Imperial Endgame: Britain’s Dirty Wars and the End of EmpireBenjamin Grob-Fitzbillon
The story of the British Empire in the 20th century is one of decline, disarray, and despondency. Or so we have been told. In this fresh and controversial account of Britain’s end of empire, historian Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon rejects this consensus, showing instead that in the years 1945-1960 the British government developed a successful imperial strategy based on devolving power to indigenous peoples within the Commonwealth. This strategy was calculated to allow decolonization to occur on British terms rather than those of the indigenous populations, and to thus keep these soon-to-be former colonies within the British and Western spheres of influence during the Cold War. To achieve this, the government had to rely upon the use of illiberal dirty wars. Spanning the globe from Palestine to Malaya, Kenya to Cyprus, these dirty wars represented Britain’s true imperial endgame.
“Imperial Endgame is a controversial and important book. Benjamin Grob-Fitzgibbon has no time for conventional pieties,” said Richard Aldous, author of “The Lion and the Unicorn” and Eugene Meyer of Bard College, New York. “It’s a bold re-telling of the decolonisation story, pulled off with great style and panache.”