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For most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the British ruled over a colossal empire that stretched from one end of the map to the other. One cannot contemplate modern history without considering the role of the British Empire. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire is an illuminating survey of the development and impact of the British Empire from the end of the American Revolution to the present day. Against a background of striking illustrations, twelve experts on imperial history survey the experience of colonialism in North America, the Caribbean, India, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Asia. They emphasize social and cultural history: the movement of peoples, including slavery, and of ideas, including Christianity, art, and literature; the development of trade, transport, and urban life; the impact of imperialism on food, dress, and recreation; and the emergence of new national identities. Imperialism can be a contentious issue. While not seeking to avoid controversial topics, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire is by no means a nostalgic look at a bygone era. It is a lively document chronicling an important part of our cultural history. It will be of wide interest to history enthusiasts, students, and scholars alike.
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