Great Britain's geopolitical role has undergone many changes over the last four centuries. Once a maritime superpower and ruler of half the world, Britain now occupies an isolated position as an economically fragile island often at odds with her European neighbors.
In The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, Lawrence James has written a comprehensive, perceptive, and insightful history of the British Empire. Spanning the years from 1600 to the present day, this critically acclaimed book combines detailed scholarship with readable popular history.
“This is a stylish, intelligent and readable book.” ―The New York Times Book Review
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Lawrence James studied History and English at York University and subsequently undertook a research degree at Merton College, Oxford. Following a career as a teacher, he became a full-time writer in 1985, and is the author of The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, Imperial Warrior: The Life and Times of Field Marshal Viscount Allenby, and the acclaimed Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India. He lives in St. Andrews, Scotland with his wife who is the headmistress of St. Leonard's School, and his two sons.From Publishers Weekly:
James, a British historian whose previous books have dealt chiefly with military matters, writes engagingly about the British Empire from the time of Sir Walter Raleigh at the beginning of the 17th century to Nelson Mandela at the end of the 20th. The struggle that drove France out of Canada, he says, was "Britain's first large-scale imperial war of conquest," and it set the pattern for future colonial wars from the American Revolution through the Napoleonic, Crimean, Boer, Afghan and Opium wars to WWI and the beginning of the end of the empire in India, Ireland, the Middle East and Africa. WWII finished the job. Except for the travels of Captain James Cook, tales of exploration play almost no part in this account. It is, instead, a history of how a fairly simple international mercantile enterprise?in which white dominions were definitely regarded differently from black ones?changed itself and the face of the world. James peppers his account with illuminating and entertaining excerpts from period songs and popular literature. His conclusion: few empires have given their subjects so much of the intellectual wherewithal to overthrow their rulers. A sprawling and complex subject handled with admirable style and selectivity. Illustrations.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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