Globish : How the English Language Became the World's Language

3.25 (542 ratings by Goodreads)
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It seems impossible: a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the nineteenth century. Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation, across the Atlantic, grows into the military and cultural colossus of the twentieth century. How? By the sword, of course; by trade and industrial ingenuity; but principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their common language.

In this provocative and compelling new look at the course of empire, Robert McCrum, coauthor of the best-selling book and television series The Story of English, shows how the language of the Anglo-American imperium has become the world's lingua franca. In fascinating detail he describes the ever-accelerating changes wrought on the language by the far-flung cultures claiming citizenship in the new hegemony. In the twenty-first century, writes the author, English + Microsoft = Globish.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 352 pages
  • 168 x 244 x 28mm | 640g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0393062554
  • 9780393062557
  • 581,487

Back cover copy

"Robert McCrum argues, brilliantly and provocatively, that England's greatest contribution to the world is English. The empire may be gone. But Globish explains why the language still rules."--Malcolm Gladwell

Praise for P. G. Wodehouse: A Life:

"For as long as P.G. Wodehouse is read, this will be the seminal work of reference, the indispensable vade mecum. In other words--as the Master might say--'ripping.' "--John le Carré

"McCrum . . . has written a biography that, if the subject were a general or a politician, would be dubbed 'magisterial.' This is a magisterial biography: disinterested, but never detached, and always intriguing. Under the kindly and scholarly tutelage of McCrum, you might want to explore here the Wodehouse genius, the inconsistencies and downright silliness in the man's life."--Frank McCourt, Globe and Mail

"[An] absorbing and generous biography, which now takes its rightful place as 'the life.' "--Christopher Buckley, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"This book is a triumph. Not only should all P. G. Wodehouse fans read it, but it is a masterly picture of twentieth-century history."--A. N. Wilson
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About Robert McCrum

Robert McCrum is the associate editor of The Observer and lives in London with his wife, Sarah Lyall. His books include the bestselling The Story of English, My Year Off, Wodehouse: A Life, and Globish.
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Rating details

542 ratings
3.25 out of 5 stars
5 14% (74)
4 27% (144)
3 36% (196)
2 19% (101)
1 5% (27)
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