Hear Our Voices: A Powerful Retelling of the British Empire through 20 True Stories (Hardcover)

Hear Our Voices: A Powerful Retelling of the British Empire through 20 True Stories By Radhika Natarajan, Chao Tayiana, Alexander Mostov (Illustrator) Cover Image

Hear Our Voices: A Powerful Retelling of the British Empire through 20 True Stories (Hardcover)


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This compelling and important history of the British Empire, told from the perspective of 20 people who lived through it, tells the story of one of the largest and most powerful empires in human history.

At one time, the British Empire ruled over almost a quarter of the world’s population. Men, women and children from all walks of life and from across the globe were affected in big and small ways, from the clothes they wore, the food they ate and the languages they spoke to the work they did and the rights they held. This legacy and impact is still evident all over the world today.

This book shines a light on the human aspects of the ‘Empire where the sun never sets’, introducing readers to a host of figures, both powerful and modest, who lived through, challenged, and influenced the course of the British Empire.

But how did this empire come to be? And what happened to the people whose lands were colonised? The people whose lives were touched? This book tells their stories and reclaims this chapter in history by giving voice to 20 real figures whose perspectives have often been ignored, overlooked or sidelined.

Their stories are told in a first-person narrative style, allowing readers to see through the eyes of these inspiring history-keepers. From leaders and activists to poets and freedom fighters, the book features a range of figures from across five continents, shining a light on the human aspect of the British Empire.

Meet Queen Nanny, the escaped slave who led a fight for freedom against the British in Jamaica. 

Hear the story of Rani of Jhansi, a key figure in the Indian resistance movement against British colonial rule. 

Learn about Tejonihokarawa, the Mohawk leader who travelled to London on a diplomatic mission. 

These engaging true stories of resistance, community, struggle and hope will spark conversations, foster a broader, decolonized understanding of the reaches and impacts of colonialism and ultimately leave readers inspired. After all, understanding our past and its echoes in our lives today is a step towards a better future.

Radhika Natarajan is assistant professor of history and humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Her research focuses on the intertwined histories of decolonization, the welfare state, and citizenship in the British imperial world.

Chao Tayiana is a Kenyan digital heritage specialist and digital humanities scholar. With a background in computer science and a life-long passion for history, her work primarily focuses on the application of technology in the preservation, engagement and dissemination of African heritage and culture. She is the founder of African Digital Heritage, an organisation that seeks to encourage a more critical and holistic approach to the design of digital heritage solutions. She is also a co-founder of the Museum of British Colonialism where she leads digital engagement and is a co-founder of the Open Restitution Africa project.

Alexander Mostov is a Seattle-based illustrator whose work has been featured by Google, Facebook, and the Columbus Museum of Art. Previous books include D-Day: Untold Stories of the Normandy Landings Inspired by 20 Real-Life People published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2019. 

Product Details ISBN: 9780711266957
ISBN-10: 0711266956
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
Publication Date: October 17th, 2023
Pages: 64
Language: English
“This pioneering book tells the history of the British Empire, its legacy and how it has shaped the UK today, through 25 real people’s stories.”The Bookseller

"should be an essential addition to any school library.”The Bookseller

“This empowering journey through time and across continents explores the rise, fall and legacy of the British Empire from the perspectives of 20 real people who lives through it.”The Bookseller