books of the month
Search our site
White Bodies by Jane Robins Read the opening extract of the brand new Jane Robins book before its publication on 03/05/2018

Ten Cities that Made an Empire by Tristram Hunt
  

Ten Cities that Made an Empire


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. This ingenious book explores the changing character of British imperialism through its architecture and civic institutions, street names, fortifications and places of worship. Avoiding the issues of whether empires were simplistically ‘good’ or ‘bad’, Hunt’s history of colonialism suggests a more diffuse process of exchange, interaction and adaptation. Hunt explores the intimate geography and complex history of ten cities – from Boston, Bridgetown and Bombay to Cape Town and Calcutta – showing how diverse the reasons for expansion were. He takes the reader from the Puritan settlement of Massachusetts during the reign of Charles I to the dismay of Prince Charles having to oversee the handover of Hong Kong nearly three centuries later.
~

Synopsis

Ten Cities that Made an Empire by Tristram Hunt

From Tristram Hunt, award-winning author of The Frock-Coated Communist and leading UK politician, Ten Cities that Made an Empire presents a new approach to Britain's imperial past through the cities that epitomised it Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and the end days of Empire, Britain's colonial past has been the subject of passionate debate. Tristram Hunt goes beyond the now familiar arguments about Empire being good or bad and adopts a fresh approach to Britain's empire and its legacy. Through an exceptional array of first-hand accounts and personal reflections, he portrays the great colonial and imperial cities of Boston, Bridgetown, Dublin, Cape Town, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Bombay, Melbourne, New Delhi, and twentieth-century Liverpool: their architecture, culture, and society balls; the famines, uprisings and repressions which coursed through them; the primitive accumulation and ghostly bureaucracy which ran them; the British supremacists and multicultural trailblazers who inhabited them. From the pioneers of early America to the builders of modern India, from west to east and back again, Hunt follows the processes of exchange and adaptation that collectively moulded the colonial experience and which in their turn transformed the culture, economy and identity of the British Isles. This vivid and richly detailed imperial story, located in ten of the most important cities which the Empire constructed, demolished, reconstructed and transformed, allows us a new understanding of the British Empire's influence upon the world and the world's influence upon it. Praise for The Frock-Coated Communist: 'Beautifully written and consistently engaging' - Independent 'An excellent book ... Hunt has a mastery of 19th-century British culture and European political thought' - Robert Service, Sunday Times 'Thoughtful and engaging' - Telegraph Review

Reviews

A grand history of the British empire ... this is a book about ideas, for all that it is rich in architectural description, economic fact and colourful anecdote ... well-written, cleverly constructed and beautifully balanced -- James McConnachie * Spectator * A fascinating and readable book -- Justin Huggler * Independent * Ingenious and timely ... Hunt skilfully constructs his itinerary to provide a lively and cliche-busting survey of imperial history ... he uses the urban lens to terrific effect -- Maya Jasanoff * Guardian * An original and inventive approach to tackling empire ... This is a book which is experienced through the life on the streets, in the buildings and across the physical layout of large urban centres, where jostled men and women of different races and creeds ... readable and engaging ... It is a work of great ambition ... impressive -- Kwasi Kwarteng * Standpoint *


About the Author

Tristram Hunt is one of Britain's best-known historians. Since 2010 he has been MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, and in October 2013 was made Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He is a senior lecturer in British history at Queen Mary, University of London, and has written numerous series for radio and television. His previous books include Building Jerusalem and The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, published in more than a dozen languages.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

4th June 2015

Author

Tristram Hunt

More books by Tristram Hunt
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
544 pages

Categories

Colonialism & imperialism
General & world history

ISBN

9780141047782

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.

Sue Burton

Lovereading are lovely people who send me lovely books. What's not to love?

Gavin Dimmock

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading does a stella job in promoting both new and established authors.

Iris Clements

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools