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

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

A grand account of the evolution of empire from its origins in ancient Rome to its most recent twentieth-century embodiment, The Rule of Empires explores the historical reality of subjugation and exposes the true limits of imperial power.

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ISBN 9780199931156
Barcode 9780199931156
Published 15 August 2012 by Oxford University Press (S3)
Format Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (1 other possible title(s) available)
Author(s) By Parsons, Timothy
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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780199931156
ISBN-10 0199931151
Stock Available
Status Available at publisher; ships 6-14 working days
Publisher Oxford University Press (S3)
Imprint Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date 15 August 2012
International Publication Date 1 September 2012
Publication Country United States United States
Format Paperback
Author(s) By Parsons, Timothy
Category Non-Fiction (Child / Teen)
Political Structure & Processes
Number of Pages 496
Dimensions Width: 165mm
Height: 237mm
Spine: 33mm
Weight 658g
Interest Age 19+ years
Reading Age 19+ years
Library of Congress Colonies - History, Colonization - History, Imperialism - History
NBS Text History: World & General
ONIX Text College/higher education;Professional and scholarly
Dewey Code 321.0309
Catalogue Code 303604

Description of this Book

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. Using imperial examples that stretch from ancient Rome to Britain's new imperialism in Kenya to the Third Reich, Parsons considers 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 a 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.

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review <br> A lucid, cold-eyed analysis of the mechanics of imperial control. The result is a compelling critique of empires past and of their latter-day nostalgists. --Publishers Weekly<p><br> Parsons, an Africanist by training, samples instructive imperial experiences: Roman Britain, Muslim Spain, Spanish Peru, the East India Company in Italy, Napoleonic Italy, British Kenya, and Vichy France. --Charles S. Maie, Foreign Affairs<p><br> Parsons sets an ambitious agenda for his case study on empires and largely succeeds. Explicitly setting out to counter the neoimperialist historiography of the last decade, Parsons uses a series of historic imperial episodes to illustrate the limits of empire and explain why empires subsequently fall... Students of empire, historical or otherwise, would be well advised to read this book... Highly recommended. --Choice<p><br>
UK Review Bertrams Star Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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Author's Bio

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.

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