Ghosts of Empire: Britain's Legacies in the Modern World

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PublicAffairs, Feb 7, 2012 - History - 480 pages
2 Reviews
Kwasi Kwarteng is the child of parents whose lives were shaped as subjects of the British Empire, first in their native Ghana, then as British immigrants. He brings a unique perspective and impeccable academic credentials to a narrative history of the British Empire, one that avoids sweeping judgmental condemnation and instead sees the Empire for what it was: a series of local fiefdoms administered in varying degrees of competence or brutality by a cast of characters as outsized and eccentric as anything conjured by Gilbert and Sullivan.

The truth, as Kwarteng reveals, is that there was no such thing as a model for imperial administration; instead, appointees were schooled in quirky, independent-minded individuality. As a result the Empire was the product not of a grand idea but of often chaotic individual improvisation. The idosyncracies of viceroys and soldier-diplomats who ran the colonial enterprise continues to impact the world, from Kashmir to Sudan, Baghdad to Hong Kong.

 

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User Review  - Fledgist - LibraryThing

Kwarteng looks at several cases of British imperial policy. How did Britain involve itself in Iraq, Kashmir, Sudan, Nigeria, Hong Kong, and Burma, and what has this meant for these countries and the ... Read full review

GREAT BOOK

User Review  - JIMBO1888 - Tesco

FANTASTIC SERVICE, FREE DELIVERY AND VERY PROMPT DELIVERY. VERY PLEASED, WILL DEFINATELY USE TESCO DIRECT AGAIN Read full review

Contents

Introduction to the US Edition
1
Rivals
29
Monarchy and Revolution
48
Saddam Hussein and Beyond
67
Land for Sale
89
The World of Sir Hari Singh
105
Deadlock
125
White Elephant
145
The Finest Body of Men
234
North and South
253
Indirect Rule
273
Yellow Sun
298
Hierarchies
327
Democracy Postponed
348
Red Dawn
369
Conclusion
391

The Road from Mandalay
165
Twilight over Burma
186
An Imperial Hero
211
Bibliography
433
Index
447
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Kwasi Kwarteng was born in London to Ghanaian parents in 1975. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won one of the University Classical Scholarships and graduated with a double first in Classics and History; and at Harvard University, where he spent a year as a Kennedy Scholar. He returned to Cambridge to complete a Ph.D in History, before working as an analyst for a hedge fund in London. He was recently elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament.

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