The Routledge History of Western Empires

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Robert Aldrich, Kirsten McKenzie
Routledge, Dec 4, 2013 - History - 526 pages

The Routledge History of Western Empires is an all new volume focusing on the history of Western Empires in a comparative and thematic perspective. Comprising of thirty-three original chapters arranged in eight thematic sections, the book explores European overseas expansion from the Age of Discovery to the Age of Decolonisation.

Studies by both well-known historians and new scholars offer fresh, accessible perspectives on a multitude of themes ranging from colonialism in the Arctic to the scramble for the coral sea, from attitudes to the environment in the East Indies to plans for colonial settlement in Australasia. Chapters examine colonial attitudes towards poisonous animals and the history of colonial medicine, evangelisaton in Africa and Oceania, colonial recreation in the tropics and the tragedy of the slave trade.

The Routledge History of Western Empires ranges over five centuries and crosses continents and oceans highlighting transnational and cross-cultural links in the imperial world and underscoring connections between colonial history and world history. Through lively and engaging case studies, contributors not only weigh in on historiographical debates on themes such as human rights, religion and empire, and the ‘taproots’ of imperialism, but also illustrate the various approaches to the writing of colonial history. A vital contribution to the field.


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Why colonialism?
Mapping the imperial turn
Planning empire
Locations of empire
People of empire
Imperial sciences
Imperial spaces
Imperial cultures
Making and unmaking empire

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About the author (2013)

Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Vestiges of the Colonial Empire in France: Museums, Monuments and Colonial Memories (2005) and Gay Life Stories (2012) and editor of The Age of Empires (2007).

Kirsten Mckenzie is Associate Professor of History at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Scandal in the Colonies: Sydney and Cape Town, 1820 – 1850 (2004) and A Swindler’s Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty (2009).

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