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Colonialism by Nigel Biggar review – a flawed defence of empire

A reappraisal of colonialism by an Oxford professor strains credulity and ill serves his aim of defending ‘western values’

In 1857, in the wake of the Indian mutiny, a British officer, Lt George Cracklow, described in a letter home what happened to captured rebels.

“The prisoners were marched up to the guns… and lashed to the muzzles,” he wrote.

“The guns exploded… I could hardly see for the smoke for about 2 seconds when down came something with a thud about 5 yards from me.

This was the head and neck of one of the men…

On each side of the guns, about 10 yards, lay the arms torn out at the

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