Sunday 6 June 2021


Kings Place, Hall 1 & Online

In-hall tickets are priced at £18.50. At-home streaming tickets can be booked for £9.50 by following this link to purchase online tickets. Described as “terrific and very important” by Simon Schama and “an amazing education” by David Baddiel, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain by Sathnam Sanghera is already one of 2021’s most-talked-about books. Now in this special in-person and online Jewish Book Week event the Times columnist and The Boy With The Topknot author joins Guardian journalist and The Windrush Betrayal author Amelia Gentleman to explore how so much of British life today – from Brexit and the NHS to our COVID response and discussions of race – are rooted in our imperial past, despite the subject of empire having so often been hidden from view.

Sathnam Sanghera and Kehinde Andrews at The Hay Festival

Friday, 4 June 2021

7pm – 7.50pm

Online | Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage

Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy With The Top Knot) argues in Empireland that so much of what we consider to be modern Britain is rooted in our imperial past: from how we live to how we think, from the foundation of the NHS to the nature of our racism, from our distrust of intellectuals in public life to the the campaign for Brexit and the government’s early response to the Covid crisis. And yet empire is barely taught at school, and even those who celebrate the empire don’t/never seem to look at it too closely. The New Age of Empire takes us back to the beginning of the European Empires, outlining terror and suffering at every stage of expansion. Kehinde Andrews destroys the myth that the West was founded on the three great revolutions of science, industry and politics. Instead, genocide, slavery and colonialism are the key foundation stones, and we are still living under this system today: America is now at the helm, perpetuating global inequality through business, government, and institutions such as the UN, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.

James O’Brien in conversation with Sathnam Sanghera: How Not To Be Wrong

Thursday, 13 May 2021


Join award-winning LBC broadcaster and voice of reason James O’Brien as he talks to writer Sathnam Sanghera to celebrate the paperback publication of HOW NOT TO BE WRONG. James’s previous bestselling book, HOW TO BE RIGHT, explored how to make your arguments heard. In HOW NOT TO BE WRONG, James explores how to change your mind, and how winning arguments doesn’t necessarily mean you’re right. Examining his personal beliefs on everything from racial prejudice to showing emotions, from fat-shaming to tattoos, James delves deeper into the real reasons behind his opinions. In this intimate and entertaining conversation, he will discuss the process of writing the book, and the lessons he learned about himself whilst doing so, as well as discussing his career more widely. You’ll also have the chance to put your own questions to James. Don’t miss your chance to hear from one of Britain’s most incisive, witty and necessary voices in a captivating and thought-provoking conversation before you read his new book. This event will be hosted via Zoom webinar. You will be sent your personal link to login 48 hours before the event. This event takes place on paperback publication day, so if you purchase a book with your ticket, you will receive your copy of the book in the 10 days after the event.

Times+ Book Club: Robert Webb in conversation with Sathnam Sanghera

Thursday, 6 May 2021


Join us on the evening of Thursday, May 6 for our online book club with Robert Webb, number one bestselling author of How Not To Be a Boy and star of Peep Show in conversation with Sathnam Sanghera, columnist The Times. Robert will be discussing his debut novel Come Again which tells the story of first love, second time lucky. All hell has broken loose in Kate Marsden’s life. Her husband has died, she’s lost her job and now she’s pushed the last of her friends away. Then one day, she wakes up in the wrong body – and the wrong year. She’s eighteen again and it’s her first day of university. Which means today’s the day she’ll meet Luke, her future husband, for the first time. If they can fall in love again, Kate might just be able to save him a second time around. “Part adventure, part love story, part comedy, part dissertation on bereavement…a breathtakingly insightful evocation of grief” – The Sunday Times.

Sheffield Festival of debate 2021 | Sathnam Sanghera: Empireland

Tuesday 4 May 2021

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Sathnam Sanghera joins Desiree Reynolds for a discussion about his new book, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain. The British Empire ran for centuries and covered vast swathes of the world. It is, as Sanghera reveals, fundamental to understanding Britain. However, even among those who celebrate the empire there seems to be a desire not to look at it too closely – not to include the subject in our school history books, not to emphasise it too much in our favourite museums. At a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, Sanghera’s book urges us to address this bewildering contradiction. For it is only by stepping back and seeing where we really come from that we can begin to understand who we are, and what unites us.

Empireland: The Fallout, Tortoise event with Sathnam Sanghera

Monday 26 April 2021

6:30pm- 7:30pm


Following the publication of Empireland, Sathnam Sanghera received thousands of abusive messages from what he has called “imperially nostalgic racists”; people outraged that a second-generation immigrant might dare to question the legacy and atrocities of the British Empire. The historian William Dalrymple – despite detailing the same atrocities and complex beginnings of the East India Company – has received none. Is this proof of our need to understand the dysfunctional way much of Britain still thinks about Empire? How much do we really know about the reality of Empire? Has Britain, unlike other former colonial powers, ever really reckoned with its past? Is the problem really one of ignorance; or are we as a country unwilling to confront some of the uncomfortable truths? How should we teach the British Empire, its complex history, and the legacy it still leaves today?

In an era where the Empire is the new front of the culture war, with debates about statues raging, how can we have serious conversations about the British Empire without being accused of being unpatriotic? Instead, how do we show that you can love Britain, without being blind to its faults?

Birmingham Literature Festival | Empireland: Reckoning with our imperial legacy Sathnam Sanghera in conversation with Sara Wajid

Thursday, 22 April 2021

7pm - 8pm


The events of the last year have demonstrated the urgent need for us to understand and reckon with our imperial past and the way it has shaped, and continues to shape, British life. Join Birmingham Literature Festival and author Sathnam Sanghera to discuss his book, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain, and the ways in which legacies of empire permeate everything from the NHS to our national museums and his own life growing up in Wolverhampton. Sathnam will be in conversation with Sara Wajid, co-CEO of the Birmingham Museum’s Trust and an active advocate for diversity and equality in the arts.

Civilised Sunday Digital Series – Jikoni X Sathnam Sanghera

7th March 2021



On the 7th March at 6pm, we will welcome award winning journalist, broadcaster and author Sathnam Sanghera to our digital stage. Mr Sanghera whose new book Empireland became an immediate Sunday Times bestseller will be in conversation with well loved and acclaimed historian and broadcaster Simon Schama.

Bristol Festival of Ideas

Tuesday 2 March 2021

6pm- 6:45pm


In conversation with author, journalist and broadcast Elizabeth Day.

Sathnam Sanghera demonstrates how imperialism is everywhere in modern Britain, though we often choose not to see it.

Covering everything from our national habits to how we live – the foundation of the NHS, the nature of our racism, our economic status and our wealth – he argues that imperialism 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.

He makes an impassioned call for proper education about the reality of the empire in order to address our attitudes to our past and its effects on the present. Imperialism is a fact of our collective British lives, but unlike Germany, or even America, we have never confronted the history of our interaction with the outside world.

He believes we can only truly understand who we are by knowing who we were.

Tring Book Festival

Monday 1st March 2021

7:00 PM


Listen to Sathnam Sanghera talk about his new book Empireland. At a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, Sanghera’s book urges us to address this bewildering contradiction. For, it is only by stepping back and seeing where we really come from, that we can begin to understand who we are, and what unites us.

Sathnam will be in conversation with Jamie Fewery, author and good friend of Our Bookshop.
Choose your ticket and book – with or without postage or the show only option. The event link will be sent about 24-hours before the event.

Load More