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About the Author

Sathnam Sanghera was born to Punjabi immigrant parents in Wolverhampton in 1976. He entered the education system unable to speak English but went on to graduate from Christ's College, Cambridge with a first class degree in English Language and Literature. He has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards twice, for his memoir The Boy With The Topknot and his novel Marriage Material. Empireland has been longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, was named a Book of the Year at the National Book Awards of 2022, and inspired both the Channel 4 series Empire State of Mind and Sanghera's children's book about the British empire Stolen History. He lives in London.


I only wish this book had been around when I was at school
*Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London*

A fascinating reckoning with a history of empire
*Guardian, Best Politics Books of 2021*

A balanced and insightful study of the British empire and contemporary attitudes towards it
*The Times, Best Paperbacks of 2021*

This immensely readable book is very timely. The account by Sanghera, a former FT writer, is simultaneously personal and scholarly. It addresses many of the questions that are now urgent subjects of public debate - such as Britain's role in the slave trade and the connections between empire and multiculturalism
*Financial Times, Best Books of 2021: Politics*

An important book and that's not a phrase to use lightly. It's an exposé and a reminder of how conveniently the British have rewritten the past and buried the bones of their shame . . . a necessary, uncomfortable and illuminating read
*New Statesman, Books of the Year*

Robust . . . an illuminating examination of the "toxic cocktail of nostalgia and amnesia" that still hugely influences our life today
*Guardian, Best Books of 2021*

This remarkable book shines the brightest of lights into some of the darkest and most misunderstood corners of our shared history
*James O'Brien*

[Empireland] should be on the compulsory reading list of every secondary school in the country
*John Simpson*

Lucid but never simplistic; entertaining but never frivolous; intensely readable while always mindful of nuance and complexity - Empireland takes a perfectly-judged approach to its contentious but necessary subject
*Jonathan Coe*

Empireland by Sathnam Sanghera is a salutary reminder of the dark side of our past. I spend my time trying to help resolve armed conflicts from Myanmar to Nigeria that are largely caused by the crass errors of our ancestors. It helps to understand how those came about
*New Statesman, Books of the Year*

A gracefully written book, but its real beauty lies in its complete absence of dogmatism ... Empireland is not an angry diatribe. It's a sensitive, often uncomfortable commentary on the stubborn influence of empire ... The real remedy is education of the kind that Sanghera has embraced - accepting, not ignoring, the past
*The Times*

This remarkable book shines the brightest of lights into some of the darkest and most misunderstood corners of our shared history. As urgent as it is illuminating . . . Sanghera's meticulous research and passionate advocacy combine to create an irresistible case for reviewing much of what we think we know about the reality and legacy of the British Empire
*James O'Brien*

In this witty and multi-faceted portrait of our nation, the award-winning journalist and novelist looks with great acuity at how the Empire wrought contemporary Britain

[An] impassioned and deeply personal journey through Britain's imperial past and present ... a moving and stimulating book that deserves to be widely read
*The Guardian*

Excellent ... he is a good guide to the complexities of the issues ... And he is largely positive about Britain and its future
*Sunday Times*

The best book on the British empire for a very long time
*Diane Abbott*

A scorching polemic on the afterburn of empire

A wonderful, wonderful book
*David Lammy*

This account of how much of our "island story" was written in other countries deserves to be widely read. His decency and talent remind us of how much we owe to all those immigrants from our empire who came to make their lives here and too often (but happily not always) had to face hostility with a racist hue. The racism was frequently sired by our imperial past
*The Tablet*

A really interesting look at the history of empire - everything we're not taught at school - and how learning that history could change the way we view our country today
*Krishnan Guru-Murthy*

This thoroughly engaging and incredibly important book must be read by everyone. The sometimes heartbreaking read is enlightening and transformative. This remarkable work should be included in school curriculum... The informative book will undoubtedly continue to improve the understanding of future generations and perhaps even shape them
*Eastern Eye*

Empireland argues passionately that our identity has been shaped for the worse by empire, and that we must do more to debunk national myths
*Prospect, Books of the Year 2021*

In the wake of personal epiphany we glimpse with Sanghera pathways of transformative potential ... a simple but profound response - this searching introspection and a quest for new horizons, combined with a readiness to sit with the contradictions of it all

My book of the year so far. A really thoughtful, deeply researched and elegantly written look at the legacy of empire
*Financial Times*

Very well written ... decent, balanced and wise. His decency and talent remind us of how much we owe to all those immigrants from our empire who came to make their lives here
*The Tablet*

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