The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World (Hardback)Linda Colley (author)
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Impressive in scope and originality and incisively challenging the accepted narratives, Colley’s fascinating global history explores how written constitutions and new modes of governance formed around the world in the wake of mass literacy and mass warfare.
Starting not with the United States, but with the Corsican constitution of 1755, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen moves through every continent, disrupting accepted narratives. Both monarchs and radicals play a role, from Catherine the Great of Russia, with her remarkable Nakaz, to Sierra Leone's James Africanus Horton, to Tunisia's Khayr-al-Din, a creator of the first modern Islamic constitution.
Throughout, Colley demonstrates how constitutions evolved in tandem with warfare, and how they have functioned to advance empire as well as promote nations, and worked to exclude as well as liberate.
Whether reinterpreting Japan's momentous 1889 constitution, or exploring the significance of the first constitution to enfranchise all adult women on Pitcairn Island in the Pacific in 1838, this is one of the most original global histories in decades.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 512
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 44 mm
'One of the most exciting historians of her generation, but also one of the most interesting writers of non-fiction around.' - William Dalrymple, The Guardian
'Linda Colley is a historian of her time; but she is also a completely original intelligence' - R. F. Foster
'A book of stupendous range and originality, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen delivers an ambitious new account of the making of the modern world. Linda Colley has an unparalleled ability to bring together the histories of ideas, politics, and people, and to distill prodigious learning into a narrative that is at once incisively argued and an immense pleasure to read. Rippling with fresh interpretations, startling connections, and remarkable stories, this is a masterpiece of global history by one of the greatest historians working today.' - Maya Jasanoff, Harvard University
'Rarely is a history so satisfyingly broad in outlook while avoiding abstraction and generalisation. It is rich, enjoyable, enlightening and imaginative. Colley takes you on intellectual journeys you wouldn't think to take on your own, and when you arrive you wonder that you never did it before.' - David Aaronovitch, The Times
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