In 1900, where Churchill ended the fourth volume of his History of the English-Speaking Peoples, the United States had not yet emerged onto the world scene as a great power. Meanwhile, the British Empire was in decline but did not yet know it. Any number of other powers might have won primacy in the twentieth century and beyond, including Germany, Russia, possibly even France. Yet the coming century was to belong to the English-speaking peoples, who successively and successfully fought the Kaiser's Germany, Axis aggression and Soviet Communism, and who are now struggling against Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
Andrew Roberts brilliantly reveals what made the English-speaking people the preeminent political culture since 1900, and how they have defended their primacy from the many assaults upon them. What connects those countries where the majority of the population speaks English as a first language—the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and Ireland—is far greater than what separates them, and the development of their history since 1900 has been a phenomenal success story.
Authoritative and engrossing, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 is an enthralling account of the century in which the political culture of one linguistic world-grouping comprehensively triumphed over all others. Roberts's History proves especially invaluable as the United States today looks to other parts of the English-speaking world as its best, closest and most dependable allies.
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Winston Churchill's History of the English-Speaking Peoples, in four volumes, ended in 1900. Andrew Roberts, Wolfson History prizewinner and superb narrative historian, has been inspired by Churchill's example to write the story of the 20th century. In his preface Churchill wrote: 'Every nation or group of nations has its own tale to tell. Knowledge of the trials and struggles is necessary to all who would comprehend the problems, perils, challenges, and opportunities which confront us today ...It is in the hope that contemplation of the trials and tribulations of our forefathers may not only fortify the English-speaking peoples of today, but also play some small part in uniting the whole world, that I present this account.' As the greatest of all the trials and tribulations of the English-speaking peoples took place in the twentieth century, Roberts' book covers the four world-historical struggles in which the English-speaking peoples have been engaged - the wars against German Nationalism, Axis Fascism, Soviet Communism and now the War against Terror. But just as Churchill did in his four volumes, Roberts also deals with the cultural, social and political history of the English global diaspora - comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies. Keeping to Churchill's definition it does not cover India, where there are 180 languages of which English is only that of the elite. But India's story overlaps with that of Britain and is fully dealt with in that context.About the Author:
Andrew Roberts is the author of Masters and Commanders and A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. His other books include Napoleon and Wellington, Eminent Churchillians, and Salisbury, which won the Wolfson History Prize. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. He lives in New York City.
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