Radiolab Podcast: Mau Mau. Reconstructing history in Kenya

“When professor Caroline Elkins came across a stray document left by the British colonial government in Nairobi, Kenya, she opened the door to a new reckoning with the history of one of Britain’s colonial crown jewels, and the fearsome group of rebels known as the Mau Mau. We talk to historians, archivists, journalists and send our producer Jamie York to visit the Mau Mau. As the new history of Kenya is concealed and revealed, document by document, we wonder what else lies in wait among the miles of records hidden away in Hanslope Park.”

What does this podcast tell us about the way in which we construct knowledge in History? What role does corroborating documentary evidence play? Can we solely rely on oral history to construct knowledge about the past?

This podcast also raises many interesting questions about ethics and responsibility. Does Britain’s government have any responsibility, moral, ethical, or legal, to acknowledge past crimes? Does it have to make amends for these actions?

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