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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
14
Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire
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on 6 June 2016
Very interesting book. Not the first by Simon Winchester that I've read, and he does choose intriguing subjects. He is also an amazing traveller so you know you're getting a first hand account. Don't always agree with his leftish views but they haven't spoilt this book for me.
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on 6 January 2017
A marvellous (if a bit dated) window into the scraps of the former British Empire. Winchester captures the despairing spirit of the people in these places beautifully.
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on 15 May 2014
Having read Simon Winchester' s later books it is a bit disconcerting to find so few footnotes. Pleasant to look back with rose tinted glasses at what set the British Empire apart from the other colonial powers.
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on 12 April 2015
a truly superb book and delivery service
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on 22 March 2015
Fascinating glimpse of the early 80's, but badly needs updating to what's current 30 years on. Mr Winchester could fly to St Helena in 2016 for starters :-)
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on 8 April 2012
Great product, just as advertised, and prompt delivery.
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on 19 April 2016
excellent read
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on 29 October 2013
Simon Winchester has travelled the world as part of his career as a journalist, and in this book he collates his travels to the remaining islands of Britain's once-mighty empire during the late-eighties. Of course, things have moved on since then - Hong Kong is now part of China, and the communications issues mentioned in many of the chapters (St Helena and the Pitcairns in particular) must have been improved with new digital technology. However, Winchester covers all the key issues affecting the islands at that particular time, and many are still relevant - the American militarisation of Bermuda, the war in the Falklands, the evacuation of Diego Garcia. Generally, Winchester is positive about he places that he visits but critical of the way that the British government's attitude and governance of the relics of empire. It's not an in-depth study of the empire - I was left wanting more after the Bermuda chapter in particular - but it is still a really interesting read, and many of his conclusions have withstood the passage of time.
2 people found this helpful
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on 25 October 2010
What remains of the British Empire today? `Outposts' takes a look at some of our last remaining rocks and islands which are scattered across the globe and which, for most of us anyway, we will probably never even visit.

`Outposts' is slightly dated having been originally published in the mid-eighties. It contains a now largely redundant chapter on Hong Kong which was ceded to the Chinese in 1997. Other references to old technology, customs and phrases also help to give the book an overall "dated" feel. But that being said; I still greatly enjoyed reading this book and discovering more about our remnant colonies.

Having an interest in the British Empire, I was aware that the places discussed in this book existed, but other than a quick browse on Wikipedia, I had never really studied these colonies in depth using a reputable source! I wanted a book which would take me on a tour of our last possessions, which would give me an idea on their current situation and place in the world; the view the colonists held of their "mother country" and finally, what the future held for these isolated places. I discovered `Outposts' when browsing for e-books and was immediately satisfied with my acquisition. This is the book I had been looking for and I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

Each colony has a designated chapter which describes the history, the geography and some of the local curiosities before culminating with a short outlook on the likely prospects of each place's future. The author writes in a wonderfully descriptive manner and captures each island's isolation from the rest of the world perfectly. I was amazed to discover that some dependencies have largely been neglected by the UK and was dismayed and ashamed at how some British citizens have been forcibly removed from their homes at the behest of the USA, when seeking locations to site their military bases.

This book is certainly an eye-opener and should be read by those in Central Government who are officially in charge of administering and managing these places. The book is recommended to all Empire enthusiasts, but particularly to those who are interested in reflecting and learning about the places left in the `Queen's Commonwealth' that are supposed to depend entirely on the UK for their protection and survival. As you will learn, some of these places have had to rely on their own ingenuity and resourcefulness for decades, which makes their involuntary estrangement form their `mother country' that little bit harder to bear.

Very educational, yet intriguing; this was a book which gave me many hours of informative reading.
3 people found this helpful
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on 18 February 2016
He's typically snotty nosed about all these pink dots, like writing a book about them is below him. Too many put downs for this to be a serious read!
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