This book explores national attitudes to remembering colonialism in Britain and France. By comparing these two former colonial powers, the author tells two distinct stories about coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism, the role of silence and the breaking thereof. Examining memory through the stories of people who incited public conversation on colonialism: activists; politicians; journalists; and professional historians, this book argues that these actors mobilised the colonial past to make sense of national identity, race and belonging in the present. In focusing on memory as an ongoing, politicised public debate, the book examines the afterlife of colonial history as an element of political and social discourse that depends on actors' goals and priorities. A thought-provoking and powerful read that explores the divisive legacies of colonialism through oral history, this book will appeal to those researching imperialism, collective memory and cultural identity.
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