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Resources on the secret history of British atrocities in Kenya

The following is a list first compiled on 18th June 2020 of Facebook. I asked people to suggest reading on this topic and from that I compiled this list. I have reposted that today 12th Sep 2022 and received some new suggestions which I have added. Thanks all who made suggestions and to Jason and Richard for additional suggestions added in 2022.

Articles and books on Britains’ colonial rule in Kenya – suggested reading by people online. With Amazon links – other booksellers are available!

Books on Kenya:

1. Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire
by David Anderson

2. Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya
by Caroline Elkins

3. The Mau Mau War in Perspective (Eastern African Studies)
by Frank Furedi

4. Mau Mau: An African Crucible Paperback
by Robert B. Edgerton

5. Squatters & the Roots of Mau Mau: 1905-1963 (Eastern African Studies)
by Tabitha Kanogo

6. Roots of freedom 1921-1963: The autobiography of Bildad Kaggia Paperback – 1 Jan. 1975
by Bildad Kaggia

7. “Mau Mau” Detainee: Account by a Kenya African of His Experiences in Detention Camps, 1953-60
by Josiah Mwangi Kariuki

8. Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir
by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

9. Classes and Class Struggle in Kenya
by Maina wa Kinyatti

10. Mau Mau: A Revolution Betrayed
by Maina wa Kinyatti

11. Mau Mau from within: Autobiography and analysis of Kenya’s peasant revolt
by Don Barnett

Books relevant to Kenya:

12. Blood Never Dried: A peoples History of the British Empire
by John Newsinger
[Chapter on Kenya]

13. Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent
by Priyamvada Gopal
[Penultimate chapter]

14. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
by Walter Rodney
[Numerous references to Kenya]

15. Western Primitivism: African Ethnicity – A Study in Cultural Relations (Global issues series)
by Aidan Campbell

16. The History Thieves: Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation
by Ian Cobain
[About government secrets and the hiding of documents and information – not specifically about Kenya but does mention it]

17. Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits: How Masters of Irregular Warfare Have Shaped Our World
by John Arquilla (Author)
[Chapter 16 on Frank Kitson who played a major role in the British military repression in Kenya]

18. Britain’s Secret Wars: How and Why the United Kingdom Sponsors Conflict Around the World
by T. J. Coles (Author)


19. Petals of Blood
by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
ISBN 0141187026

20. The Broken Word
by Adam Foulds


21. Mau Mau in the High Court and the ‘Lost’ British Empire Archives: Colonial Conspiracy or Bureaucratic Bungle?
Actions in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 39 (5): 699–716.

22. Colin Leys, Underdevelopment in Kenya. The Political Economy of Neo?Colonialism in Institute of Development Studies Bulletin 7(3): 43-47

23. The People of Kenya Speak for Themselves
by Mbiyu Koinange

24. Resistance and revolution in colonial Kenya
by FAZAL Shehina

25. Kenya: social movement history of Bunge la Mwananchi (The People’s Parliament) Part One
by GACHIHI Gacheke

26. Uncovering the brutal truth about the British empire
by Caroline Elkins

27. Guardian articles relating to Mau Mau

28. Boris Johnson says we shouldn’t edit our past. But Britain has been lying about it for decades
by George Monbiot

Additional suggestions

29. The Lunatic Express by Charles Miller

30. Going Down River Road by Meja Mwangi

31. Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

32. A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

33. The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

34. Weep Not, Child by Ngugi wa Thiong’o


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