Maureen's Reviews > The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James
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Dec 12, 08

Read in September, 2008

once into this book it becomes impossible to sustain; the author is hell-bent to present british imperialism as a) different from the (bad) imperialism of others and b) provided a noble service of preparing hapless fools for self government. Britain was no tyrant, but a good parent... noblesse oblige oozes from these pages; they provide a gloss thick as butter on even the opium trade.. it was impossible to finish this "spin" piece, for it made me gag. There are few errors of comision, but the errors of omission are rampant. Best read for what it tells about the self-complacency of the imperial mindset . . . how easily the average human can gloss over any, even every, pecadillo/shame/gross misconduct... in this respect, very revealing and disturbing
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message 1: by Al (new) - rated it 4 stars

Al I think if you re-read the work, you will see that James is actually saying that the members of the Colonial Office were the ones who belived in such a position. James makes clear the transition from the old "liberal" view of empire prevalent in the 19th century to one of contempt toward their subjects in the mid-20th. James himself is not taking either position.


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