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Trying to Make Decolonisation Look Good

Bernard Porter: The End of Empire

2 August 2007
Britain’s Declining Empire: The Road to Decolonisation, 1918-68 
by Ronald Hyam.
Cambridge, 464 pp., £17.99, February 2007, 978 0 521 68555 9
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The Last Thousand Days of the British Empire 
by Peter Clarke.
Allen Lane, 559 pp., August 2007, 978 0 7139 9830 6
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Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain’s Asian Empire 
by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper.
Allen Lane, 673 pp., £30, January 2007, 978 0 7139 9782 8
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... aims of the decolonisation strategy, from the moment the empire’s days were seen to be numbered, which was quite early on. Well, there is something in this – the ‘euthanasia’ scenario, as RonaldHyam calls it. It is true that most British politicians, and even colonial servants, quickly came round to ‘accepting the inevitable pleasantly’, as Attlee wished them to. They even accepted that ...

Jingoes

R.W. Johnson: Britain and South Africa since the Boer War

6 May 2004
The Lion and the Springbok: Britain and South Africa since the Boer War 
by Ronald Hyam and Peter Henshaw.
Cambridge, 379 pp., £45, May 2003, 0 521 82453 2
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... This book begins with real passion as RonaldHyam and Peter Henshaw lash into those historians who they believe have made unwarranted assumptions about the links between Britain and South Africa: to wit, that Britain fought the Boer War to get its ...
11 March 1993
Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... 1897 Indian ideas were rather old-fashioned even then, let alone forty and fifty years on, having been formed in back-country regimental messes rather than in fast Calcutta or practical Bombay. RonaldHyam (... and the British Empire) does better than Gopal on India, and he also does the rest. Still the roll goes interminably on: Robert O’Neill, Oxford’s Aussie-born Professor of War, does ‘C ...

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