Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. Has usual library labels and stamps.Good readable copy with minor wear to cover. Pages clean and unmarked. Eligible for Free 2-day Prime or free Super saver shipping. All orders ship fast from the Amazon warehouse with tracking number. Amazon's hassle free return policy means your satisfaction is guaranteed!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Old World, New World: Great Britain and America from the Beginning Hardcover – October 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$6.00 $0.01

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

The stories of the United States and Great Britain are inexorably linked beyond the Colonial ties and shared language, a connection and relationship that form the basis of this original book by Burk (history, Univ. Coll. London). While there are numerous books about specific links between the countries (see, for instance, Christopher Hitchens's Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship), Burk's study is vast and complex, assessing the total relationship. She ably addresses the political and diplomatic ties but really shines when discussing the cultural influences between the two countries; a fascinating chapter called "Nineteenth Century Travelers' Tales" explores the writings of British and American voyagers, including Charles Dickens and Mark Twain. The book is well researched—Burk used many archives on both sides of the Atlantic—and, though its heft may be intimidating, it is well written, with a strong narrative that reads like that of a shorter work. Highly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/08.]—Mike Miller, Austin P.L., TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Because of the bonds of language and the common heritage of representative government, the “special relationship” between the U.S. and Great Britain may seem natural, inevitable, and even eternal. This ambitious, comprehensive, and engrossing examination of that relationship over four centuries illustrates convincingly that this alliance is of recent vintage and that it has also been characterized by tension, divergent interests, and occasional warfare. Burk is a native Californian who lives in and teaches history at University College in London, and she strives effectively to explain the connections as perceived from both sides of the Atlantic. Burk illustrates how the loyalty that colonists felt to the Crown frayed as the commercial interests of colonists and the Mother Country differed. In the nineteenth century, British and American politicians and ordinary citizens were rivals in the fur trade and opponents in the War of 1812. Even in the last century, the alliance tempered in war has seen its share of ups and downs. A superbly researched and well-written account that will be of great interest to both scholars and general readers. --Jay Freeman

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871139715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871139719
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.7 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,727,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At the outset of her study of the historical relationship between Great Britain and the United States, Kathleen Burk quotes the American novelist and expatriate to Britain Henry James: "I have not the least hesitation in saying that I aspire to write in such a way that it wd. be impossible to an outsider to say whether I am, at a given moment, an American writing about England or an Englishman writing about America ... & so far from being ashamed of such an ambiguity I should be exceedingly proud of it, for it would be highly civilized."

As did Henry James, Professor Burk has strong ties to both the United States and England. She is a fourth generation Californian with degrees from UCLA. Following her studies in the United States, Burk took a degree from Oxford. On a personal level, Burk tells the reader, she is married to an Englishman. Burk currently teaches at Oxford, but she has also taught extensively in her native land. Her book, "Old World, New World" shows that Professor Burk has succeeded in the difficult task of seeing the relationship between the United States and Great Britain with sympathy and understanding from both sides. Her ability to become part of each culture is the chief strength of this excellent history.

In her book, Burk tries to show that there is a "special relationship" between the United States and Britain which is largely different from the relationship between any other two nations. She traces the course of this relationship over four centuries, beginning with the first attempts at British colonization of America in the early 17th Century to the present day. With the lengthy time frame of her study, Burk shows how the relationship has evolved.
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After receiving an advance copy, I have found myself using this for the AP US History classes I teach as well as reading beyond what I am supposed to cover in class. It has been a thoroughly helpful book, capable of being a one-stop shop for details on the long involvement and tangled relationship that Britain and the United States have enjoyed since the colonial era.

While there is a lot of material to cover, Burk does a solid job at documenting the 400+ years that these two countries have pinned their hopes and successes on the other. Readers will be relieved to find it is not written in an overly academic tone, but is easily digested and appreciated thanks to the careful writing and editing.

I have enjoyed using this book and will continue doing so for many years to come.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kathleen Burk writes a comprehensive history of the tumultuous relationship between Great Britain and America with OLD WORLD, NEW WORLD: GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA FROM THE BEGINNING. From the early colonization of North America to past and recent foreign relation events, Burk covers a gamut of issues that span over 400 years of history. One may say this is a tour de force of world history centered on the two major empires, and a long list of other countries that have helped shape the history between the two; readers will see the growth, great divide and endless association.

The book is well researched and detailed. But besides the enormous appearance of the book, over 100 pages of very helpful notes and bibliographical information, it is the over 600 pages of content, which make the book an enlightening read. Indeed, Burk describes early contact between English settlers and Native Americans and the various wars fought from the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) to final diminution between motherland and former colony with the War of 1812. However, that is only the beginning, Burk extensively examines diplomatic, economic, and social history. In between wars and negotiations, three of the most uniquely interspersed sections of the book involve the social and literary aspect of her discussion, "Nineteenth-Century Travellers' Tales," "Some Elements of Everyday Life in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," and "Anglo-American Marital Relations: 1870-1945"; an intermission between the dramatic and epic parts of this history.

OLD WORLD, NEW WORLD is a good reference book for those interested in understanding the intense interconnected history of Great Britain and America. In addition, students of history at all levels may be interested in this book as well as history aficionados because there is a tremendous amount of detailed information.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
During the time of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, it was easy to see that Britain and the United States had a special relationship -- it was embodied very much in the personalities and ideologies of the two leaders. However, one cannot but wonder what personal bond there might have been between George W. Bush and Tony Blair, men from different backgrounds and opposite party affiliations, and yet the special relationship between Britan and the United States remained so firm that it remained largely unquestioned both at home and abroad. Kathleen Burk makes a good attempt at helping to explain this special relationship -- it is a theme that runs throughout her text. Even the War for Independence and the War of 1812 did not serve to severe the special relationship that existed between Britain and her former colonies; even the ascendancy of the United States onto the world stage, in many ways replacing and upstaging Britain in international affairs did not undermine the relationship. This is a bond that reaches back nearly half a millennium.

Burk traces the history back to the earliest settlements in North America by the British, and the development of a colonial system that was both independent from and dependent upon Britain in ways not often considered; the culture of the colonies was largely dependent upon Britain, and until the time of the Revolution, much effort was put forth by many of those same colonist who led the revolt to gain Britain's favor, both politically and culturally. There is some of this still at work in the international world -- as the United States grew in the twentieth century into a world power in the place of Britain, it still sought many of the ideals that had been part of the imperial intent: civilization, democracy, liberal economy, etc.
Read more ›
3 Comments 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews