John Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (Penguin, 2013)

unfinishedempire johndarwin

The British Empire shaped the world in countless ways: repopulating continents, carving out nations, imposing its own language, technology and values. For perhaps two centuries its expansion and final collapse were the single largest determinant of historical events, and it remains surrounded by myth, misconception and controversy today.

John Darwin's provocative and richly enjoyable book shows how diverse, contradictory and in many ways chaotic the British Empire really was, controlled by interests that were often at loggerheads, and as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength.


1 - Imagining Empire

2 - Making Contact

3 - Taking Possession

4 - Settling In

5 - Resorting to War

6 - Traffic and Trade

7 - Ruling Methods

8 - Acts of Rebellion

9 - Converts and Cultures

10 - Defending Empire

11 - Ending Empire

12 - The Last and Largest Empire?


John Darwin, Emeritus Professor of Global and Imperial History at Nuffield College and a Fellow of the British Academy, was the first Director of the Oxford Centre for Global History (2011-2012). His main field of interest has been in the history of empires, both their rise and fall, and in global history  the history of the movement of peoples, goods, ideas and information across the world and across national boundaries.


ISBN: 9781846140891