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The Routledge History of Western Empires is an all new volume focusing on the history of Western Empires in a comparative and thematic perspective. Comprising of thirty-three original chapters arranged in eight thematic sections, the book explores European overseas expansion from the Age of Discovery to the Age of Decolonisation.
Studies by both well-known historians and new scholars offer fresh, accessible perspectives on a multitude of themes ranging from colonialism in the Arctic to the scramble for the coral sea, from attitudes to the environment in the East Indies to plans for colonial settlement in Australasia. Chapters examine colonial attitudes towards poisonous animals and the history of colonial medicine, evangelisaton in Africa and Oceania, colonial recreation in the tropics and the tragedy of the slave trade.
The Routledge History of Western Empires ranges over five centuries and crosses continents and oceans highlighting transnational and cross-cultural links in the imperial world and underscoring connections between colonial history and world history. Through lively and engaging case studies, contributors not only weigh in on historiographical debates on themes such as human rights, religion and empire, and the ‘taproots’ of imperialism, but also illustrate the various approaches to the writing of colonial history. A vital contribution to the field.
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Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Vestiges of the Colonial Empire in France: Museums, Monuments and Colonial Memories (2005) and Gay Life Stories (2012) and editor of The Age of Empires (2007).
Kirsten Mckenzie is Associate Professor of History at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Scandal in the Colonies: Sydney and Cape Town, 1820 – 1850 (2004) and A Swindler’s Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty (2009).Review:
This is a refreshingly original collection shedding new light on how western colonialism powerfully shaped the modern world. Both students and seasoned specialists will find it an excellent inroad into what is now one of the most innovative areas of historical scholarship. Themes are illustrated in both pithy overviews and new case studies ranging from the Arctic to Australia and Istanbul to India. Scholarly arguments abound but are always underpinned with experiences from the lives of often forgotten men and women, making this both a guidebook of Baedeker quality and a cracking good read.
Nigel Worden, University of Cape Town, South Africa
The Routledge History of Western Empires makes a valuable and effective contribution to our understanding of colonial and imperial history.
Robert Fulton, Northern Illinois University, USA
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