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on 22 April 2017
The narrator is speaking way too fast for my liking. Other than that, the actual content is fine
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on 23 June 2013
I bought this book to see the other side of the British Empire that the PC brigade try to suppress. In that regard, it fully met it's goals, approaching the Empire via it's key figures one geographical region at a time. Unfortunately it was in many ways as biased as the PC histories, but in the opposite direction. I'd love to see a history which included both sides. This was a great way of redressing the balance of the otherwise heavily PC and almost uniformly negative histories of the empire, but as a book, it would have shown more rigiour if it had'nt been almost entirely uncritical. Well worth a read, particularly if the Guardian version of history is all you've ever seen.
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on 15 August 2013
There has always been a keen debate on the pros/cons of the British Empire, especially as it was shrinking into the shadows. Some are erudite balanced works focusing on highly academic fields which aim to carefully crafted a conclusion. This book is not one of these.
It is a highly biased, pro-Imperial, wide-ranging: revolving on the (mostly) men who crafted the greatest of all empires. This is old-school boy's own adventures of a time when the maxim-gun, a classical education and the Bible were enough to carve out a protectorate. Some are still household names, such as Lawrence of Arabia - the impact of his work is still being felt in the convolutions in the Arab world today. On that basis, recommended reading.
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on 21 January 2014
Facts, facts and more facts about the British Empire. I found out things I did not know about the British Empire and it made me proud to be British.
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on 16 March 2015
This book is written in an easily accessible style, and is most interesting. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a not-very-in-depth overview of Britain's colonial history.
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on 25 November 2013
Well first of all you might as well replace the word "British" with "English" since the author appears to have nothing but disdain and indifference for other members of the Union. The derogatory manner in which he unapologetically refers to the "Scotch" throughout the book evidently indicate his particular allegiances.

Aside from that, it's just very badly written, and incredibly un-insightful. What a waste of money. Stick to Niall Ferguson or Lawrence James. If you are interested in the positive side of the Empire, these two cover it (along with the negatives) in a much better fashion. Far more intelligently, and for more interestingly.
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on 9 August 2015
Politically Incorrect it is for sure, but that is no the problem. What is the problem, is that historical facts are misrepresented in a most subjective and one sided way in order to make the author's point. 2 examples of this:
-The Battle of Waterloo is presented as a purely British/ Wellington achievement, while the -by no means- small contribution of Dutch and German troops under the command of respectively Orange and Blücher are completely missing.
-It is faslely stated that India was never united before the British, ignoring competely the existance of the Moghul Empire. When the 'Great Muntiny of 1857' is described, the titular Moghul emperor Bahadur Shah II is described as mere ' king of Delhi' who must have been 'befuddled by opium' in order to accept leadership over the mutiny.
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on 16 December 2013
A selective approach to history is always going to leave a reader a bit frustrated, but as one who regards himself as old school, this is a refreshing approach to an important subject. I did try that dreadful Paxman book (I mean, they are both awful: book and man) and was so grateful to come across this. It's actually not as biased as Paxman's, and far better researched.
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on 25 September 2013
Unfortunately seems to have been written by a Yank and therefore gives too much attention to their version of history. It could have been a better book especially considering the effort put in to titles that are nearer the heart of that self-publicising people.
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on 8 February 2014
Whatever this book might be, it isn't actually history. Yes, if we ignore the millions dead and enslaved, the impoverishment of entire nations and virulent racism then the empire was fantastic.
Should we ignore those things though and is it intellectually honest to do so? Your answer will determine whether or not this is the book for you.
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