A History of Britain, Volume 2: The Wars of the British 1603-1776 (History of Britain (Audio Renaissance))

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9781559276375: A History of Britain, Volume 2: The Wars of the British 1603-1776 (History of Britain (Audio Renaissance))
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The second volume of Simon Schama's acclaimed history of Britain, a magnificent companion to the History Channel's successful series

Simon Schama, one of the world's most distinguished historians, covers the most tumultuous eras of Britain's past in this second installment of his epic history of Britain. Schama's powerful, dramatic narrative focuses on political and social change from England's first ventures into the New World through periods of colonial expansion, radical scientific advancement, industrial revolution, and two World Wars.

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Review:

The beginning of the 17th century promised that England's golden age would long outlast its Elizabethan namesake. Within a few years, that promise would end in civil war, political unrest, and international conflict, a period of strife that would last for two centuries, but produce the modern British nation. In this swiftly moving narrative, the second installment in a three- volume companion to the BBC/History Channel television series, Simon Schama examines key events that would utterly change British life: the collapse of monarchy and republic, the establishment of the beginnings of empire, and the ever-wider division between court and country. The wars that accompanied these turns of fortune were, Schama writes, "eminently unpredictable, improbable, and avoidable." With them came the Glorious Revolution, the bloody suppression of religious dissent, the conquest of neighboring kingdoms, and the wide-scale movement of large populations from one place to another--including the deliberate introduction of nearly 100,000 Scots, Welsh, and English settlers in Ireland, which, Schama writes, "utterly dwarfed the related 'planting' on the Atlantic seaboard of North America." Along the way, Schama considers actors major and minor in this tumultuous play, from the unlucky king Charles I to Oliver Cromwell (who "lacked the one essential characteristic for true dictatorship: a hunger to accumulate power purely for its own sake"), from the writer Daniel Defoe to the pragmatic politician Sir Robert Walpole, from William Pitt to the African slaves who peopled Britain's American colonies.

Though understandably rushed and sometimes unfocused, Schama's narrative ably captures Britain's transformation from island outpost to global power. -- Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Simon Schama has taught history at Cambridge, Oxford, and Harvard universities. Now professor of art history and history at Columbia University, Schama is also the award-winning author of The Embarrassment of Riches, Rembrandt's Eyes, and A History of Britain: At the Edge of the World. Born in London, he currently lives in upstate New York. Timothy West is a versatile British actor noted for his great command on the classical stage and in several other mediums including radio, film and TV. He has appeared in several Shakespeare productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. On television, he has appeared in Going Postal, Inspector Lewis, Not Going Out, Bleak House, and Agatha Christie: Poirot. Timothy read three volumes of A History of Britain for Macmillan Audio.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780786867523: A History of Britain, Vol. 2: The Wars of the British, 1603-1776

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ISBN 10:  0786867523 ISBN 13:  9780786867523
Publisher: Miramax, 2001
Hardcover

9780771079207: A History of Britain Volume 2: 1603 - 1776

Hyperi..., 2001
Hardcover

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