- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: The History Press; Reprint edition (1 Oct. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0750952121
- ISBN-13: 978-0750952125
- Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2 x 19.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To Paperback – 1 Oct 2013
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More About the Author
Some of the places we need to invade are hard to get at. Some are also extremely hard to spell. --Robert Crampton - The Times
[This] study shows [Britain's] true global reach was far more extensive than maps would suggest. --Ryan Kisiel - The Daily Mail
Britain has invaded all but 22...several offer inviting pretexts for a little light invading. Paraguay, I'm told, is lovely at this time of year. --Samuel Muston - The Independent
About the Author
STUART LAYCOCK is an author and historian. He studied Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge, and has written a number of history books including Britannia: The Failed State (nominated for Current Archaeology Book of the Year), Warlords: The Struggle for Power in Post-Roman Britain, and UnRoman Britain: Exposing the Myth of Britannia (described in The Sunday Times as thrillingly provocative ). From looking at people invading Britain, he now turns his attention to Britain invading other people.
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Top Customer Reviews
Stuart Laycock is an amusing and informative writer. The only problem I have, and have had since doing History at school, is that war itself, campaigns, battles, reasons and consequences overlap, blur and repeat.
It is also well balanced as it describes British military victories as well as our defeats showing that our army wasn't invincible.
It can be a bit tedious to read from cover to cover. This isn't a criticism of the author, it is just that the British army has done much the same thing in every country with a coastline and many without! For this reason, it is better to dip in and out of the book to enjoy this wealth of information.
The book has 215 pages plus a short conclusion containing maps of where we have been and a set of black and white photos of military statues in London. The recipient countries are arranged alphabetically into 12 chapters starting from "Afghanistan to Burundi" through to "Yemen to Zimbabwe", which is quite an imperial stretch. For decoration the first page of each chapter has a watermark of a Britannia figure, which is a good idea except that the watermark is too heavy and makes the reading of the first page more difficult.
The author deliberately stretches the definition of "invaded" to include short military interventions and actions by pirates, privateers and armed explorers. He also concentrates on the more unusual and less well known actions. As he says: "This isn't so much supposed to be an account of our invasions, rather it's intended to whet the readers' appetite to go in search of more information elsewhere". The readers themselves will have to decide where they go as this book has no bibliography. Some examples from the 191 entries are given below.
BURKINA FASO was formerly called Upper Volta and was a French colony. Originally it was a collection of African kingdoms. In 1898 the British went to the aid of one of these kingdoms against the French.Read more ›
Pretty comprehensive coverage really: the author has done lots of work, and the reader is invited to put him right throughout. Some of it is a bit glib and blase, but as he points out, it’s a small book and there isn’t space.
Entries on WW1 are refreshingly free of “mud, blood, and pointlessness”, and highlight some of the things that are ignored in the fixation on the Western Front, eg the British using armoured cars in Romania to help the Russians, or Gen Smuts chasing Major-General Lettow-Vorbeck around East Africa. The entries on Belgium and France remind us that we successfully removed invading Germans from lands that weren’t theirs.
The library copy has evidence of many corners temporarily bent over, so previous borrowers have obviously found things of interest in it.
And now for a few problems. The maps at the back have countries that are not identified, eg Gambia, Western Sahara, Eritrea, Montenegro, to name but a few. Each chapter page has a black and white reproduction of the cover under the text, this makes the text very difficult to read. Some have picked out the humour, here is an example from the entry for the USA, p242: “It turned out the pig belonged to an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company and he wasn’t happy (that is, the employee wasn’t happy, though under the circumstances, I think we can conclude the pig was none too happy about it all either).”. Either you can cope with this, or you can’t. Yes, he calls us “Brits”, and ... ?
In the end, this is one of those books that’s given on Christmas Day, gratefully received, enjoyable read once, and then never really read again, gathers dust, before going to a charity shop when one hopes the giver won’t notice that it’s gone.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Factual and funny, amazing that a small country such as ours produced so many people bent on conquering most of the known planet.
I wonder why that is? Read more
Superficial and Tibet ( invaded 1904) was not and is not in ChinaPublished 1 month ago by Patrick D. Russell