The Rule of Empires
15%
off

The Rule of Empires : Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall

3.28 (52 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

In The Rule of Empires, Timothy Parsons gives a sweeping account of the evolution of empire from its origins in ancient Rome to its most recent twentieth-century embodiment. He explains what constitutes an empire and offers suggestions about what empires of the past can tell us about our own historical moment. Parsons uses imperial examples that stretch from ancient Rome, to Britain's "new" imperialism in Kenya, to the Third Reich to parse the features common to all empires, their evolutions and self-justifying myths, and the reasons for their inevitable decline. Parsons argues that far from confirming some sort of Darwinian hierarchy of advanced and primitive societies, conquests were simply the products of a temporary advantage in military technology, wealth, and political will. Beneath the self-justifying rhetoric of benevolent paternalism and cultural superiority lay economic exploitation and the desire for power. Yet imperial ambitions still appear viable in the twenty-first century, Parsons shows, because their defenders and detractors alike employ abstract and romanticized perspectives that fail to grasp the historical reality of subjugation. Writing from the perspective of the common subject rather than that of the imperial conquerors, Parsons offers a historically grounded cautionary tale rich with accounts of subjugated peoples throwing off the yoke of empire time and time again. In providing an accurate picture of what it is like to live as a subject, The Rule of Empires lays bare the rationalizations of imperial conquerors and their apologists and exposes the true limits of hard power.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 496 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 40.64mm | 861.82g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195304314
  • 9780195304312
  • 438,691

About Timothy Parsons

Timothy Parsons is a Professor of African History at Washington University. He is the author many books, including The British Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A World History Perspective, and The 1964 Army Mutinies and the Making of Modern East Africa.show more

Review quote

Parsons aims, laudably, to correct the imbalances... apologists of empire have introduced in readers' minds. * Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Times Literary Supplement *show more

Rating details

52 ratings
3.28 out of 5 stars
5 13% (7)
4 29% (15)
3 37% (19)
2 15% (8)
1 6% (3)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X