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Event 28 of 35

Sathnam Sanghera

Empireland: How Imperialism has shaped Modern Britain

In conversation with David Lister

Starts at: Friday 22 October 6:15 PM
Finishes at: Friday 22 October 7:15 PM

How divided we are currently – arguing about what it means to be British, what club Britain should join following Brexit and the end of Empire. After his bestselling memoir, The Boy With The Topknot, Sanghera argues entertainingly that we must step back and see where we come from if we want to understand who we are, and the things that unite us.

This history of the British Empire is fundamental to understanding Britain. So much ‘modern’ Britain is rooted in our imperial past, which permeates our lives and thoughts – the foundation of the NHS, the nature of our racism – the sense that British culture is in some way exceptional, maybe superior, that seeped into the campaign for Brexit and the government’s early response to COVID-19.

As the son of Punjabi immigrants, who went from starting school unable to speak English to a first class degree from Cambridge, Sanghera illuminates some of the darkest and most misunderstood corners of our shared history, at a time when this understanding is sorely needed.

…a perfectly-judged approach to its contentious but necessary subject.” Jonathan Coe