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Britain's Declining Empire: The Road to Decolonisation, 1918-1968 [Paperback]

Ronald Hyam

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Book Description

5 Feb 2007
An authoritative political history of one of the world's most important empires on the road to decolonisation. Ronald Hyam's 2007 book offers a major reassessment of the end of empire which combines a study of British policymaking with case studies on the experience of decolonization across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. He describes the dysfunctional policies of an imperial system coping with postwar, interwar and wartime crises from 1918 to 1945 but the main emphasis is on the period after 1945 and the gradual unravelling of empire as a result of international criticism, and the growing imbalance between Britain's capabilities and its global commitments. He analyses the transfers of power from India in 1947 to Swaziland in 1968, the major crises such as Suez and assesses the role of leading figures from Churchill, Attlee and Eden to Macmillan and Wilson. This is essential reading for scholars and students of empire and decolonisation.

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'There is no shortage of books on end of empire, but Britain's Declining Empire stands out from the crowd for reliability, readability and scholarship. Writing with an originality and authority that few can match, he has produced a vivid, riveting, frequently amusing and profoundly thoughtful book that marks a significant advance on other studies of decolonization and deserves a wide audience.' A. J. Stockwell, Emeritus Professor of Modern History, Royal Holloway, University of London

'No one writes with more authority and felicity on the history of the British Empire than Ronald Hyam. This book on British rule and decolonization is destined to become a classic.' Wm Roger Louis, Kerr Chair in English History and Culture, University of Texas at Austin

'This magisterial volume, a sequel to Britain's Imperial Century, 1815–1914 (1976), is the distillation of a lifetime's learning and teaching about the British Empire. … [Hyam] is a consummate historian with a transcendent literary style and he has crowned his career with a tour de force.' Literary Review

'It will probably come to be regarded as the best single-volume general account of decolonisation that has been written and answers familiar questions about the end of empire exceptionally well. In a field that has grown rich with general accounts, it offers the greatest sense of colour and personality in considering the end of empire, combined with an Olympian breadth of vision.' English Historical Review

Book Description

An authoritative 2007 history of one of the world's most important empires on the road to decolonisation. Ronald Hyam offers a major reassessment of the end of empire which combines a study of British policymaking with case studies on the experience of decolonization after 1945.

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