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Nigel Biggar



12:00pm 1h
The Gibraltar Garrison Library (Festival HQ)

Described by Sir Trevor Phillips as carrying “the intellectual force of a Javelin anti-tank missile”, Nigel Biggar’s Colonialism: A Moral Reckoning quickly became a Sunday Times bestseller after its publication in February. In it Biggar tests the ‘decolonising’ indictment of the West by examining the record of the British Empire. In eight chapters he addresses head-on the crucial questions: Was the British Empire driven primarily by greed and the lust to dominate? Should we speak of ‘colonialism and slavery’ in the same breath? Was the Empire essentially racist? How far was it based on the theft of land? Did it involve genocide? Was it driven fundamentally by the motive of economic exploitation? Was undemocratic colonial government necessarily illegitimate? and, Was the Empire essentially violent? To each question Biggar’s scrutiny arrives at the answer, No. As encyclopedic in historical breadth as it is penetrating in analytical depth, Colonialism forensically dismantles the corrosive, often unscrupulous ‘decolonising’ narrative about Britain’s colonial past—and thereby rejuvenates faith in the West’s future. In this event, Nigel Biggar will first explain why he wrote the book, the gist of its argument, and how it has been received. Then he will take questions.

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