A few years ago, at a conference in England on the history of empire, we had a lecture by a retired civil servant who had once served as the governor of one of Britain’s few remaining overseas territories. He was describing his experiences responding to some minor constitutional crisis, when a mob of local protestors had descended upon his pocket-sized Government House and he panicked, frantically calling colleagues in London for advice to try to muddle through to some acceptable solution. When the talk was over, a young scholar on my left—an expert (no doubt) on Imperialist Racist Fascists—turned to me, eyes wide with astonishment, head gently shaking, and said: “You know, I’d just never thought that the British colonialists were people, before.”

Perhaps this can go some way toward explaining the unhappy fate of Bruce Gilley, the political science...

 

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