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Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World by…
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Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (original 2003; edition 2008)

by Niall Ferguson (Author)

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2,435236,262 (3.77)16
The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to global domination ever achieved. The world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's age of empire. The global spread of capitalism, telecommunications, the English language, and the institutions of representative government-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity. Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that far from being a subject for nostalgia, the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for the world today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new kind of imperial power. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.… (more)
Member:sairz321
Title:Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
Authors:Niall Ferguson (Author)
Info:Penguin Group (2008)
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Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power by Niall Ferguson (2003)

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» See also 16 mentions

English (19)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Just curious, why through the majority of book's length the author uses ratios instead of per cents? Some of them really odd like two fifths. personally 40% would be easier for me to grasp :D Maybe it's Imperial measurements school ;)
  Den85 | Jan 3, 2024 |
Excellent perspective on geopolitical situation from historical perspective. Little dated with the current circumstances. But gives an interesting perspective of imperialism and how it affected our society of today. Worth the read ( )
  Brumby18 | Nov 22, 2023 |
good tour of british history. i bet they dont teach this in british schools. ( )
  paarth7 | May 6, 2023 |
2/10/23
  laplantelibrary | Feb 10, 2023 |
I was favorably impressed with Ferguson's account of the making and collapse of the British Empire. Few people can remember many details of long forgotten historical clashes such as the Boer War, the Opium Wars, or how the British gained control over far flung territories such as India, Singapore, Ghana, Egypt, Australia, etc. Also interesting was how an empire developed over several hundred years could collapse in just tens of years. Financial demands on the empire over the years and during war time, requiring a need to raise taxes and cut domestic spending, certainly have a parallel to our current economic problems as well. All in all, this book provided a good overview of the British Empire, many of the key individuals contributing to its formation, the after affects on the colonies, and some of the good as well as the bad of this colonial period. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
That the British Empire was, on balance, "a good thing" is a provocative idea, the sort that has made Ferguson a celebrity in the U.K. Ferguson has written six books during the past eight years, and he has often thrilled in presenting novel twists to what others in the academy consider settled historical fact.
added by mikeg2 | editSalon, Farhard Manjoo (Apr 17, 2003)
 

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The old river in its broad reach rested unruffled at the decline of day, after ages of good service done to the race that peopled its banks, spread out in the tranquil dignity of a waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth… The tidal current runs to and fro in its unceasing service, crowded with memories of men and ships it had borne to the rest of home or to the battles of the sea. It had known and served all the men of whom the nation is proud … It had borne all the ships whose names are like jewels flashing in the night of time … It had known the ships and the men. They had sailed from Deptford, from Greenwich, from Erith -- the adventures and the settlers; kings' ships and the ships of men on 'Change; captains, admirals, the dark 'interlopers' of the Eastern trade, and the commissioned 'generals' of East India fleets. Hunters for gold or perusers of fame, they had all gone out on that stream, bearing the sword, and often the torch, messengers of the might within the land, bearers of a spark from the sacred fire. What greatness had not floated on the ebb of that river into the mystery of an unknown earth! … The dreams of men, the seed of commonwealth, the germs of empires …

-Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
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Once there was an Empire that governed roughly a quarter of the world's population, covered about the same proportion of the earth's land surface and dominated nearly all its oceans.
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The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to global domination ever achieved. The world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's age of empire. The global spread of capitalism, telecommunications, the English language, and the institutions of representative government-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity. Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that far from being a subject for nostalgia, the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for the world today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new kind of imperial power. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.

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