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Sathnam Sanghera on how Imperialism has shaped modern Britain

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Sathnam Sanghera, columnist, The Times, in conversation with Aasmah Mir, Times Radio breakfast host. They discuss Sathnam’s latest book Empireland: How Imperialism has Shaped Modern Britain. This event took place on Thursday, January 28, 2021. 

Britain as we know it is a direct product of our imperial past. And yet, empire is barely taught at school and continues to be a subject of both shame and glorification.

Sathnam Sanghera's deeply impassioned, enlightening and unsettling book demonstrates that we see that we can only truly understand who we are by knowing who we were. Covering everything from our national habits to how we live - from the foundation of the NHS, to the nature of our racism, to our economic status and our wealth - Empireland argues that imperialism is everywhere, though we often choose not to see it. It is central to the way we think and conduct politics, from the distrust of intellectuals in public life, to the exceptionalism that inspired Brexit and our response to the COVID crisis. 

Sathnam Sanghera was born to Punjabi immigrant parents in Wolverhampton in 1976. He entered the education system unable to speak English but, after attending Wolverhampton Grammar School, graduated 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. He has won numerous prizes for his journalism at The Financial Times and The Times, including Young Journalist of the Year in 2002 and Media Commentator of the Year in 2015.

Aasmah Mir is a Sony Gold Award-winning broadcaster who has worked in TV and radio for over 25 years. She is the co-presenter of the Breakfast Show on Times Radio with Stig Abell. Before that she co-presented ‘Saturday Live‘ on BBC Radio 4 from 2014 to 2020. Born and brought up in Glasgow of Pakistani heritage, Aasmah graduated in law from Bristol University. At the age of 22, she landed a job as a newsreader at STV in Glasgow

Exclusive subscriber offer: Empireland; How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain is published by Viking, Penguin on January 28, 2021 RRP £18.99. You can pre-order the book at a discounted price of £14.99 from Waterstones.com here (valid until February 28, 2021).