There is a legitimate case to be made against empire-bashing; the work of Shashi Tharoor, for instance, is in some ways problematic – empirically and analytically. In the heady atmosphere of Britain’s current crisis of identity, we are in desperate need of sober and nuanced interventions in the debate on empire and its legacies. Unfortunately, Black contents himself with fighting off an array of increasingly implausible straw men. If this is indeed a culture war, he joins the fray armed with little more than a strong commitment to Whig history. Like the rest of his copious oeuvre, Imperial Legacies is unencumbered by much in the way of research and instead of a bibliography we are offered what looks like a list of holiday destinations.