Old World, New World: The Story of Britain and America by Kathleen Burk - review by Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Sandbrook

That Special Relationship

Old World, New World: The Story of Britain and America


Little, Brown 832pp £25

‘It is always a joy to me to meet an American, Mr Moulton,’ remarks Sherlock Holmes in a story first published in 1890, ‘for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a Minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.’ 

Not an enormously popular view, these days, of course, but then Conan Doyle was writing at a time when Anglo-Saxon racial brotherhood was all the rage, and when Britain would automatically have assumed the senior role in any putative transatlantic partnership. Indeed, as Kathleen Burk points out in her vast

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