The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire

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Random House, Jul 6, 2010 - History - 816 pages
31 Reviews

No empire has been larger or more diverse than the British Empire. At its apogee in the 1930s, 42 million Britons governed 500 million foreign subjects. Britannia ruled the waves and a quarter of the earth's surface was painted red on the map. Yet no empire (except the Russian) disappeared more swiftly.

Within a generation this mighty structure collapsed, often amid bloodshed, leaving behind a scatter of sea-girt dependencies and a ghost of an empire, the Commonwealth, overshadowed by Imperial America. 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.

Full of vivid particulars, brief lives, telling anecdotes, comic episodes, symbolic moments and illustrative vignettes, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire is popular history at its scholarly best.

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Review: The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

User Review  - Paul Valente - Goodreads

An interesting one to finish just before the referendum! Fascinating, well-written and scholarly, the characterisations of the principal historical figures were particularly good. The book is quite ... Read full review

Review: The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997

User Review  - Clancy Everafter - Goodreads

This was a great/depressing read, because you realize that an empire (and the legacy of that empire) is built on thievery and racism, and there's no reconciliation, it's just "Welp, our bad" and then they leave. Read full review

About the author (2010)

Piers Brendon is the author of more than a dozen books, including biographies of Churchill and Eisenhower, the best-selling Eminent Edwardians, Eminent Elizabethans and The Dark Valley. He also writes for television and contributes frequently to the national press. Formerly Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre, he is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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