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The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions


The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions

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    Available in PDF Format | The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction Very Short Introductions.pdf | English
    Ashley Jackson(Author)
From the eighteenth century until the 1950s the British Empire was the biggest political entity in the world. The territories forming this empire ranged from tiny islands to vast segments of the world's major continental land masses. The British Empire left its mark on the world in a multitude of ways, many of them permanent.

In this Very Short Introduction, Ashley Jackson introduces and defines the British Empire, reviewing its historiography by answering a series of key questions: What was the British Empire, and what were its main constituent parts? What were the phases of imperial expansion and contraction and the general causes of expansion and contraction? How was the Empire ruled? What were its economic effects? What were the cultural implications of empire, in Britain and its colonies? What was life like for people living under imperial rule? What are the legacies of the British Empire and how should we view its place in world history?

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Professor Jackson has crafted a wide-ranging yet remarkably short introduction that successfully condenses recent scholarship without overwhelming the non-expert. (N.C. Fleming, University of Worcester, Political Studies Review)Jackson's pithy survey will be a welcome guide for anyone wanting to explore the wider picture without drowning in the literature. (BBC History magazine)

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Book details

  • PDF | 160 pages
  • Ashley Jackson(Author)
  • OUP Oxford (30 May 2013)
  • English
  • 3
  • History
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Review Text

  • By Guest on 15 March 2017

    I received this book punctually. It was in excellent condition. I appreciate the book mark very much! Thank you!

  • By Bardo Boy on 24 July 2013

    Having read several of the 'Very Short Introductions' I came expecting to be surprised, informed and stimulated and maybe finish feeling a little more knowledgeable. My expectations weren't met this time, partly because I studied the British Empire at University (over a decade ago so I'd still expected something new). As the writer explains this book is in line with the English academic orthodoxy on the topic. So as a precis of English academic opinion it is adequate, but not as exciting or engaging as other books in the series.Jackson acknowledges the difficulties about writing about Empire (and he means the History of the British Empire he doesn't take multi-disciplinary approach). His solution - trying to give a 'hard edged' summary in an area where everything is caveated - is not entirely successful. It could be seen as an excuse not to address significant critiques of Empire and the subject of 'Imperial History' (Jackson's specialism) itself. There is no historiography in the volume which other 'Very Short Introductions' don't neglect and often use as a framework to dissect and explain current thought.An example might be his use of Edward Said who is quoted - but from an autobiographical paper illustrating the racism of British Officials. There is no mention of the key significance of Edward Said's explosive impact on academia and the debate his seminal 'Orientalism caused. Similarly he quotes a long list of people who 'wrote' on Empire: "Franz Fanon, Gandhi, Lenin, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Naipaul, Orwell, Bob Marley, George Padmore, Lenard Wolfe and Kwame Nkrumah".Its as if someone has handed him a list and said 'you really need to include these people' and so he added it to the text! Had he academically considered what people like Nkrumah and Padmore wrote and more importantly how Gandhi & Nkrumah acted this book would be a significantly better read. As it is British blushes are spared and anti-colonial struggle in the colonies which some of the above people initiated in is ignored. This is a history of the British Empire from a pronounced English perspective where independence was 'given' not fought for, 'desirable' not necessary.Crucially for me he introduces us to little evidence for his assertions on the nature of the British Empire, sometimes going pages without a reference or citing other authority. Maybe because it is all 'orthodox'?! Other 'Very Short Introductions' give a sense of being at the cutting edge of the current field. This one reads, by it's own admission, from the middle and so is bland, safe and from an historian's perspective not all that well argued or structured.

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