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How Empire Shaped Us (Paperback)
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How Empire Shaped Us (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
£21.99
Paperback 232 Pages / Published: 28/01/2016
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Few historical subjects have generated such intense and sustained interest in recent decades as Britain's imperial past. What accounts for this preoccupation? Why has it gained such purchase on the historical imagination? How has it endured even as its subject slips further into the past? In seeking to answer these questions, the proposed volume brings together some of the leading figures in the field, historians of different generations, different nationalities, different methodological and theoretical perspectives and different ideological persuasions. Each addresses the relationship between their personal development as historians of empire and the larger forces and events that helped to shape their careers. The result is a book that investigates the connections between the past and the present, the private and the public, the professional practices of historians and the political environments within which they take shape. This intellectual genealogy of the recent historiography of empire will be of great value to anyone studying or researching in the field of imperial history.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781474222976
Number of pages: 232
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
How Empire Shaped Us ... provides fascinating insights into the production of British imperial history at the intersections of the personal, political, and intellectual. As such, it offers a flavor of the personal investments, the embodied experiences, and the political passion that goes into intellectual labor, all of which get lost in the more traditional, historiographical accounts. * Victorian Studies *
At the heart of How Empire Shaped Us, then, is an ongoing effort to renew imperial history by unsettling it-to distance the field from its imperialist origins through the pursuit of methodological and perspectival pluralism. * Journal of World History *
[This is] a stimulating and welcome book ... A rich and rewarding collection. * Life Writing *
Read together, the essays provide a fascinating time-line of more than half a century ... Because of the accessible style and length of the essays, the book may well provide undergraduate students with a fresh entry point from which to familiarise themselves with the historiography and contentions of imperial history ... A rich and absorbing collection. * Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History *
We get vividly presented the evolution of the discourse from its relatively simple beginnings to recent nuanced complexity ... This is the new history. * Australian Journal of Politics and History *
A dazzling line-up of academic heavy weights offer insights and vignettes to explain how they came to do what they do and write what they write. * Twentieth Century British History *
This collection serves as a wonderful introduction to the broad field of British imperial history through the career-narratives of several generations of leading historians working on many different regions of the world. A valuable resource for students and scholars alike, it shows how the writing of imperial history was transformed in the aftermath of decolonization, and highlights the rich diversity of contemporary approaches to rewriting the history of the British empire. * Robert Travers, Cornell University, USA *
A beautiful, insightful collection in which distinguished historians of empire reflect on the private and personal dynamics of their becoming - often against all odds - modern chroniclers of the imperial past. As an experiment in collective life-writing, it's a book that excavates the deep, subjective reservoirs which underwrite the histories we know as decolonization. The connections between the past and the present, and the public and the private, intermingle in these pages, generating wonderfully unexpected vignettes. For our own dark times, the plurality of voices recorded here present a dazzling vindication of the practices of history. * Bill Schwarz, Queen Mary, University of London, UK *
Antoinette Burton and Dane Kennedy have hit upon the wonderfully original idea of asking fifteen other historians of the British Empire to contribute (along with them) essays on why and how they came to work on this vast topic, and on how empire has impacted on their own respective lives and careers. Scholars rarely get invited to attempt autobiography, and this explains some of the marked freshness and sense of involvement of the pieces gathered together here. But these are not exercises in self-indulgence. Rather, we are introduced to a sequence of scholars - born over a space of fifty years - who address different parts of the Empire and espouse different methodologies, and we learn about how the accidents of birth, place, friendships, chosen mentors, and influential books can all shape the minds and choices of historians. An absorbing read. * Linda J. Colley, Princeton University, USA *

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