Peter MitchellOct 14, 2021
How the British Conquered Themselves
Manchester University Press 2020
With Imperial Nostalgia: How the British Conquered Themselves (Manchester UP, 2020) Peter Mitchell offers a “history of the present”. That is to say, it is not a narrative of how we got to where we are, but rather a sustained reflection on how history shapes and interacts with our current world. Mitchell also engages the uses history for contemporary political purposes. Mitchell argues that memories of empire are at the root almost every aspect of Britain’s culture wars. From battles over statues to skirmishes within hallowed Oxbridge halls he argues that imperial nostalgia infects British politics.
Dr. Mitchell earned his doctorate at Queen Mary, University of London in 2014. His dissertation was on the India Office records and the historiography of the early modern British Empire. In addition to Imperial Nostalgia, he is the co-author of Ruling the World: Freedom, Civilization and Liberalism in the Nineteenth Century British Empire with Alan Lester and Kate Boehme also with Cambridge University Press, 2021. Peter Mitchell is currently an Oral History and Public Engagement Officer with the University of Manchester working on “NHS: Voices of Covid-19” (funded by the AHRC and in partnership with the British Library Oral History Archive).
Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.