The Civil Savant

Just when you thought there was not one word left to be added to the vast canon of postcolonial literature—no more stern apologia from superannuated officials, no more sobbing memoirs of privileged childhood from the waifs and strays of empire—along comes a work that is neither a defense of colonialism nor a veiled lament for its passing. The glib assumption one first makes of Peter Moss's No Babylon —coming as it does from British Hong Kong's former propaganda chief—is that it will be the kind of memoir any undergraduate seminar could destroy in minutes, excoriating an Orientalist cliché here, seizing upon a...

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