A History of Britain - Volume 3: The Fate of Empire 1776-2000 Paperback – 5 Nov 2009
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"Schama has a masterly ability to conjure up character and vivify conflict." (Ben Rogers Financial Times)
"He remains a master storyteller, admirably and sceptically well read in current revisionist histories, and a wonderful guide to a new history of Britain." (The Times)
"Simon Schama's A History of Britain is far more than the book of the TV series... The book is far richer and fuller, covering a huge span so economically that there is room for plenty of arresting detail... It is the sort of vivid history that keeps you awake." (Daily Mail)
"Popular history at its finest." (Sunday Express)
"A History of Britain, its text supplemented by wonderful illustrations, affords the rare joy of witnessing a scholar at the peak of his powers convincing the reader that he has a cracking good tale to tell and that he is loving every minute of the telling." (Roy Porter Literary Review)
The third book in Simon Schama's acclaimed three-volume journey into Britain's past.See all Product description
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Big question for me...is where did the 5 star reviews come from...but I suspect they must be friends of the author ..as this is so obviously a bad non-history of Britain..that can be my only conclusion.
My grumble about the 2 previous books in the series were a bit... brief and breezy, which is something that the author acknowledges for this book, which covers the period between the time we lost the American Colonies to the year 2000.
It wasn't a bad book, but it's strange, a lot of the empire was built post 1776 (which surprised me, I just assumed it had been about longer, which it wasn't with the exception of the Americas, West Indies, and our slave related issues in Africa). So this book covers the entirety of what most British people might call "Modern Britain", and even then, it's all build up and no action. The eventual reversion back to a small country was only pretty briefly covered (in his introduction, Schama said he felt weird writing about his life as history).
The other thing that surprised me was how much of the book seemed to imply that the English thought of Wales, Scotland and Ireland as the basis of empire, rather than being equal partners, or regions of a greater entity, which is something I'd not thought of before reading this book.
All in all, it's a good read, I just suspect it could have been better if it had been split in two books as long as this book. (less)
BUT .. this is just a re-issue of that original book and it was very difficult to tell that from the description on Amazon
So I was disappointed as I thought it was an updated version - or a new take as it said it was published in 2009
As it was it will make a good Christmas present - but I was disapppointed as I thought it was a new title
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