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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.
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on 22 August 2011
John Darwin is one of the top historians writing on empire and in particular the British Empire (see also After Tamerlane and Britain and Decolonisation). His style is very readable yet never shallow. He views the historic evidence in a critical intelligent manner and refrains from becoming dogmatic in any way. I find him infinitely more convincing than the more popular Mr Ferguson.
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on 22 March 2015
Good writing
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on 7 March 2015
Yet to read it
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