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A History of Britain: The Fate of Empire (2002)
by Simon Schama
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0563534575, Hardcover)This work takes us from the mid-1770s when the country was intoxicated by a great surge of political energy through to the massive advances of technology and industrialisation during the Victoria era, and the burgeoning of the British Empire.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:41 -0400)
"The story opens on the eve of a bloody revolution, but not a British one. The French Revolution never quite crossed the Channel, though its spirit of fiery defiance and Romantic idealism did, sparking off a round of radical revolts and reforms that gathered momentum over the coming century - from the Irish Rebellion to the Chartist Petition. The great question of the Victorian century was how the world's first industrial society could come through its growing pains without falling apart in social and political conflict. Would the machine age destroy or strengthen the institutions that held Britain together, from the family to the farm? And if the British Empire helped to make Britain stable and rich, did it live up to its promise to help the ruled as well as the rulers? On the way to answering these questions, The Fate of Empire makes stops at both celebrations, like the Great Exhibition, and catastrophes, like the Irish potato famine and the Indian Mutiny. Amidst the military and economic shocks and traumas of the 20[superscript th] century, and through the voices of Churchill, Orwell and H. G. Wells, it asks the question that is still with us - is the immense weight of our history a blessing or a curse, a gift or a millstone around the neck of our future?"--BOOK JACKET.
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