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In Praise of Empires: Globalization and Order Hardcover – November 25, 2004
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'A brilliant and provocative scourge of pious thinking on international
politics'- Paul Collier, University of Oxford
'In only 216 pages of tautly written, sharply worded and frankly exhilarating text, Lal sets out the case for imperialism in the modern world, and why the United states could bring untold benefits to the planet if only it could shrug off the notion, held ever since the Revolutionary War-era, that empires are bad things per se.' - Andrew Roberts, The Sunday Telegraph
'Controversial, but tight and historically well-informed.' - BBC History
About the Author
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Why we need empires
Deepak Lal is the nephew of a former mayor of Delhi and Nehru cabinet minister who was imprisoned by the British. Lal is himself a former Indian foreign-service diplomat, Oxford economics don, research administrator for the World Bank, the author of 19 books, and professor of international development at UCLA. He began life believing in the socialist and nationalist ideologies of post-independence India, and so is the ideal person to write a book with the title In Praise of Empires.
"It is evidence and experience," Lal says, "especially in working and travelling in most parts of the Third World during my professional career, which have led me to change my earlier views." In only 216 pages of tautly written, sharply worded and frankly exhilarating text, Lal sets out the case for imperialism in the modern world, and why the United States could bring untold benefits to the planet if only it could shrug off the notion, held ever since the Revolutionary War-era, that empires are bad things per se.
"The order provided by empires," Lal argues, "has been essential for the working of the benign processes of globalisation, which promote prosperity." This splendidly revisionist statement is supported by a wealth of evidence and acutely chosen statistical tables, backed up by an impressive range of sources from fellow intellectuals. Drawing on the ideas of Raymond Aron, Hedley Bull, Niall Ferguson, Michael Oakeshott and many others, Lal none the less constructs his own analysis of where the English-speaking peoples have been, where we're headed and what might happen if we choose not to go there.Read more ›