Niall Ferguson's acclaimed bestseller on the highs and lows of Britain's empire Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red and Britannia ruled not just the waves, but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall? Niall Ferguson's acclaimed Empire brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries, showing how a gang of buccaneers and gold-diggers planted the seed of the biggest empire in all history - and set the world on the road to modernity. 'The most brilliant British historian of his generation ... Ferguson examines the roles of "pirates, planters, missionaries, mandarins, bankers and bankrupts" in the creation of history's largest empire ... he writes with splendid panache ... and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit' Andrew Roberts 'Dazzling ... wonderfully readable' New York Review of Books 'A remarkably readable précis of the whole British imperial story - triumphs, deceits, decencies, kindnesses, cruelties and all' Jan Morris 'Empire is a pleasure to read and brims with insights and intelligence' Sunday Times
How Britain Made the Modern World
Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Penguin UK
The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to world domination ever achieved. By the eve of World War II, around a quarter of the world's land surface was under some form of British rule. Yet for today's generation, the British Empire seems a Victorian irrelevance. The time is ripe for a reappraisal, and in Empire, Niall Ferguson boldly recasts the British Empire as one of the world's greatest modernizing forces.An important new work of synthesis and revision, Empire argues that the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's Age of Empire. The spread of capitalism, the communications revolution, the notion of humanitarianism, and the institutions of parliamentary democracy-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity.Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new era of imperial power, based once again on economic and military supremacy. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.
The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power
Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Basic Books
Kwasi Kwarteng is the child of parents whose lives were shaped as subjects of the British Empire, first in their native Ghana, then as British immigrants. He brings a unique perspective and impeccable academic credentials to a narrative history of the British Empire, one that avoids sweeping judgmental condemnation and instead sees the Empire for what it was: a series of local fiefdoms administered in varying degrees of competence or brutality by a cast of characters as outsized and eccentric as anything conjured by Gilbert and Sullivan. The truth, as Kwarteng reveals, is that there was no such thing as a model for imperial administration; instead, appointees were schooled in quirky, independent-minded individuality. As a result the Empire was the product not of a grand idea but of often chaotic individual improvisation. The idosyncracies of viceroys and soldier-diplomats who ran the colonial enterprise continues to impact the world, from Kashmir to Sudan, Baghdad to Hong Kong.
Britain's Legacies in the Modern World
Author: Kwasi Kwarteng
The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader... Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit... Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry... In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, re-shaping landscapes and culinary tastes. The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe's edible resources from cod fish and salt beef to spices, tea and sugar. Lizzie Collingham takes us on a wide-ranging culinary journey, revealing how virtually every meal we eat still contains a taste of empire.
How Britain's Quest for Food Shaped the Modern World
Author: Lizzie Collingham
Publisher: Vintage Books
The influence of the British Empire is everywhere, from the very existence of the United Kingdom to the ethnic composition of our cities. It affects everything, from Prime Ministers' decisions to send troops to war to the adventurers we admire. From the sports we think we're good at to the architecture of our buildings; the way we travel to the way we trade; the hopeless losers we will on, and the food we hunger for, the empire is never very far away. In this acute and witty analysis, Jeremy Paxman, bestselling author of The English goes to the very heart of empire. As he describes the selection process for colonial officers ('intended to weed out the cad, the feeble and the too clever') the importance of sport, the sweating domestic life of the colonial officer's wife ('the challenge with cooking meat was "to grasp the fleeting moment between toughness and putrefaction when the joint may possibly prove eatable"') and the crazed end for General Gordon of Khartoum, Paxman brings brilliantly to life the tragedy and comedy of Empire and reveals its profound and lasting effect on our nation and ourselves.
What Ruling the World Did to the British
Author: Jeremy Paxman
Publisher: Penguin UK
Category: Political Science
the making of a world power, 1492-1763
Author: Henry Kamen
Publisher: Lane, Allen
John Darwin's After Tamerlane, a sweeping six-hundred-year history of empires around the globe, marked him as a historian of "massive erudition" and narrative mastery. In Unfinished Empire, he marshals his gifts to deliver a monumental one-volume history of Britain's imperium-a work that is sure to stand as the most authoritative, most compelling treatment of the subject for a generation. Darwin unfurls the British Empire's beginnings and decline and its extraordinary range of forms of rule, from settler colonies to island enclaves, from the princely states of India to ramshackle trading posts. His penetrating analysis offers a corrective to those who portray the empire as either naked exploitation or a grand "civilizing mission." Far from ever having a "master plan," the British Empire was controlled by a range of interests often at loggerheads with one another and was as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength. It shows, too, that the empire was never stable: to govern was a violent process, inevitably creating wars and rebellions. Unfinished Empire is a remarkable, nuanced history of the most complex polity the world has ever known, and a serious attempt to describe the diverse, contradictory ways-from the military to the cultural-in which empires really function. This is essential reading for any lover of sweeping history, or anyone wishing to understand how the modern world came into being.
The Global Expansion of Britain
Author: John Darwin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Chronicles the evolution of finance from its origins in Mesopotamia to the modern world's most recent upheavals, covering such topics as the stock market bubble that prompted the French Revolution and the theories behind common investment vehicles.
A Financial History of the World
Author: Niall Ferguson
Category: Business & Economics
Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the world’s countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We don’t seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "We’re not imperialistic." Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Just like the British Empire a century ago, the United States aspires to globalize free markets, the rule of law, and representative government. In theory it’s a good project, says Ferguson. Yet Americans shy away from the long-term commitments of manpower and money that are indispensable if rogue regimes and failed states really are to be changed for the better. Ours, he argues, is an empire with an attention deficit disorder, imposing ever more unrealistic timescales on its overseas interventions. Worse, it’s an empire in denial—a hyperpower that simply refuses to admit the scale of its global responsibilities. And the negative consequences will be felt at home as well as abroad. In an alarmingly persuasive final chapter Ferguson warns that this chronic myopia also applies to our domestic responsibilities. When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within—and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.
Author: Niall Ferguson
Category: Political Science
Chronicles Britain's rise to imperial might in the wake of the American Revolution, recording life in its diverse colonies and reflecting on the inherent weaknesses of the empire, its inevitable decline, and its legacy for the present.
Author: Piers Brendon
Publisher: Vintage Books USA
They invented slums. They invented child labor. They put Saddam Hussein in power. They burned Joan of Arc at the stake, and they enslaved the globe to get their tea fix. We're talking about England, of course, and the terrible evils they've set loose on the world. In The Evil Empire, American author Steven Grasse documents the 101 worst atrocities of Mother England everything from foxhunting to the invention of the concentration camp. With an irreverent mix of historical facts, smart commentary, and red-blooded American arrogance, Grasse offers a devastating critique of the country that gave us the machine gun, factory labor, and the metric system. Publishing just in time for the Queen's birthday (April 21), The Evil Empire is essential reading for true-blue Americans and others oppressed by the English throughout history.
101 Ways that England Ruined the World
Author: Steven A. Grasse,Penny Rimbaud
Publisher: Quirk Books
The story of British Malaya and Singapore, from the days of Victorian pioneers to the denouement of independence, is a momentous episode in Britain’s colonial past. Through memoirs, letters and interviews, Margaret Shennan chronicles its halcyon years, the two World Wars, economic depression and diaspora, revealing the attitudes of the diverse quixotic characters of this now quite vanished world. The British came as fortune-seekers to exploit Asian trade shipped through Penang and Singapore. They found a mature Asian culture in a land of palm-fringed shores and primeval jungle. Like modern Romans, they built townships, defences, communications and hill stations, they spurred a rivalry between the fledgling commercial centres of Singapore, Penang and Kuala Lumpur, and they superimposed their law and established an idiosyncratic political system. They also developed the tin and rubber of the Malay States, encouraging Chinese and Indian immigrants by their open-door policy. The outcome was a vibrant multi-racial society – the most cosmopolitan in the East.
The British in Malaya 1880-1960
Author: Margaret Shennan
Publisher: Monsoon Books
Up to World War II and beyond, the British ruled over a vast empire. Modern western attitudes towards the imperial past tend either towards nostalgia for British power or revulsion at what seem to be the abuses of that power. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire adopts neither of these approaches. It aims to create historical understanding about the British empire on the assumption that such understanding is important for any informed appreciation of the modern world. Through striking illustration and a text written by leading experts, this book examines the experience of colonialism in North America, India, Africa, Australia, and the Caribbean, as well as the impact of the empire on Britain itself. Emphasis is placed on social and cultural history, including slavery, trade, religion, art, and the movement of ideas. How did the British rule their empire? Who benefited economically from the empire? And who lost?
Author: P. J. Marshall
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The British Empire radically altered the modern world. At its height, it governed over a quarter of the human race, and encompassed more than a fifth of the globe. As well as providing the British people with profits and a sense on international purpose, the Empire afforded them the opportunity to create new lives for themselves through migration and settlement. For those it dominated and controlled, the Empire often represented arbitrary power, gunboat diplomacy, the disruption of local customs and government by a distant and sometimes coldly unsympathetic administration. Yet while it rested ultimately upon military force and direct rule, the Empire also pulsated with ideals - of freedom, democracy, and even equality.
The British Imperial Experience from 1765 to the Present
Author: Denis Judd
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
The British Empire, wrote Adam Smith, 'has hitherto been not an empire, but the project of an empire' and John Darwin offers a magisterial global history of the rise and fall of that great imperial project. The British Empire, he argues, was much more than a group of colonies ruled over by a scattering of British expatriates until eventual independence. It was, above all, a global phenomenon. Its power derived rather less from the assertion of imperial authority than from the fusing together of three different kinds of empire: the settler empire of the 'white dominions'; the commercial empire of the City of London; and 'Greater India' which contributed markets, manpower and military muscle. This unprecedented history charts how this intricate imperial web was first strengthened, then weakened and finally severed on the rollercoaster of global economic, political and geostrategic upheaval on which it rode from beginning to end.
The Rise and Fall of the British World-System, 1830–1970
Author: John Darwin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Tea has been one of the most popular commodities in the world. Over centuries, profits from its growth and sales funded wars and fueled colonization, and its cultivation brought about massive changes--in land use, labor systems, market practices, and social hierarchies--the effects of which are with us even today. A Thirst for Empire takes a vast and in-depth historical look at how men and women--through the tea industry in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa--transformed global tastes and habits and in the process created our modern consumer society. As Erika Rappaport shows, between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries the boundaries of the tea industry and the British Empire overlapped but were never identical, and she highlights the economic, political, and cultural forces that enabled the British Empire to dominate--but never entirely control--the worldwide production, trade, and consumption of tea. Rappaport delves into how Europeans adopted, appropriated, and altered Chinese tea culture to build a widespread demand for tea in Britain and other global markets and a plantation-based economy in South Asia and Africa. Tea was among the earliest colonial industries in which merchants, planters, promoters, and retailers used imperial resources to pay for global advertising and political lobbying. The commercial model that tea inspired still exists and is vital for understanding how politics and publicity influence the international economy. An expansive and original global history of imperial tea, A Thirst for Empire demonstrates the ways that this fluid and powerful enterprise helped shape the contemporary world.
How Tea Shaped the Modern World
Author: Erika Rappaport
Working from both primary and secondary sources, Walter Reid explores Britain's role in the creation of the modern Middle East and the rise of Zionism from the early years of the 20th century to 1948, when Britain handed over Palestine to UN control. This is the first major assessment of Britain's role in the Middle East where the consequences of British involvement in the region can still be felt today. At the end of the First World War Britain and to a much lesser extent France created the modern Middle East. The possessions of the former Ottoman Empire were carved up with scant regard for the wishes of those who lived there. Britain was quick to see the riches promised by the black pools of oil that lay on the ground around Baghdad. Conflicting and ambiguous promises had been made to the Arabs during the war but were not honored. Brief hopes for Arab unity were dashed, and a harsh belief in Western perfidy persists to the present day. This study seeks to answer how much Britain is to blame for the instability of the region and of the world-wide tensions that threaten the 21st century.
How Britain Made the Middle East
Author: Walter Reid
Publisher: Birlinn Limited