7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Worthwhile and very enjoyable,
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This review is from: Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British (Kindle Edition)
Apart from anything else, this easily read book had me smiling idiotically trying to suppress laughter on the tube. Paxman manages to weave compelling and often humorous anecdote into an informative history.
As an Irishman well schooled on the ills of the British Empire, or perfidious Albion as we liked to call it, I was surprised to find how I ended up quietly convinced that there were some aspects of the British colonial project which had beneficial influence (and not only railways!). By contrast, it makes one shudder to consider what might have happened had Prince Leopolds Belgians ran an empire as large as Britains.
The theme of the book is supposed to be how the legacy of empire has shaped modern Britain and Paxman seems to make the argument that Britain has been unable to forge a proper post empire identity. Indeed he compares the uk to Germany who despite starting two world wars have forged their identity and industry in the heart of Europe.