Empires (Cornell Studies in Comparative History)

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9780801493348: Empires (Cornell Studies in Comparative History)

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"The analysis of the causes and patterns of imperialism has long been a difficult academic exercise. . . . To structure this far-ranging phenomenon and arrange its course in a concise, interpretive essay takes pluck, if a good adjective from the derring-do novels of empire may be used here. Michael W. Doyle had that pluck and has succeeded remarkably well in his task. This is a splendid essay, an effective combination of broad historical analysis and well-presented theoretical assessments derived from the social sciences. The book will no doubt stand as one of the best contemporary syntheses of the progress of imperialism. . . . Doyle has read widely and well. He has mastered his material and has done with it something masterly: he has made the whole more than the sum of the parts. What follows next from the lively mind of this scholar will be pleasantly anticipated."―American Historical Review

"As a contribution to multicausal analysis of social change, this is a major work. And, as a general introduction to European imperialism, its theoretical sophistication, broad sweep, and the clear presentation and organization of historical detail leave it with few peers."―American Journal of Sociology

"Ranging from the Athenian empire to the nineteenth century, Michael W. Doyle attempts to construct a historical sociology of empires that will encompass imperialism's infinite variety. . . . He recognizes the diversity of empires and imperial motivation, the French 'civilizing mission,' Spanish Catholicism and, implicitly, British 'muscular Christianity.' . . . The overall argument . . . has a persuasive simplicity and symmetry. . . . Empire is an excellent introduction to current theories of imperialism, and an interesting attempt at a new synthesis."―Times Literary Supplement

"Michael Doyle puts forward an intriguing set of arguments about the sources of imperialism in a sophisticated social-scientific way. His work is erudite, broad in scope, theoretically sophisticated, and thoughtful as well as thought-provoking."―Robert O. Keohane

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