Ryan's Reviews > Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World

Empire by Niall Ferguson
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's review
Jul 25, 2011

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bookshelves: colonial

A somewhat biased view of the British Empire and its effects on shaping the world we live in today. Being an English historian with extensive family history links to the empire, Ferguson defends the legacy of Britain's colonial past and its imprint on the world, espousing the legal systems, free trade and order left behind in the colonized countries. And how the near possible alternatives - German and Japanese empires would've been far worse. I suppose one can't argue with that, but there is also no doubt that all was done to enrich the British themselves in the process, by exploiting the resources of their colonies to their own benefit. Finally, the argument that America has now taken over this role of colonizer I found not convincing, the author tries too hard to fit the post-imperial economic and cultural 'colonization' of the USA into the mould of the British model. One will not have the same situation simply due to the immense changes in society and technology that has come to pass since the early 20th C. There will not be another empire in the traditional sense, or at least not recognizable as such.
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