Histories of the Hanged and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£10.00
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: NOT EX-LIBRARY. CLEAN AND UNMARKED THROUGHOUT. DUST JACKET IS UNCLIPPED AND UNTORN SHOWING SOME LITTLE HINTS OF CREASING AT THE EDGES, AND SOME EDGE/CORNER/SURFACE WEAR. SPINE IS UNCREASED. PAGE BLOCK IS GOOD. BOARDS SHOW A SLIGHT BOWING-SEE PHOTO 2. BINDING IS SECURE. THIS ITEM WILL BE PICKED, PACKED AND DISPATCHED BY AMAZON U.K.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.47
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire Hardcover – 13 Jan 2005

16 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£12.99 £7.05


Trade In this Item for up to £0.47
Trade in Histories of the Hanged: Britain's Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.47, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 1st. Edition edition (13 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297847198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297847199
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Anderson's information-rich history vividly depicts the complex political and social dynamics of the Kenyan nationalist movement as it was confronted by the brutal waning British Empire. This is vital reading for any student of British colonial and African history. (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (22.11.04))

By calling for reconciliation in the early years of his presidency, Kenyatta understandably sacrificed the past for the future. But today young Kenyans know next to nothing about the Mau Mau uprising and how it led to independence. For them, these books are an incomparable record of what happened in, and to, their country. For others, parallels with American foreign policy today are apparent enough. (THE ECONOMIST (1.1.05))

David Anderson's Histories of the Hanged is the first full account of the guerrilla war that determined who should inherit Britain's most troublesome African colony. His evidence comes principally from the transcripts of the hundreds of Mau Mau trials that, in four years, resulted in more that one thousand executions, far more than in any other colonial conflict, even Algeria's. (John Lonsdale TIMES (8.1.05))

One reason why Anderson's book is...the better is that he traces the sad aftermath of Mau Mau in Kenyan life up to the present...At the least these two books should cause the government to declassify all remaining documents and lift the veil on what was probably the worst atrocity of the entire colonial period. (R W Johnson SUNDAY TIMES (9.1.05))

Anderson's account is much the more scholarly...[It] creates[s] a bleak record, describing the network of detention camps created in the 1950s to hold Kikuyu driven wholesale from their villages, and the systematic torture and cruelty employed by the counter-insurgency forces. (Max Hastings SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (9.1.05))

it is impossible to read on without sensing a deeper contemporary relevance. (Peter Preston OBSERVER (16.1.05))

The British responded with show trials and swift executions to demonstrate that counter-measures were in place. These trials form the centrepiece of Anderson's book. He has trawled through more than 1,000 of them in Kenya National Archive, emerging with a tale of rough justice and political manipulation that raises disturbing questions about the guilt of some of the accused. (Nicholas Best TELEGRAPH (15.1.05))

Anderson's research on Mau Mau trials and their victims...not only transform[s] our understanding of empire's end, but should produce political shock-waves...What Britain did in Kenya was - as...Anderson...make[s] clear in unprecedented and shocking detail - vicious, shameful and unforgivable. (Stephen Howe INDEPENDENT (21.1.05))

[a] considered and dispassionate account of the atrocities commited by the British on the 1950s. Anderson relies on court and other records to expose the shame of an imperial system of justice that led to more than a thousand Africans being hanged. Throughout HISTORIES OF THE HANGED, Anderson condemns the dirty tricks of the British and the Mau Mau with equal vigour. (Kwamchetsi Makokha NEW STATESMAN (31.1.05))

Anderson has reconstructed a a vivid slice of history from the court records of Mau Mau trials...Anderson gets inside the minds and passions of both sides and, best of all, inside the agony of those simply caught up in the horror and forced to make appalling choices. (Richard Dowden GUARDIAN (5.2.05))

These books are not only an important illumination of a half-forgotten war, they show how an empire that tries to crush dissent with brutality is ultimately doomed to failure. Since Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, the stories of the Mau Mau have an unmistakable lesson for today. (Declan Walsh IRISH TIMES (12.3.05))

It is a powerful message, and a timely reminder of the brutal crimes of Empire. (Justin Willis TLS (18.3.05))

Anderson's book is the more meticulous and dispassionate of the two. (Robert Guest THE TABLET (12.3.05))

Book Description

The true story of the Mau Mau rebellion of 1952-60 in Kenya, told for the first time

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John M. Lonsdale on 19 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
I wish to take issue with Bwana Bunduki. Anderson's book was about more than the use of law in counter-insurgency. It detailed, as few other books have done, the extraordinary complexity of the Kenya crisis, with deep insight into what divided the Kikuyu people. It went on to analyse the great divisions on the British side, between senior judges and senior policemen, and generals, on the one hand, most of whom tried to uphold the laws of war and, on the other, magistrates, members of the security forces and, perhaps above all, the Provincial Administration who judged that loyalty to their Kikuyu allies required that the former avert their eyes from, and connive in the cover-ups, of the misdeeds of the latter. While Anderson is unsparing in his criticism, he is also deeply compassionate towards the victims of both Mau Mau and of British counter-insurgency, conscious of the historian's duty to understand, and sympathise with the conflicting demands of the past, as much as to pass judgment. The judgments he arrives at are, very properly, largely from the mouths of British actors at the time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Branch on 19 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a powerful, revelatory and balanced account of the Mau Mau rebellion and the British response to it. Because Anderson's conclusions are grounded in documentary evidence produced by the colonial authorities, his criticisms of the counter-insurgency campaign carry much weight. Well-written and incisive, Anderson treats all of his subjects judiciously and in an even-handed manner. This book is undeserving of the misguided criticisms made of it by Bwana Bunduki below. This is a fine example of historical scholarship at its very best.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Blunt on 19 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
For those interested in the historical and social processes through which the law becomes the condition of possibility for the extreme persecution not only of political adversaries but of entire categories of citizens, read "Histories of the Hanged." Anderson has provided a careful interrogation of the colonial legal record that seriously undermines any easy claim to the legitimacy of systematic and lethal state force carried out in the name of the law.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ten years ago I was played a recording of a 1957 talk about the Mau Mau uprising. Years later as I studied various aspects of history I started to question what I had been told. It prompted me to read more about the history of Kenya and Africa and I have to say this book is one of the best I have read. Yes, I still have 90% to read but already this is a book I struggle to put down. The author honestly and openly presents the facts and openly admits when opinion is given, he doesn't try to disguise opinions as facts and this work can only help to heal many deep wounds... if only we would listen.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Jennings on 21 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
David Anderson's 'Histories of the Hanged' offers what most other narratives of this period have failed to do: a highly complex, balanced, and rigorously documented account of Mau Mau. His analysis of the counter-insurgency is detailed; and given the world we live in today, his assessment of the use of law to justify increasingly repressive measures in the name of security is important. It is a finely balanced narrative, which combines a passionate commitment to addressing some of the misconceptions and myths that have grown up about this period in Kenya's history, without losing a deep sense of sympathy and outrage at the violence perpetrated by all sides.

An excellent work for academic and non-academic audiences alike. Thoroughly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding work and strongly based on primary sources. The anger at the excesses of both sides sometimes shows, but why should it not? A very balanced book in a field full of partisan comment, even from historians from respectable universities.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Susan Askew on 31 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well researched and informative book about the end of colonialism in Kenya. I would definitely recommend anyone interested in the events leading up to this in the 1950s.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought for a specific subject I'm studying at university. It fits the bill and was recommended by my tutor after discussion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback