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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Interesting look at the empire from a different perceptive. Though he likes to be controversial he often produces interesting and thought provoking books and TV shows and this no... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Paul
The corner of the book was crumpled despite being described as new.Published 3 months ago by James Newman
Ferguson makes a persuasive case for the British Empire's role in world history. Whilst he does not shrink from its more excessive periods or actions he glosses over with its... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Alex Green
Bought as a present for my son an Archaeologist who loved this book.Published 4 months ago by Kef Morgan