This most topical book offers a unique perspective on The British Empire's expansion and fall, charting its quest to supply rubber, tin and agriculture to a thriving American market. Its enormous size was both its strength and Achilles heel, poised as it was for global rule. It divided nations and dispossessed indigenous cultures in the quest to plunder and control resources and was plagued by both debt and insecurity.
One hundred years ago from the timely release of this book, the Palestine Mandate was sanctioned marking the empires furthermost reach. Its impact spanned a quarter of the globe and encompassed 460 million people, the largest domain in history. Following the sun from East to West, Matthew Parker examines every colonized location from the Pacific islands, Oceania, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Straits of Malacca across to India, Africa and the Middle East.
There is so much here, including discourses on contested cultural heritage, systemic racism, and religious division, which remain relevant today. A topical history given the current affairs context of the Pacific summit, voice to Parliament and contested West Bank conflict. Notably, however, it also offers a broad range of perspectives from both the colonizers and the colonized, capturing the views of governors, migrants, policemen, and nurses. It is a rare glimpse into the human chaos that was the inheritance of this extensive empire.
'Breathtaking... vital and important. A wonderful read' PETER FRANKOPAN
'Marvellous... escapes the inane, balance-sheet view of Empire and sees its full complexity' SATHNAM SANGHERA
'A new, global history of British imperialism which feels both epic and immediate' TRISTRAM HUNT
'Extraordinary... [brings] the world of a century ago to fresh, vivid life' ALEX VON TUNZELMANN
THE STORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE AT ITS MAXIMUM TERRITORIAL EXTENT