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Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain by [Darwin, John]
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Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Founded in a fit of absentmindedness, as the saying goes, the British Empire was never a monolithic polity but had different circumstances surrounding the establishment, growth, and rule of its colonies. Combine the variations in its parts and the range of historical opinion about it, from praise to condemnation, and one wonders whether a single-volume history of it is even possible. Darwin confidently forges one, however, that accentuates the decentralized character of the centuries of its expansion, which proceeded in tension with the links of trade, law, and military power between an outpost and London. If imperial control varied from colony to colony, it waxed and waned in a general sequence everywhere. British contact with a foreign land was followed by growth of a colonial society, assertions of autonomy or rebellion, and eventual independence. To contemporaries at all times, the worth and justice of the empire provoked debate that Darwin quotes amid his accounts of empire building in America, Africa, India, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Vast and controversial though his subject, Darwin raises all key historical issues in this solid survey of British imperialism. --Gilbert Taylor

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“The depth of Darwin's learning is impressive…. [his] tone throughout is admirably detached and scholarly, though his dry wit keeps it well away from being boring…. [a] sharp, thoughtful, enjoyable and levelheaded book.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Mr. Darwin's informative and intelligent book is ably written, and it is brimming with interesting statistics and acute observations.” ―The Wall Street Journal

“[A] remarkable history of the empire…. immensely important and useful. As an Englishman, Darwin declines to be either boastful or self-lacerating about the empire his country presided over, but simply examines it with a clear eye. This he has achieved to a laudable and indeed remarkable degree.” ―Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“A brilliantly perceptive analysis of the forces and ideas that drove the creation of an extraordinary enterprise … Bringing together his huge erudition, scrupulous fairness and elegant prose, Mr Darwin has produced a wonderfully stimulating account of something that today seems almost incredibly yet was, in historical terms, only yesterday.” ―Economist


Product details

  • File Size: 4194 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 12, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009SJZR4S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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