Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World

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9780141007540: Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World

Niall Ferguson's bestselling "Empire" is the compelling story of how the British empire rose to power - and why it finally fell. 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 precis 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"). Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of "Civilization", "The House of Rothschild", "The Cash Nexus", "The Pity of War", "Colossus", "The War of the World" and "The Ascent of Money".

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Review:

Niall Ferguson's compelling tour de force, Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World is published to coincide with a Channel 4 TV series. Ferguson, author of The Pity of War and The Cash Nexus, does not so much provide a synoptic survey of the British empire since the 17th century, as an arresting argument about why it arose, and how it fell. Ferguson's emphasis throughout is on the pursuit of economic profit and military might.

Piracy overseas and a taste for sugar and spice at home, combined with an unerring ability to vanquish rival European powers such as the Dutch and French in the dash for stash and status across the globe. But Ferguson is also alive to the peculiarities of British dominion: the manly and Christian civil service--less than a thousand strong--who ruled India, missionaries such as Livingstone, who explored and mapped as they preached and the barons of empire--Rhodes, Curzon, and Kitchener--who found in empire an outlet for their homoeroticism.

The book is brilliant and persuasive on trade and buccaneering before 1750, on India, on the late Victorian imperial mentalité, and on the two world wars, but less convincing on the empire of white settlement, and strangely silent on the most difficult colony of all, Ireland. In the end, Ferguson's penchant for polemic gets the upper-hand--the book closes with a controversial balance-sheet of the gains and losses of the British imperial experience--but he provides a riveting read nonetheless. --Miles Taylor

Review:

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)

Thrilling ... an extraordinary story (Daily Mail)

Empire is a pleasure to read and brims with insights and intelligence (Sunday Times)

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)

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Repr.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 precis 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. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141007540

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Repr.. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 precis 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. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141007540

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