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The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

Author: Piers Brendon
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008, ©2007.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
After the American Revolution, the British Empire appeared doomed. But over the next 150 years it grew to become the greatest and most diverse empire the world has ever seen--from Canada to Australia to China, India, and Egypt--seven times larger than the Roman Empire at its apogee. Yet it was also fundamentally weak, as Piers Brendon shows in this panoramic chronicle. Run from a tiny island base, it operated on a  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Piers Brendon
ISBN: 9780307268297 0307268292
OCLC Number: 215177421
Notes: Maps on endpapers.
"Originally published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape, London"--Title page verso.
Description: xxii, 786 pages, [24] pages of plates : illustrations, color maps ; 25 cm
Contents: The world that turned upside down: The American Revolution and slave trade --
An English barrack in the Oriental seas: Britannia's Indian Empire --
Exempt from the disaster of caste: Australia, Canada, and New Zealand --
To stop is dangerous, to recede, ruin: The Far East and Afghanistan --
Sacred wrath: Irish famine and Indian mutiny --
Spread the peaceful gospel --
with the Maxim gun: Towards conquest in Africa --
A magnificent empire under the British flag: Cape to Cairo --
Barbarian thundering at the frontiers: The Boer War and the Indian Raj --
The empire, right or wrong: Flanders, Iraq, Gallipoli, and Vimy Ridge --
Aflame with the hope of liberation: Ireland and the Middle East --
Englishmen like posing as gods: West and East --
White mates black in a very few moves: Kenya and the Sudan --
Spinning the destiny of India: The route to independence --
That is the end of the British Empire: Singapore and Burma --
The aim of labour is to save the empire: Ceylon and Malaya --
A golden bowl full of scorpions: The Holy Land --
The destruction of national will: Suez invasion and Aden evacuation --
Renascent Africa: The Gold Coast of Africa and Nigeria --
Uhuru --
freedom: Kenya and the Mau Mau --
Kith and kin: Rhodesia and the Central African Federation --
Rocks and islands: The West Indies and Cyprus --
All our pomp of yesterday: The Falklands and Hong Kong.
Responsibility: Piers Brendon.
More information:

Abstract:

After the American Revolution, the British Empire appeared doomed. But over the next 150 years it grew to become the greatest and most diverse empire the world has ever seen--from Canada to Australia to China, India, and Egypt--seven times larger than the Roman Empire at its apogee. Yet it was also fundamentally weak, as Piers Brendon shows in this panoramic chronicle. Run from a tiny island base, it operated on a shoestring with the help of local elites. It enshrined a belief in freedom that would fatally undermine its authority. Spread too thin, and facing wars, economic crises, and domestic discord, the empire would vanish almost as quickly as it appeared. Within a generation, it collapsed, sometimes amid bloodshed, leaving unfinished business in Rhodesia, the Falklands, and Hong Kong. Above all, it left a contested legacy: at best, a sporting spirit, a legal code, and a near-universal language; at worst, failed states and internecine strife.--From publisher description.

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