To be British means to be haunted by empire in our culture, in our politics, in the way we relate to ourselves and the world. In this book, Peter Mitchell examines how our complicated relationship with our imperial past pervades life in contemporary Britain, and asks why we cant seem to let it go. From the free speech debate to the cultural politics of pandemic, from adventure fiction to the resurgence of race science, Imperial Nostalgia explores how the ghosts and fantasies of empire haunt the present, shaping our debates on race, class, gender, education and politics. With forensic wit, Mitchell delves into the imperial roots of how history itself is written, traces the development of our key imperial mythologies, and asks how we might come to a full and honest reckoning with our imperial past. Imperial Nostalgia is essential reading for those seeking to understand how the way we imagine the past structures our present and how understanding this might make it possible to have better conversations about what that past means.