Empire of Crime
Organised Crime in the British Empire
In an age when our imperial legacy is being reassessed, this is a timely exploration of the illicit narcotics trade across the British Empire, especially following the 1908 ban on sales of opium from India to China. Tim Newark uses government files, personal letters and other documents to show how global trade routes became the setting for a turf war involving Shanghai smugglers, American drugbusters and Afghan criminal gangs.
Enemy on the Euphrates
The British Occupation of Iraq and the Great Arab Revolt 1914–1921
During the First World War the need for oil was central to Britain’s continuing occupation of Mesopotamia (present day Iraq). This book presents a full account of the Arab uprising between July 1920 and February 1921, which came very close to defeating the occupying British.
Last Children of the Raj
British Childhood in India, Volume 2: 1939–1950
Focusing on how the contributors fared during the Second World War and its aftermath, volume two of Laurence Fleming's anthology is organized chronologically and features accounts of perilous voyages out to India to escape the blitz in Britain, fleeing from Burma, the 1942 Bengal famine, and the horrors of partition. It includes a biography of each contributor and numerous black and white photographs.
Last Children of the Raj
British Childhoods in India, Vol I 1919 – 1939
From anecdotes about snakes in Madras and Christmas time in Bengal to memories of boarding school in Bombay and houseboat holidays in Kashmir, this first volume of Laurence Fleming's anthology is organized geographically and describes the trials and thrills that were integral to a British-Indian childhood during the final era of the Raj. It includes a biography of each contributor and numerous black and white photographs.
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books
Young Columbus and the Quest for a Universal Library
Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando Colón dreamed of creating a universal library to rival his father’s achievement by bringing order to the vast amount of information that was becoming available in the burgeoning age of print. This biography follows Hernando on travels with his father in the New World; on visits to the great European figures of the age; and on his quest to assemble, organize and catalogue an unprecedented collection of 15,000 books, ephemera, printed images and music.
Ribbons Among the Rajahs
A History of British Women in India Before the Raj
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, legions of women made the long, costly and hazardous journey to India, some accompanying husbands, others seeking a husband or employment, others still from a sense of adventure; but while the women of the Raj are familiar from literature, these pioneers are generally forgotten. Between the voyage out and their deaths in India, Patrick Wheeler’s social history offers an account of everyday life for these ‘Indian British’ women during the pre-imperial era.
Blood and Sand
Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
This detailed account of 16 days in late 1956 juxtaposes the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis (or Second Arab-Israeli War) which, though thousands of miles apart, were both driven by Cold War tensions and threatened the precarious stability between the USA and USSR. Alex von Tunzelmann’s tense narrative, which switches rapidly between locations (London, Tel Aviv, Washington, Budapest, etc.), describes the powerplay between protagonists, including Ben-Gurion, Eden, Eisenhower, Nasser and Nagy, which resulted in conspiracy, assassination and bloodshed.
We Die Like Brothers
The Sinking of the SS Mendi
On a foggy morning in 1917, a large British mail ship travelling dangerously fast off the Isle of Wight collided with SS Mendi, a steamship carrying more than 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLAC). The Mendi sank in 20 minutes, leaving few survivors. Drawing on recent archeological evidence from the wreck, the book reconsiders this terrible tragedy and tells the story of the SANLAC in the British war effort.
Imperial Boundary Making
The Diary of Captain Kelly and the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission of 1913
Written during the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission’s 1913 expedition by its leader, Harry Kelly, this day-by-day account gives rare insights into how imperial boundaries were drawn, and into the indigenous peoples encountered.
Race, Religion, and Law in Colonial India
Trials of an Interracial Family
Examining the story of a South Indian interracial family in the mid 19th century, this study addresses issues such as how British rule transformed persons from lower social classes and whether Indians could rise in the world by marrying Europeans.
The English Assault on the New World, 1497–1630
English colonizing efforts in North America were painfully unsuccessful in comparison with Spain's empire-building further south. Investigating the reasons for England's slow progress, Childs uses primary sources to examine vessels and voyages from Cabot's Matthew in 1497 to Winthrop's fleet in 1630; the unrealistic ambitions of promoters like Ralegh; the nature of the conflict with Native Americans; and the lack of leadership and co-operation that doomed English attempts to settle on the American coast to failure.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
My African Journey
Winston Churchill toured the British territories in East Africa in 1907, when he was Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, and his account of the journey reflects his serious interest in Africa, beyond the natural beauties of the landscape and the thrill of big-game hunting. His thoughts on settlement, race, government and, in particular, the role of the railways provide an intriguing insight into early 20th-century imperialism and African history. First published in 1909.
Bringers of War
The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail
Long before steamships and machine-tooled artillery, the Portuguese established an empire in Africa, capturing trading towns, seizing slaves and plundering mineral riches. This history describes how, between the 15th and the late 18th centuries, they fought their ancient Muslim foes, overthrew African kingdoms and resisted Dutch, Omani and Ottoman rivals in a quest for wealth and power as ruthless as the Spanish conquests in the Americas.