on 26 December 2010
Far more than an update of Robinson and Gallagher this account of Britain's prominent place in the world economy and geopolitical system from mid C19th to WW2 and the decline and fall from the 30s is very persuasive. A number of original insights- the way that focus on the relative strength of the British domestic economy (and its eclipse by the US and Germany pre WW1) masked the continued predominance of the UK in world trade and invisibles is interesting. The willingness to quantify - number of troops for example - is refreshing. And the account of the near collapse of the UK from the end of the 30s till the US bailout is persuasive. The self delusion of the attempts to continue to project power when the substance had gone in the 50s and even the 60s have echoes in recent post-Imperial entanglements. I could not rate this more highly.