This is a meticulous and energetic synthesis that has the hallmarks of Levine's scholarship: narrative cogency, attention to gender and sexuality and broad geographical sweep. For those convinced that the British Empire was acquired in a 'fit of absence of mind', this is a carefully plotted and empirically grounded rejoinder. Antoinette Burton, Catherine C. and Bruce A. Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
This is an excellent history. I am very impressed by its breadth, its readability, and the strong narrative that is produced of the rise and fall of the British Empire... The story is so complex that it is a triumph to make it so accessible. Professor Catherine Hall, University College London
Violent, powerful, vast: the British Empire affected everyone who lived within its sphere. Colonialism's impact could be felt in every aspect of life: food, language, work and education.
The empire is typically viewed as distant and tropical; by contrast, this book examines the effects of the empire on men, women and children across the globe: both those under imperial rule and those who implemented it. Looking beyond politics and diplomacy, Philippa Levine combines a traditional approach to colonial history with an investigation of the experience of living within the empire.
Spanning the period from Cromwell's rule to decolonization in the late twentieth century, and including an extensive chronology for ease of reference, Levine considers the impact of British rule for people in Africa, India and Australia, as well as for the English rulers, and for the Welsh, Scots and Irish who were subject to 'internal colonialism' under the English yoke. Imperialism often led to serious unrest; Levine examines the cruel side of imperialism's purportedly 'civilizing' mission unflinchingly.
Comprehensive, subtle and innovative, "The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset" tells the human story of colonialism alongside the political drama.
Philippa Levine is a professor at the University of Southern California. She has written and edited several books, including "Gender and Empire" (2004), "Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Veneral Disease in the British Empire" (2003), "Women's Suffrage in the British Empire "(2000) and "Feminist Lives in Victorian England "(1990).