Author(s): Tristram Hunt
From Tristram Hunt, award-winning author of The Frock-Coated Communist and leading UK politician, Ten Cities that Made an Empire presents a new approach to Britain's imperial past through the cities that epitomised it. Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and the end days of Empire, Britain's colonial past has been the subject of passionate debate. Tristram Hunt goes beyond the now familiar arguments about Empire being good or bad and adopts a fresh approach to Britain's empire and its legacy. Through an exceptional array of first-hand accounts and personal reflections, he portrays the great colonial and imperial cities of Boston, Bridgetown, Dublin, Cape Town, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Bombay, Melbourne, New Delhi, and twentieth-century Liverpool: their architecture, culture, and society balls; the famines, uprisings and repressions which coursed through them; the primitive accumulation and ghostly bureaucracy which ran them; the British supremacists and multicultural trailblazers who inhabited them. From the pioneers of early America to the builders of modern India, from west to east and back again, Hunt follows the processes of exchange and adaptation that collectively moulded the colonial experience and which in their turn transformed the culture, economy and identity of the British Isles. This vivid and richly detailed imperial story, located in ten of the most important cities which the Empire constructed, demolished, reconstructed and transformed, allows us a new understanding of the British Empire's influence upon the world and the world's influence upon it. TRISTRAM HUNT is one of Britain's best known historians. Since 2010 he has been the MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, and in October 2013 was made Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He is a senior lecturer in British history at Queen Mary, University of London, and has written numerous series for radio and television. He is also a regular contributor to the Times, Guardian and Observer. His previous books include The English Civil War at First Hand, Building Jerusalem, and The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, which was published in more than a dozen languages. Praise for The Frock-Coated Communist: "Beautifully written and consistently engaging". (Independent). "An excellent book ...Hunt has a mastery of 19th-century British culture and European political thought". (Robert Service, Sunday Times). "Thoughtful and engaging". (Telegraph Review).
A grand history of the British empire ... this is a book about ideas, for all that it is rich in architectural description, economic fact and colourful anecdote ... well-written, cleverly constructed and beautifully balanced -- James McConnachie Spectator A fascinating and readable book -- Justin Huggler Independent Ingenious and timely ... Hunt skilfully constructs his itinerary to provide a lively and cliche-busting survey of imperial history ... he uses the urban lens to terrific effect -- Maya Jasanoff Guardian An original and inventive approach to tackling empire ... This is a book which is experienced through the life on the streets, in the buildings and across the physical layout of large urban centres, where jostled men and women of different races and creeds ... readable and engaging ... It is a work of great ambition ... impressive -- Kwasi Kwarteng Standpoint
Tristram Hunt is one of Britain's best-known historians. Since 2010 he has been MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, and in October 2013 was made Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He is a senior lecturer in British history at Queen Mary, University of London, and has written numerous series for radio and television. His previous books include Building Jerusalem and The Frock-Coated Communist: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, published in more than a dozen languages.