A HISTORY OF BRITAIN, VOLUME III: The Fate of Empire, 1776–2000

Simon Schama, Author . Hyperion/Miramax $40 (576p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6899-5

Renowned historian Schama has done it again with the third and final volume of this magnificent work, displaying his gift for combining scholarship and grace in a highly accessible narrative. Schama begins with the French Revolution and the "back to nature" philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that made such an indelible impression on Britain. Radicals such as Tom Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft demanded revolutionary changes to Britain's oligarchic government. The big question on everyone's lips was: Would Britain experience European-style, violent revolution? As Schama makes clear, Britain settled for incrementalism instead. Schama examines the omnipresent urge for political and social reform by devoting much of the middle part of the book to the evolving role of women. He gives us an array of Victorian female pioneers, from photographer Julia Margaret Cameron to Dr. Elizabeth Garrett, who were part of a network of social reformers seeking to ameliorate the lives of the poor. This reformist, "civilizing mission" also spread to the empire, as exemplified here by Thomas Babington Macaulay, who believed the British would eradicate poverty and ignorance in India. The natives, however, often held a differing view of British "civilization." Schama skillfully describes the 1857 Sepoy Revolt in India, and also depicts the horrors of massive famines there and in Ireland. Looking at the last century's gradual decolonization and imperial decline, Schama masterfully recounts the lives of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, who he says personify Britain's "difficult" 20th century. Schama has written a delightfully readable book that should be mandatory for anyone interested in British history. Color and b&w illus. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 12/01/2002
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-7868-6675-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-636-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-637-5
Hardcover - 544 pages - 978-0-7868-6752-3
Video, VHS Format - 978-0-7670-3369-5
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4090-1832-2
Hardcover - 978-0-7868-6763-9
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4090-1824-7
Hardcover - 978-0-563-47759-4
Hardcover - 544 pages - 978-0-563-53747-2
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-563-48714-2
Hardcover - 447 pages - 978-0-563-48719-7
Hardcover - 328 pages - 978-0-7540-5669-0
Hardcover - 978-0-563-52109-9
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.