The present American "empire" is often compared with the British one of yore-not surprising in view of the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq were once British imperial stamping grounds, too. But how alike are the two empires really? What are the connections between them? And what can we learn from the comparison?
In this compellingly written book, a leading historian of the British empire explores these questions in depth for the first time. Bernard Porter finds that Britain and America had uncannily similar imperial histories before the present day, but that now considerable differences exist. He argues that post-2001 American imperialism is an imperialism of a different sort--a "super-imperialism" that no longer repeats British imperialism but now transcends it.
Porter's comparison illuminates British imperialism, including Tony Blair's; the American version of imperialism administered under George W. Bush; and the relation of imperialism to such phenomena as capitalism, globalization, free trade, and international security. His insights are often surprising and always original and thought-provoking.
Bernard Porter is Emeritus Professor of History, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Widely known for his works on empire and British history, he is the author of The Lion's Share among many other books.