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The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

The decline and fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 / Piers Brendon.
First American edition.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
Physical Description
xxii, 786 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, color maps ; 25 cm.
Maps on endpapers.
"Originally published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape, London"--Title page verso.
After the American Revolution, the British Empire appeared doomed. But over the next 150 years it grew to become the greatest and most diverse empire the world has ever seen--from Canada to Australia to China, India, and Egypt--seven times larger than the Roman Empire at its apogee. Yet it was also fundamentally weak, as Piers Brendon shows in this panoramic chronicle. Run from a tiny island base, it operated on a shoestring with the help of local elites. It enshrined a belief in freedom that would fatally undermine its authority. Spread too thin, and facing wars, economic crises, and domestic discord, the empire would vanish almost as quickly as it appeared. Within a generation, it collapsed, sometimes amid bloodshed, leaving unfinished business in Rhodesia, the Falklands, and Hong Kong. Above all, it left a contested legacy: at best, a sporting spirit, a legal code, and a near-universal language; at worst, failed states and internecine strife.--From publisher description.
Added to Catalog
March 27, 2009
Includes bibliographical references (pages [665]-759) and index.
Partial contents
The American Revolution and slave trade
Britannia's Indian Empire
Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
The Far East and Afghanistan
Irish famine and Indian mutiny
Towards conquest in Africa
Cape to Cairo
The Boer War and the Indian Raj
Flanders, Iraq, Gallipoli, and Vimy Ridge
Ireland and the Middle East
West and East
Kanya and the Sudan
India: the route to independence
Singapore and Burma
Ceylon and Malaya
The Holy Land
Suez invasion and Aden evacuation
The Gold Coast of Africa and Nigeria
Uhuru freedom: Kenya and the Mau Mau
Rhodesia and the Central African Federation
The West Indies and Cyprus
The Falklands and Hong Kong.

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