This is a very scholarly yet approachable history of The British Empire. It is divided in half: Marshall writes a concise narrative spanning the empire's recovery from losing its American colonies, its circa late nineteenth century apogee, through its post-War dismantlement. He then turns over the reins to specialists in themes of the empire, ranging from how it was ruled, whether it degraded or enriched the places it ruled, and even the art and architecture it inspired. The book makes extensive use of excellent images. A welcome addition to any library.