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Imperial Island

A History of Empire in Modern Britain

Charlotte Lydia Riley



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Bodley Head
28 November 2023
A new history of modern Britain that makes sense of its contradictions today

Imperial Island shows how empire, its disintegration and its ever-present aftermath have profoundly shaped the British people, their culture, society and politics, throughout the last seventy years.

Drawing on a mass of new research, from personal letters to pop culture, it tells a story of immigration and fractured identity, of social strife and communal solidarity, of people on the move and of a people wrestling with their past.

It is the story that best explains Britain today.
Imprint:   Bodley Head
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   460g
ISBN:   9781847926449
ISBN 10:   1847926444
Pages:   384
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Out of Print

Charlotte Lydia Riley is a lecturer in twentieth-century British history at the University of Southampton, whose writing has appeared in New Statesman, Prospect, Dazed, New Humanist, Popula, Progressive Review, History Today and the BBC World Histories magazine. She co-hosts a podcast, Tomorrow Never Knows, in which she and Emma Lundin discuss feminism, pop culture, politics and history. Her Twitter feed @lottelydia has almost 35,000 followers, and she writes a regular column in Tribune about modern history, British identity and the left. She has a doctorate from UCL and taught previously at LSE and the University of York.

Reviews for Imperial Island: A History of Empire in Modern Britain

A masterful, ingeniously written telling of Britain's real history, stripped of its sugarcoating. Read this incisive and forensic book, and you won't look at Britain in the same way ever again -- OWEN JONES Incisive, important, and incredibly timely. An urgent and necessary account for anyone wanting to understand how Britain became the nation it is today -- Caroline Elkins, author of Legacy of Violence Imperial Island shows us that Empire's legacy is soaked into Britain's landscapes and built into its cities and inescapably in the country's national DNA. An eye-opening study of the Empire within -- Shashi Tharoor, author of Inglorious Empire Charlotte Lydia Riley radically retells a stale old story in her clear, bold, refreshing voice. Skilfully, inexorably and powerfully, she builds up a picture that's been hiding in plain sight for far too long -- Lucy Worsley, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and author of Agatha Christie Imperial Island is a marvellous account of how the empire made modern Britain. With an eye that ranges from popular culture to the highbrow, from high politics to the household, Charlotte Riley's book is a thought-provoking delight that absolutely everyone should read -- Stephen Bush, columnist for the Financial Times

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