Catalogue


Empire and superempire : Britain, America, and the world /
Bernard Porter.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006.
description
211 p.
ISBN
0300110103 (cl. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006.
isbn
0300110103 (cl. : alk. paper)
contents note
Like a house of cards : the British Empire, myth and reality -- Not colonies, but outposts : the American imperial tradition -- We don't do empire : American "imperialism" after 9/11 -- Still a global player : British post-imperialism.
catalogue key
5882019
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2007-04-01:
Porter (emer., history, Univ. of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) weighs in on the currently fashionable debate about whether the US is now an "empire." Following on Niall Ferguson's Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order (2003) and Colossus: The Price of America's Empire (CH, Nov'04, 42-1836), Porter, an expert on the modern British empire, provides a historical synopsis of British and US imperialism since the 19th century. He illustrates the commonalities and differences between the two and concludes that the US has now transcended previous imperial models to become a "superempire." The book's strengths include Porter's attention to how the terms "imperialism" and "empire" have been used historically, and his invocation to move beyond territorial rule as the sine qua non of defining imperialism. Porter writes in a pithy, accessible manner, though his eagerness for polemics can be wearisome. It is also debatable whether broader historical conclusions on US imperialism can be drawn from the brief record of recent neoconservative policy makers. Students and general readers will find much of profit in this book; specialists might skip the historical synopsis--the British material is abridged from Porter's The Absent-Minded Imperialists (2004) and The Lion's Share (CH, Dec'76; 4th ed., 2004)--and focus on the comparative and more suggestive contemporary chapters. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. D. P. Gorman University of Waterloo
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2007
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Summaries
Main Description
The present American "empire" is often compared with the British one of yorenot surprising in view of the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq were once British imperial stamping grounds, too. But how alike are the two empires really? What are the connections between them? And what can we learn from the comparison? In this compellingly written book, a leading historian of the British empire explores these questions in depth for the first time. Bernard Porter finds that Britain and America had uncannily similar imperial histories before the present day, but that now considerable differences exist. He argues that post-2001 American imperialism is an imperialism of a different sort--a "super-imperialism" that no longer repeats British imperialism but now transcends it. Porter's comparison illuminates British imperialism, including Tony Blair's; the American version of imperialism administered under George W. Bush; and the relation of imperialism to such phenomena as capitalism, globalization, free trade, and international security. His insights are often surprising and always original and thought-provoking.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Bernard Porter explores the concept that modern day America has many similarities to the now defunct British empire. He argues that although they had similar histories, post-2001 American imperialism now transcends anything that has gone before it.
Long Description
The present American "empire" is often compared with the British one of yore--not surprising in view of the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq were once British imperial stamping grounds, too. But how alike are the two empires really? What are the connections between them? And what can we learn from the comparison? In this compellingly written book, a leading historian of the British empire explores these questions in depth for the first time. Bernard Porter finds that Britain and America had uncannily similar imperial histories before the present day, but that now considerable differences exist. He argues that post-2001 American imperialism is an imperialism of a different sort--a "super-imperialism" that no longer repeats British imperialism but now transcends it. Porter's comparison illuminates British imperialism, including Tony Blair's; the American version of imperialism administered under George W. Bush; and the relation of imperialism to such phenomena as capitalism, globalization, free trade, and international security. His insights are often surprising and always original and thought-provoking.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
'Like a house of cards' The British Empire, myth and realityp. 15
'Not colonies, but outposts' The American imperial traditionp. 62
'We don't do empire' American 'imperialism' after 9/11p. 93
'Still a global player' British post-imperialismp. 134
Conclusionp. 162
Sources and referencesp. 187
Indexp. 200
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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