British Empire Books

Empire: The British Imperial Experience from 1765 to the Present

Contributed by Prof. Richard Norton

AuthorDenis Judd

Denis Judd is a prolific writer and no stranger to the Colonial Period. He writes for a general rather than an academic audience and as a result his work is usually less turgid and more entertaining than so-called scholarly tomes. This massive work is out in paperback for a reasonable price and can likely be obtained through any book store.

How do you write a comprehensive history of The British Empire in one volume? You don't and Judd doesn't try to. Rather each chapter looks at an aspect of empire moving along more or less chronologically. In this manner Judd paints a surprisingly comprehensive picture in very broad brush strokes.

What are the drawbacks? First, if you are interested in one portion of the Empire - be it a time period or an issue area, much of Judd's book will fall outside the particular area of concern. After all, the Empire goes on far longer that even the fringes of our list's period of interest. (Not that there isn't fascinating history to be read here.) Second, readers may find themselves feeling shorted as the very scope of the work means that some fascinating topics Judd opens up can't be chased down as far as would be preferred. However, if I were teaching an undergraduate class on the topic, I would give serious consideration to making this a required text.

Buy this book at: Amazon

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by Stephen Luscombe