Imperial nostalgia

By Peter Mitchell

Imperial nostalgia


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4620-5
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £14.99
  • Published Date: February 2021
  • BIC Category: British Empire, Society & social sciences / Cultural studies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Imperialism, British Politics, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Popular Culture, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 21st Century, Society & social sciences / Society & culture: general, United Kingdom, Great Britain


A strong emotional attachment to the memory of empire runs deep in British culture. In recent years, that memory has become a battleground in a long-drawn ideological war, inflecting debates on race, class, gender, culture, the UK's future and its place in the world. This provocative and passionate book surveys the scene of the imperial memory wars in contemporary Britain, exploring how the myths that structure our views of empire came to be, and how they inform the present. Taking in such diverse subjects as Rory Stewart and inter-war adventure fiction, man's facial hair and Kipling, the Alt-right and the Red Wall, Imperial Nostalgia asks how our relationship with our national past has gone wrong, and how it might be improved.


1 The idea of empire in political crisis
2 Inventing the Tradition
3 The History Wars and the Academics
4 The History Wars and Everyone Else
5 Resurgent racial imaginaries of empire
6 Imperial gender and the lure of the frontier
7 The upper class imperial drag show
8 Creating the white working class in Brexit Britain's hearts of darkness
Conclusion: Escaping the Empire



Peter Mitchell is a writer and historian

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