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This is an auction for ORNAMENTALISM: HOW THE BRITISH SAW THEIR EMPIRE, by David Cannadine.

"This revisionist look at the British Empire argues that it was primarily based not on a conviction of racial superiority but, rather, on a vast and complex social hierarchy, in which rank trumped colour. Britain exported its élites—sending aristocrats, Gothic architecture, and pheasant as far afield as Australia—to create a simulacrum of Victorian society abroad, and also bolstered the status of indigenous rulers. Cannadine is excellent on the uses of pageantry and on the extremes it had reached by the 1920s."
- New Yorker

"Imperialism, Cannadine argues, was a vehicle that enabled the British to replicate and export their own "hierarchical social structure" to their colonies. This need was especially pressing as industrialism changed the social order in their own country. In some undeveloped nations, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the Britons could start to build this stratified society from scratch. In other regions, such as India, Africa, and the Far East, they simply worked to preserve the already established order, such as the "caste-based indigenous Indian society" and the rule of the "Malayan sultans and African Kings." Cannadine stresses that the British system was not about race but about class and status. The British viewed most of their own people as far beneath these foreign chiefs, sultans, and pashas. Inevitably, though, the dominions became increasingly unimpressed by the pomp, ceremony, and British authority, and as nationalism grew stronger, all vestiges of British rule came under attack."
- Library Journal (US)

Very favourable reviews on

Penguin paperback 2002.

264 pages.

Very good condition.

Photographs throughout.

The cost of shipping is $3.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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