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Lawrence James (1) (1943–)

Autor/a de The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

Per altres autors anomenats Lawrence James, vegeu la pàgina de desambiguació.

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Sobre l'autor

Lawrence James is one of the outstanding narratives historians on the subject of empire, including The Rise and Fall of the British Empire and Churchill and Empire: Portrait of an Imperialist. He lives in England.

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Ágætis ævisaga um Churchill. Hún hefur nokkuð þröngan fókus á viðhorf hans til nýlenda Bretlands sem hann vildi halda í og varðveita til frambúðar. Gat í raun ekki séð fyrir sér framtíð landsins og heimsveldisins án nýlendanna. Um leið og sagan gerir þessum þætti vel skil þá er öðrum þáttum í persónuleika Churchills og lífi hans gerð ýmist lítil eða engin skil.
SkuliSael | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Apr 28, 2022 |
Overview of colonial history of Africa from French conquest of Algeria in 1830 to the collapse of the Apartheid regime in South Africa in 1990. The book covers the competition between European empires to carve up the African continent, to varying degees of success. Some European powers like Belgium treated their colonies as outright slave-holdings. French egalitarian and republican principles sat poorly with the country's Imperial ambitions. Racism was baked into European attitudes, especially under Fascist regimes of the early 20th century, such as Nazi-dominated Vichy-France in WWII. Racism from their masters and their participation World War One and Two led African soldiers to a desire for independence in their home countries; it did not escape notice that European countries were liberated or decolonised after the wars but not African ones. After the Second World War, independence movements became embroiled in the Cold War between the United States of America and the U.S.S.R. Both sides provided money and weapons to various proto-independence movements across Africa, as European influence declined. Unfortunately this often resulted in military coups, unstable governments propped up by one or another Cold War powers, and single-party dictatorships supported as a bulwark against the other side. The Cold War both accelerated and stymied the development of independent African countries. South Africa was the final country to be decolonised, when Russian and Cuban support was withdrawn from the continent at the end of the Cold War.

I got a good insight into the regions of Africa and how their conquering European powers affected their development. Each chapter was split into very readable short sections.
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questbird | Mar 22, 2022 |
The largest empire in history ended less than a century ago, yet the legacy of how it rose and how it fell will impact the world for longer than it existed. Lawrence James’ chronicles the 400-year long history of The Rise and Fall of the British Empire, from its begins on the eastern seaboard of North American spanning a quarter of the world to the collection of tiny outposts scattered across the globe.

Neither a simple nor a comprehensive history, James looks at the British Empire in the vain of economic, martial, political, and cultural elements not only in Britain but in the colonies as well. Beginning with the various settlements on the eastern seaboard of North America, James describes the various colonies and latter colonial administrators that made their way from Britain to locations around the globe which would have an impact on attitudes of the Empire over the centuries. The role of economics in not only the growth the empire but also the Royal Navy that quickly became interdependent and along with the growth of the Empire’s size the same with the nation’s prestige. The lessons of the American War of Independence not only in terms of military fragility, but also politically influenced how Britain developed the “white” dominions over the coming centuries. And the effect of the liberal, moralistic bent of the Empire to paternally watch over “lesser” peoples and teach them clashing with the bombast of the late-19th Century rush of imperialism in the last century of the Empire’s exists and its effects both at home and abroad.

Composing an overview of 400-years of history than spans across the globe and noting the effects on not only Britain but the territories it once controlled was no easy task, especially in roughly 630 pages of text. James attempted to balance the “positive” and “negative” historiography of the Empire while also adding to it. The contrast between upper-and upper-middle class Britons thinking of the Empire with that of the working-class Britons and colonial subjects was one of the most interesting narratives that James brought to the book especially in the twilight years of the Empire. Although it is hard to fault James given the vast swath of history he tackled there were some mythical history elements in his relating of the American War of Independence that makes the more critical reader take pause on if the related histories of India, South Africa, Egypt, and others do not contain similar historical myths.

The Rise and Fall of the British Empire is neither a multi-volume comprehensive history nor a simple history that deals with popular myths of history, it is an overview of how an island nation came to govern over a quarter of the globe through cultural, economic, martial, and political developments. Lawrence James’s book is readable to both general and critical history readers and highly recommended.
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mattries37315 | Hi ha 4 ressenyes més | Jan 18, 2019 |


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