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Empire: The British Imperial Experience From 1765 To The Present.

Denis Judd.

62 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0465019528 / ISBN 13: 9780465019526
Published by HarperCollins: Basic Books, New York, NY, 1997
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First Edition USA, First Printing indicated. Near Fine in Near Fine DJ: Both book and DJ show only minute indications of use. The book shows just a hint of shelving wear along the bottom edge; the former owner's name is neatly inscribed at the upper front free endpaper; the binding is square and secure; the text is clean.The DJ shows mild rubbing and faint soiling to the white background field of the rear panel; the price is unclipped; mylar-protected. Overall, very close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 518pp. This title was first published in Great Britain, by HarperCollins in 1996. Hardback with DJ. Dennis Judd's book on the history of the British Empire is not a day by day approach to empire but a focus on the most important events that shaped that empire. Things such as the India uprising in 1857 or the work of Cecil Rhodes are the main focus. The stories that are chosen do an excellent job of showing how the empire developed and the path it took to formation. This really is the best single volume work on the British Empire in terms of a pure history. The book covers all parts of the empire and has interesting vignettes such as the formation of the boy scouts. It also covers some of the major internal domestic squabbles within Great Britain as they relate to empire. I found that the discussions on how world war 1 and 2 affected the empire were very accurate and to the point. The reader can get a very good sense of how the British were drained of resources by the wars and see the effect this had on empire. As nationalistic movements took root in the various countries the British found it more difficult to control. Particularly with the end of Lend Lease by Truman the British were forced to grant independence to their colonies. The last few chapters focus on the remaining parts of the empire and how they fit into the commonwealth including the struggle with the Falkland Islands. If the reader wants a much more detailed account of the empire try to the Oxford history five volume British Empire. Judd's account is very readable and well done for those wanting a review of the salient points in the Empire's history. First Edition USA, First Printing indicated. Bookseller Inventory # 43900

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Empire: The British Imperial Experience From...

Publisher: HarperCollins: Basic Books, New York, NY

Publication Date: 1997

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


The British Empire radically altered the modern world. At its height, it governed over a quarter of the human race and encompassed more than a fifth of the globe. As well as providing the British people with profits and a sense of international purpose, the Empire afforded them the opportunity to create new lives for themselves through emigration and settlement. It supplied jobs at home and overseas, encouraged national aggrandizement, and allowed experiments in social engineering. For those it ruled over, the Empire often represented arbitrary power, gunboat diplomacy, and the disruption of local customs, social structures, and government by a distant and sometimes coldly unsympathetic administration. Yet while the Empire rested ultimately upon military force and direct rule, it also pulsated with ideals ideals of freedom, democracy, and even equality.In this impressively researched and always entertaining book, the esteemed British historian Denis Judd analyzes the imperial experience from the American revolution to the present day. He examines the ways in which the British Empire affected both rulers and ruled, and the roles of significant personalities from Queen Victoria to Nelson Mandela, Cecil Rhodes to Jomo Kenyatta, Joseph Chamberlain to Mahatma GhandiWhat was so special about the ”special relationship” between Britain and the United States? Did the maintenance of the Empire artificially prolong Britain's Great Power status? Did it encourage chauvinistic, even racist, attitudes? Were subjects better off under their own elites and leaders than under British rule? In the end, what does the balance sheet of the Empire look like?The story of Empire is central to Britain's national mythology and its sense of place in the world, and essential to an understanding of its changing role as we approach the end of the millennium. Denis Judd's fine, magisterial history does full justice to a complex and epic theme.


By the middle of the 18th century, writes English historian Denis Judd, the British empire extended around the world, so that truly, as the adage had it, the sun never set on it. Yet within years that empire began to unravel, beginning with the loss of the American colonies. (The colonies, Judd opines, were not as badly treated by the crown as they professed to have been). He examines the battles, stratagems, and intrigues that helped extend British rule so far afield, drawing into his account the contributions of the great men and women of imperial history as well as the not so great ones. The latter group, in Judd's view, misjudged the tides of popular sentiment and lost the crown many friends through violence and reaction. The historian closes his study with the election of Nelson Mandela to the presidency of South Africa, and with the arguable observation that the British did their best in governing their far-flung holdings.

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