The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire

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Random House, Jul 6, 2010 - History - 816 pages
47 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jerry-book - LibraryThing

This author has a bias against the British Empire. Nonetheless, this was informative. I liked Jan Morris' more positive treatment of the same material. The point of view of this author is exemplified by the cover picture which shows a group of drunken colonial officers. Read full review

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

User Review  - Trey - Goodreads

I'm not exactly sure what Piers Brendon hoped to accomplish with this chronicle. He has helpfully amassed a huge amount of detailed material on the history of the British empire -- no small ... Read full review

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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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