The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire

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Random House, Jul 6, 2010 - History - 816 pages
34 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  - Charles Kerns - Goodreads

Big-picture narrative history starting with the colonies that rebelled in America and the colonial decline dread that followed, only to be dispelled when the Brits red coats puffed out after nipping ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

Interesting survey of how the British empire - controlling over 400 million people - devolved. The main message is that empire was not a good thing for most of those people and their countries and that it didn't end well either. 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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