This is a thoroughly researched, balanced and readable account of the role of the British Empire in Kenya. That it contains such harrowing material is of course not the authors' fault but owes everything to the ractises and behaviour of both the colonial machine and the white settlers.
The recent court cases in Britain which have partially revealed a decades-long cover up demonstrate that the record described in this work is correct in all its essential details. Elkins' detractors should now leave the field in silence.
The power of the account is reinforced by the fact that the author did not set out to provide a critique of Britian's role and was utterly taken aback by her discovery of it. This adds to the great strength of the research, which is meticulous, even exhaustive, at least of what was then in the public domain. Even now, the British authorities seem intent on allowing access to the hidden files only by more trusted academics, not those who have achieved ground-breaking work such as this author.
However, without suffering any preconceptions about Britain's role In Kenya, the book fails to place it in the overall context of Britain's imperial reign in Africa, what was a stake among the imperial powers in the Scramble and what factors obliged the ignominious retreat. The effects on post-colonial Kenya are too only hinted at. But maybe she and other authors will take up those challenges in future work.