A Cultural History of the British Empire


You are viewing an older version of the Yalebooks website. Please visit out new website with more updated information and a better user experience: https://www.yalebooks.com

John MacKenzie

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $65.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

A compelling history of British imperial culture, showing how it was adopted and subverted by colonial subjects around the world

As the British Empire expanded across the globe, it exported more than troops and goods. In every colony, imperial delegates dispersed British cultural forms. Facilitated by the rapid growth of print, photography, film, and radio, imperialists imagined this new global culture would cement the unity of the empire. But this remarkably wide-ranging spread of ideas had unintended and surprising results.
In this groundbreaking history, John M. MacKenzie examines the importance of culture in British imperialism. MacKenzie describes how colonized peoples were quick to observe British culture—and adapted elements to their own ends, subverting British expectations and eventually beating them at their own game. As indigenous communities integrated their own cultures with the British imports, the empire itself was increasingly undermined.
From the extraordinary spread of cricket and horse racing to statues and ceremonies, MacKenzie presents an engaging imperial history—one with profound implications for global culture in the present day.

John M. MacKenzie is professor emeritus of imperial history at Lancaster University, where he pioneered the study of popular and cultural imperialism. His books include Museums and Empire and The British Empire Through Buildings.

“MacKenzie has mobilised his formidable knowledge of the many dimensions of an imperial culture rooted in racial hierarchies and designed to secure white power – from ceremonials and sports to the arts and the press – to tell a dynamic story of how colonised and indigenous peoples challenged and disrupted these practices, reconfiguring them to new purposes for new times.”—Catherine Hall, author of Macaulay and Son

“Makes a compelling case for the reassessment of Britain's 'informal imperialism' through various forms of culture. This is the definitive work on the reproduction, imposition, appropriation, and reinvention of British culture in the Empire at large.”—Souvik Naha, University of Glasgow

“MacKenzie’s deep scholarship, honed over a lifetime of pioneering work, is on dazzling show in this lively survey of imperial culture and cultural imperialism. His timely reminder that protest against commemorative statuary is far from new is just one of the important insights sprinkled throughout this important work.”—Philippa Levine, author of The British Empire

“MacKenzie is one of the most influential imperial historians of all times. This magnum opus is the perfect capstone for those familiar with his work, and the essential introduction for readers exploring British imperial culture for the first time.”—Ashley Jackson, author of Mad Dogs and Englishmen

“A useful and knowledgable primer…Tensions, ambiguities and unintended consequences are resonant in John M. MacKenzie’s synoptic history of British imperial culture, which explores ceremony, sport, art, architecture and the mediums of print, radio and film from all sides of the imperial divide.”—Paul Lay, The Daily Telegraph

ISBN: 9780300260786
Publication Date: December 6, 2022
432 pages, 6 x 9 1/4
32 color + 10 b/w illus.