Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others

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OUP Oxford, Mar 27, 2008 - History - 288 pages
The history of the world has been the history of peoples on the move, as they occupy new lands and establish their claims over them. Almost invariably, this has meant the violent dispossession of the previous inhabitants. Whether it is the Normans in England, the Chinese in Tibet, the Germans in Poland, the Indonesians in West Papua, or the British and Americans in North America, the claiming of other people's lands and the supplanting of one people by another has shaped the history of societies from the ancient past to the present day. David Day tells the story of how this happened - the ways in which invaders have triumphed and justified conquest which, as he shows is a bloody and often prolonged process that can last centuries. And while each individual conquest is ultimately unique, nevertheless they often share a number of qualities, from the re-naming of the conquered land and the invention of myth to justify what has taken place, to the exploitation of the conquered resources and people, and even to the outright slaughter of the original inhabitants. Above all, as Day shows in this hugely bold and ambitious book, conquest can have deep and long-lasting consequences - for the conquered, the conquerors, and for the wider course of world history.

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1 Staking a Legal Claim
2 The Power of Maps
3 Claiming by Naming
4 Supplanting the Savages
5 By Right of Conquest
6 Defending the Conquered Territory
7 Foundation Stories
8 Tilling the Soil
9 The Genocidal Imperative
10 Peopling the Land
11 The NeverEnding Journey
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About the author (2008)

David Day is Visiting Professor at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies, University of Tokyo. He was previously Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin and a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. His many books include best-selling histories of the Second World War, prize-winning biographies, and a study of Winston Churchill and Robert Menzies that is presently being made into a television documentary. He has also written a highly-praised history of Australia, Claiming a Continent. His bookshave won or been short-listed for major literary prizes and have been translated into several languages.

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