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The collapse of Western colonial empires after the Second World War led to any number of vicious struggles for power whose bloody consequences haunt us still. Acclaimed historian Michael Burleigh's brilliant analytic skills and clear eye for common themes underpins this powerful account of those struggles.
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Michael Burleigh was born and educated in London. He was an academic for eighteen years before deciding to write full-time in 2001. He has won three major film awards for television documentaries (including 'Selling Murder' which won a BFI award) as well as the 2001 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for The Third Reich: A New History (Pan) and in 2012 he was awarded Italy's prestigious Nonino International Master of His Time Prize (previous recipients include V.S. Naipaul, Claudio Magris and Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie). He is married and lives in London.Review:
"The new book "Small Wars, Faraway Places" is the vault of knowledge that followers of current events have been seeking.... From the Mau-Mau Emergency in Kenya to the Korean War... to the French misadventure in Indochina and the clash between Arab nationalism and Zionism in the British Mandate in Palestine, Burleigh traces 18 distinct story lines of terrorism, counter-terrorism, intrigue, nationalism, and Cold War rivalry. With these stories, the reader can find the tangled roots on nearly all of today's nasty hotspots; he or she can even foresee the sort of messes that modern-day conflicts are likely to create down the road, using Burleigh's patient documentation of troubled areas like Malaya and Algeria as templates.... That "Small Wars" eschews easy answers or one-size-fits-all theories about the conflicts that it documents is a tribute to its author."
--James Norton, The Christian Science Monitor
"Michael Burleigh takes on the interaction between the two great geopolitical dramas of decolonization and the Cold War. The book contains a series of vivid, vigorous narratives, illuminated by telling snippets of information, compelling but rarely flattering portraits of the key characters and some trenchant judgments.... Burleigh brings to life forgotten events."
--Lawrence Freedman, The Washington Post
“Burleigh is hard-hitting in his take on the consequences of the vacuum left behind in the wake of departing colonial powers, especially in his depiction of the Viet Minh’s decisive victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu and Britain’s botched handling of the Suez Crisis. Slyly humorous and wonderfully detailed, Burleigh’s vivid narrative does justice to the lesser-known struggles of a complex era.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Agilely written, confidently argued, this is a fine contribution to Cold War history.”
“With Small Wars, Faraway Places, Michael Burleigh offers a penetrating and often sardonic narrative of the struggles that formed the world as we know it. Blending engaging characters sketches and telling vignettes with geopolitical analysis, he presents the two decades after 1945 from a vantage point that provides illuminating perspective.... Burleigh’s wide-ranging account brings out the relationship between political challenge and response, along with the difficulties in understanding very different societies from the outside.”
—William Anthony Hay, The American Conservative
“A brilliant, complex, contradictory story, replete with character and incident, pungent and pithy and refreshingly free of preaching. . . . The author delights in the detail, the small moment illustrating a large truth.”
—Ben MacIntyre, The Times (London)
“Burleigh nails his cast of politicians, generals and revolutionaries to turn the page in a series of ruthlessly observed character sketches.”
—Keith Lowe, author of Savage Continent
“A dramatic saga which Burleigh recounts with panache and wit.”
—Piers Brendon, The Sunday Times (London)
“Burleigh is an equal opportunity moralist, not an ideologue, and he stalks his prey with feline grace. . . . This is a story of personalities as much as one of geological shifts, and Burleigh is a master of bringing it alive with sharp character insights.”
—Christopher Silvester, Financial Times
“Burleigh writes with a keen eye for self-righteousness, hypocrisy and unintended consequences. He is quite brilliant at puncturing the vanities of history’s great and good.”
—Dominic Sandbrook, London Evening Standard
“Burleigh is the don of elegant, historical writing and every vignette in this book is arresting. His ability to command his material is truly breathtaking . . . damnably good.”
—John Lewis-Stempel, Sunday Express (London)
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Book Description Macmillan, 2013. Condition: New. The collapse of Western colonial empires after the Second World War led to a series of vicious struggles for power in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, whose consequences haunt us still. With insight and authority, this magisterial book takes the reader on a historical journey from Palestine to Pakistan, from Kenya to Cuba, from Algeria to Vietnam, to reveal the national aspirations, ideological conflicts and Cold War realpolitik that have shaped the world we live in today. Seller Inventory # 216822
Book Description Macmillan, 2013. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # mon0000237291