Catalogue

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Ghosts of empire : Britain's legacies in the modern world /
Kwasi Kwarteng.
imprint
London ; New York : Bloomsbury, 2011.
description
465 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), map ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0747599416, 9780747599418
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
London ; New York : Bloomsbury, 2011.
isbn
0747599416
9780747599418
catalogue key
7865234
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [433]-443]) and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Lionel Gelber Prize, CAN, 2013 : Nominated
Reviews
Review Quotes
'I was hugely impressed by the sheer quality of Kwasi Kwarteng's analysis and lucid writing, not least because he made the subject feel so alive. I learned something new on virtually every page of this fine book, a reflection of the depth and rigour of his research. His pen portraits of leading imperialists are superbly achieved'
'Well-written, witty, but above all fair-minded, this is the best general overview of the British Empire to appear in years. Kwasi Kwarteng has emerged as a significant scholar on the historical scene'
This item was reviewed in:
Guardian UK, September 2011
Wall Street Journal, February 2012
New York Times Book Review, March 2012
New York Times Full Text Review, March 2012
Guardian UK, August 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The British Empire was the creation of a tremendous outpouring of energy and opportunism, when the British were at their most self-confident, and the wealth they gathered prodigious. At its heart lay a sense of the rectitude of the British way of life, meted out to vast swathes of the rest of the world without let or hindrance. Yet, as this book shows, the Empire was not formed by coherent policy, and its decline reflected this: its later years were characterised by a series of accidental oversights, decisions taken without due consideration for the consequences, and uncertain pragmatism. Many of the world's trouble spots are those left behind by the chaotic retreat of empire, and its ghosts continue to haunt today's international scene. The problems the Empire encountered have still not been resolved and in Iraq, Kashmir, Burma, Sudan, Nigeria and Hong Kong new difficulties have arisen which continue to baffle politicians and diplomats. This powerful new book addresses the realities of the British Empire from its inception to its demise, questioning the nature of its glory and cataloguing both the inadequacies of its ideals and the short-termism of its actions.
Main Description
The British Empire was the creation of a tremendous outpouring of energy and opportunism, when the British were at their most self-confident, and the wealth they gathered was prodigious. At its heart lay a sense of the rectitude of the British way of life, meted out to vast swathes of the rest of the world without let or hindrance. Yet, as this book shows, the empire was not formed by coherent policy, and its decline reflected this: its later years were characterised by a series of accidental oversights, decisions taken without due consideration for the consequences, and uncertain pragmatism. Many of the world's trouble spots are those left behind by the chaotic retreat of empire, and its ghosts continue to haunt today's international scene. The problems the empire encountered have still not been resolved and in Iraq, Kashmir, Burma, Sudan, Nigeria and Hong Kong new difficulties have arisen which continue to baffle politicians and diplomats. This powerful new book addresses the realities of the British Empire from its inception to its demise, questioning the nature of its glory and cataloguing both the inadequacies of its ideals and the short-termism of its actions.
Main Description
This fascinating book combines case histories with strong narratives to show how the end of the British empire proceeded through a series of accidental oversights, irresponsible opportunism and pragmatism to create problem countries. The ghosts of the British Empire still haunt today's international scene and many of the problems faced by the empire have still not been resolved. In Iraq, Kashmir, Burma, Sudan, Nigeria, and Hong Kong, new difficulties, which were a direct result of British imperialism, have arisen and continue to baffle today's politicians and diplomats. This powerful new book gets under the skin of empire, taking it to ground level. Old fashioned history; anecdotes, strories, powerful personalities and strong narrative plots excite and grip as well as explain problems that have, and still do, underscore the world stage.

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