I have been extremely excited to review this book after finding it! I have read many books on the individual colonies of the British, but have never read a sweeping book on the modern Empire and Commonwealth. This book highlights in great detail the major events of the Empire and Commonwealth, from the American Revolution to the British Raj to the Decolonization Movement. It remarks on these events without bias and discusses topics most historians shy away from writing about, such as British opinion toward gender, race, slavery, and self-identity. It includes major historical figures of the Empire such as Queen Victoria, Cecil Rhodes, Joseph Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher, and figures of the decolonization movement such as Jomo Kenyatta, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. It discusses how the Empire slowly moved toward democracy and equality, and how that change came too late to save it. “Empire” talks about the politics and society in the late American Colonies, Australia, Canada, Ireland, India, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Egypt and how each followed its own path through decolonization. One thing I would have liked to have seen is maybe a chapter on corruption in the Empire, such as “pocket borroughs”. “Empire” accurately documents the events of the late British Empire and Commonwealth, and it gives a just analysis of the British for readers from students to professors.
Denis Judd was born in Northamptonshire in 1938. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
He has been Head of History, and is now Professor Emeritus of Imperial and Commonwealth History, at the London Metropolitan University. In his research, writing and broadcasting he has specialised in the British Empire and Commonwealth, especially South Africa and India. He has also written extensively on British history.
Among his publications are Balfour and the British Empire, Radical Joe – A Life of Joseph Chamberlain, The Victorian Empire, Palmerston, Lord Reading, Edward VII, The Crimean War, Someone Has Blundered: Calamities of the British Army During the Victorian Age, The British Raj, King George V, Jawaharlal Nehru, Prince Philip, George VI, and, with Peter Slinn, The Evolution of the Modern Commonwealth, 1902-80. His major analysis of British Imperialism, Empire: The British Imperial Experience 1765 To The Present was published in March 1996 by HarperCollins, was a major bookclub choice, has now appeared in paperback and United States’ hardback and paperback editions, and has been translated. Among his latest books are The Boer War, The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, and the edited Diaries of Alison Uttley.
He has written stories for children and two novels: Further Tales of little Grey Rabbit (1989 HarperCollins), Livingstone in Africa (Wayland), The Adventures of Long John Silver and Return To Treasure Island (both Michael Joseph).
He is the editor of a series of concise histories – the Traveller’s Histories – which include: France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Russia, India, Turkey, Ireland, Australia, North Africa and China. He is an Advisor to the recently established BBC History Magazine for which he writes and reviews.
Contact him at http://www.denisjudd.com
(Credit to http://www.denisjudd.com/biography.html for the bio and author photo.)