the imperial origins of much of Britain's contemporary crisis. Koram shows how the empire ordered overseas a structure of law, property, economic institutions and citizenship, which came home -- Professor Richard Drayton, KCL By carefully dissecting the economic legacy of the British Empire, Koram has exposed some troubling home truths about the causes and effects of the very unequal world in which we live. A fascinating history, Koram's unique perspective sheds new light on an old problem -- Robert Verkaik A superb and vivid account of the ideas, laws and economic instruments that bind contemporary Britain to its long colonial history -- Will Davies, Professor of Political Economy, Goldsmiths Fantastic. Koram clearly and informatively details the links between the economic dependency imposed on Britain's former colonies after decolonisation and the crisis that 'Global Britain' now finds itself facing -- Quinn Slobodian, author of Globalists A tour de force by one of the most brilliant young thinkers writing in Britain today . . . Urgent and relevant -- Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, author of What If Latin America Ruled the World? A bold and brazen account of the economic afterlives of the British Empire -- Imaobong Umoren, LSE A superb account of how Britain's present crisis is intimately intertwined with its imperial past . . . Empire shapes all our lives - whether we acknowledge it or not -- Katrina Forrester, Harvard University With lucidity, clarity and global sweep, Koram diagnoses the predicament of today's Britain . . . A vital read -- Sujit Sivasundaram, author of Waves Across the South, Winner of the British Academy Book Prize 2021 A clear-eyed assessment of some of the British Empire's least acknowledged legacies - offshoring, outsourcing, the unchecked sovereignty of corporations - which are now reverberating back on Britain and shredding the social fabric of British life. In the Covid era, this is essential reading -- Christienna Fryar
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