Synopses & Reviews
This wide-ranging and ambitious work begins from, but moves well beyond, the common observation that empire had a significant role in the making of modern Britain . Thompson weighs the relevant evidence from elites to the working classes, from women and children to international economics and domestic politics. In so doing he treats an enormous body of material with judicious insight ... It deserves close attention by specialist scholars as well as a prominent place on student reading lists.
Saul Dubow, University of Sussex
The concept of empire and its influence seems to be everywhere today, debated widely both in the media and academe. How did the British people regard their empire? Was it seen as a source of strength or weakness? How far did the imperial experience define British nationhood? And why are imperial legacies still debated so vigorously?
The Empire Strikes Back? is the first full length study of the influence of empire on British society, past and present. In this path-breaking book, Thompson examines the impact of empire on Britain¿s political culture, social development and economic performance. He shows how the effects of overseas expansion on Britain were complex and even contradictory. There was not, and never could be, any single or monolithic response to imperialism. Rather, the empire markedly extended the boundaries of British domestic society, and its meaning was contested by different social groups.
The book concludes by examining the British people¿s relation to empire in recent times, engaging with many contemporary issues, such as the Falklands conflict, the repatriation of Hong Kong, and the impact of immigration. A fascinating study for all those concerned with how the past shapes both the present and the future, this book is essential reading for students and scholars alike.
Andrew Thompson is Senior Lecturer in Modern British History, and Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Arts Faculty, at the University of Leeds. His previous publications include Imperial Britain : The Empire in British Politics 1880¿1932 (2000) and The Impact of the South African War, 1899¿1902 (2002), co-edited with David Omissi.
This wide-ranging and ambitious work begins from, but moves well beyond, the common observation that empire had a significant role in the making of modern Britain. Thompson weighs the relevant evidence from elites to the working classes, from women and children to international economics and domestic politics. In so doing he treats an enormous body of material with judicious insight. This book helps to bridge all-too divided hemispheres of the historical mind. It deserves close attention by specialist scholars as well as a prominent place on student reading lists.'
Saul Dubow, Sussex University
This is a fine piece of work: perhaps the best book so far in its field. It will surely be seen as an essential undergraduate text in many British and Imperial History courses, and in some sub-fields of Politics, Sociology and Cultural Studies too.
From global superpower to British state. This highly topical book looks at how the British Empire's tentacles stretched far and wide from the African and Asian contintents to the Americas, and how these dependent states hit back, affecting in turn England itself.
- Empire is highly topical: release of Hong Kong, civil wars in Africa, troubled legacy of Indian independence
- The various series on Empire, Jewel in the Crown, Rhodes and film have branded a strong general interest in England's glorious global past (as oppose to rather ignmon. present).
`The Empire Strikes Back' will inject the empire back into the domestic history of modern Britain. In the nineteenth century and for much of the twentieth century, Britain's empire was so large that it was truly the global superpower. Much of Africa, Asia and America had been subsumed. Britannia's tentacles had stretched both wide and deep. Culture, Religion, Health, Sexuality, Law and Order were all impacted in the dominated countries. `The Empire Strikes Back' shows how the dependent states were subsumed and then hit back, affecting in turn England itself.
About the Author
Andrew Thompson is a lecturer at Leeds University and is the author of `Imperial Britain' (Longman, 2000).
Table of Contents
PrefaceAcknowledgementsAbbreviationsList of Tables and Figures1. Elites
2. The Lower Middle Class and the Working Classes at Home3. The Working Class at Work
4. The Working Class at Play5. Women and Children
6. Domestic Politics7. Metropolitan Economics
8. The Forging of British Identities