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Empires in the Sun

Empires in the Sun

In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. The continent was a magnet for the high-minded, the philanthropic, the unscrupulous and the insane. Visionary pro-consuls rub shoulders with missionaries, explorers, soldiers, adventurers, engineers, big-game hunters, entrepreneurs and physicians.

Eminent historian Lawrence James narrates how between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Italy exported their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems to Africa. The colonial powers imposed administrations designed to bring stability and peace to a continent that seemed to lack both. The justification for emancipation from slavery (and occupation) was the common assumption that the late nineteenth-century Europe was the summit of civilization. This magnificent history also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
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Genre: Humanities / History / African History / Regional & National History

On Sale: 2nd November 2017

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9781780226187

Reviews

He writes as well as ever and is a sure-footed guide.
Edward Paice, THE SPECTATOR
'A brisk, colourful account of the past 200 years of African history . . . A good informative read'
EVENING STANDARD
[A] compelling, even-handed and masterful narrative
Saul David, LITERARY REVIEW
'The Second World War points back towards a colonial past in Africa, to bygone scrambles for imperial power. It also glances forward to decolonisation. This global conflict is at the centre of Lawrence James's excellent survey of African history from 1830 to 1990 . . . Empires in the Sun is a brisk, well-written and jaunty account of European empire-building in Africa . . . Intrigue and devious political calculations propel the fast-moving narrative . . . The book is a timely reminder of the complexity of international politics, and the nuanced balance of forces that have shaped our modern world'
Kwasi Kwarteng, THE TIMES