Brewer poses another question of great importance...how did a small island, of no great population, and which had, for the most part, played an insignificant role in seventeenth-century Europe, transform itself, in the space of sixty years, into a great naval power with an immense empire? Brewer is to be congratulated [on] here identifying a major theme and pursuing it with great skill. (John Cannon Times Literary Supplement
What Brewer does is to link the work of other historians with his own research into the workings of the bureaucratic machine, and to draw some wider conclusions about the nature of British society in general. (Jonathan Clark Sunday Times
Brewer has countered the traditional image of Britain as a lightly administered society by showing the degree to which the ideology of liberty was founded on a highly organized bureaucracy. (David Simpson New York Times Book Review
About the Author
John Brewer is Director of the Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies and Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California at Los Angeles.