Saul David

Better Than The Romans

The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781–1997

By

Jonathan Cape 788pp £25 order from our bookshop

It is hard to read this brilliant book and not agree with Edward Gibbon, its inspiration, who wrote: ‘The history of empires is the history of human misery.’ The reason, explains Piers Brendon, is that ‘the initial subjugation is invariably savage and the subsequent occupation is usually repressive. Imperial powers lack legitimacy and govern irresponsibly, relying on arms, diplomacy and propaganda’. 

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