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The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset Paperback – April 2, 2007

ISBN-13: 858-0001457567 ISBN-10: 0582472814 Edition: 1st

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The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset + The Penguin Historical Atlas of the British Empire + The British Empire (Oxford Readers)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (April 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582472814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582472815
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is a meticulous and energetic synthesis that has the hallmarks of Levine's scholarship: narrative cogency, attention to gender and sexuality and broad geographical sweep. For those convinced that the British Empire was acquired in a 'fit of absence of mind', this is a carefully plotted and empirically grounded rejoinder.  Antoinette Burton, Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

This is an excellent history. I am very impressed by its breadth, its readability, and the strong narrative that is produced of the rise and fall of the British Empire... The story is so complex that it is a triumph to make it so accessible.  Professor Catherine Hall, University College London

Violent, powerful, vast: the British Empire affected everyone who lived within its sphere.  Colonialism’s impact could be felt in every aspect of life: food, language, work and education.

The empire is typically viewed as distant and tropical; by contrast, this book examines the effects of the empire on men, women and children across the globe: both those under imperial rule and those who implemented it.  Looking beyond politics and diplomacy, Philippa Levine combines a traditional approach to colonial history with an investigation of the experience of living within the empire. 

Spanning the period from Cromwell’s rule to decolonization in the late twentieth century, and including an extensive chronology for ease of reference, Levine considers the impact of British rule for people in Africa, India and Australia, as well as for the English rulers, and for the Welsh, Scots and Irish who were subject to 'internal colonialism' under the English yoke. Imperialism often led to serious unrest; Levine examines the cruel side of imperialism’s purportedly 'civilizing' mission unflinchingly.

Comprehensive, subtle and innovative, The British Empire:  Sunrise to Sunset tells the human story of colonialism alongside the political drama. 

Philippa Levine is a professor at the University of Southern California.  She has written and edited several books, including Gender and Empire (2004), Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Veneral Disease in the British Empire (2003), Women’s Suffrage in the British Empire (2000) and Feminist Lives in Victorian England (1990).

About the Author

Philippa Levine teaches history at the Universityof Southern California. A historian of empire since 1990, her publications include Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire(2003) and an edited collection, Gender and Empire: History of the British Empire Companion Series (2004).


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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful By lexi1693 on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am not by any means conservative, but even as a person with a very liberal view of the British empire, I was appalled at the way Levine sacrifices factual accuracy for her narrow ideology about gender, race and class. Reading this book told me very little factual about the British Empire and very much about Levine's personal views, often at the expense of very commonly known facts such as the chronology of the settlement of Massachusetts (for example, Levine mentions the 1629 voyage of the Puritans on the Mayflower early in the book). While I agree with most analyses of the British empire based on gender, race and class, Levine's way of telling the story was overtly simplified, overtly ideological and revisionist history at its worst. I do not trust Levine as a narrator, much less a historian, and I would not recommend her textbook.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bonqers on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
A highly critical and unbalanced account of a massive institution that stretched all over the world, covering 500 years and involving millions of people. Very poor.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ObscureAllure on October 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for a class. I felt it was fairly easy to read. Enjoyed it. My "used" quality book was worth the price and the savings!
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