The British Empire influenced many aspects of the world we live in today. The international system remains heavily marked by British imperialism, and the borders, nations, and federations it created. This Very Short Introduction introduces and defines the British Empire, reviewing how it evolved into such a force, and the legacy it left behind.
Niall Ferguson is one of Britain´s most renowned historians. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times, for which he was named Columnist of the Year at the 2018 British Press Awards.
´A wholly pleasing book, which offers a tasty side dish to anyone exploring the narrative history of the British Empire´ Max Hastings, Sunday Times WINNER OF THE GUILD OF FOOD WRITERS BOOK AWARD 2018 The glamorous daughter of an African chief shares a pineapple with a slave trader... Surveyors in British Columbia eat tinned Australian rabbit... Diamond prospectors in Guyana prepare an iguana curry... In twenty meals The Hungry Empire tells the story of how the British created a global network of commerce and trade in foodstuffs that moved people and plants from one continent to another, reshaping landscapes and culinary tastes. The Empire allowed Britain to harness the globe´s edible resources from cod fish and salt beef to spices, tea and sugar. Lizzie Collingham takes us on a wide-ranging culinary journey, revealing how virtually every meal we eat still contains a taste of empire.
Tea has been one of the most popular commodities in the world. Over centuries, profits from its growth and sales funded wars and fueled colonization, and its cultivation brought about massive changes - in land use, labor systems, market practices, and social hierarchies - the effects of which are with us even today. A Thirst for Empire takes a vast and in-depth historical look at how men and women - through the tea industry in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa - transformed global tastes and habits and in the process created our modern consumer society. As Erika Rappaport shows, between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries the boundaries of the tea industry and the British Empire overlapped but were never identical, and she highlights the economic, political, and cultural forces that enabled the British Empire to dominate - but never entirely control - the worldwide production, trade, and consumption of tea. Rappaport delves into how Europeans adopted, appropriated, and altered Chinese tea culture to build a widespread demand for tea in Britain and other global markets and a plantation-based economy in South Asia and Africa. Tea was among the earliest colonial industries in which merchants, planters, promoters, and retailers used imperial resources to pay for global advertising and political lobbying. The commercial model that tea inspired still exists and is vital for understanding how politics and publicity influence the international economy.
´Magnificent ... groundbreaking ... a triumph´ Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads ´A masterpiece, a delight to read ... a rare and beautiful thing´ Gerard DeGroot, The Times What we consume has become the defining feature of our lives: our economies live or die by spending, we are treated more as consumers than workers, and even public services are presented to us as products in a supermarket. In this monumental study, acclaimed historian Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary history that has shaped our material world, from late Ming China, Renaissance Italy and the British empire to the present. Astonishingly wide-ranging and richly detailed, Empire of Things explores how we have come to live with so much more, how this changed the course of history, and the global challenges we face as a result. ´I read Empire Of Things with unflagging fascination ... elegant, adventurous and colourful ... gleefully provocative´ John Preston, Daily Mail ´Such a pleasure to read ... From Victorian department stores to modernist kitchens, his book revels in the things that most historians tend to overlook´ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
A study of Franklin´s writings on the British Empire and its relationship to the British North America, Mulford assesses the founding father´s thoughts on economics, society, politics, and the environment.