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The Isles: A History (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Norman Davies
3.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (9 Kundenrezensionen)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

When did British history begin, and where will it all end? These controversial issues are tackled head-on in Norman Davies' polemical and persuasive survey of the four countries that in modern times have become known as the British Isles. Covering 10 millennia in just over a thousand pages, from "Cheddar Man" to New Labour, Davies shows how relatively recent was the formation of the English state--no earlier than Tudor times--and shows too how a sense of Britishness only emerged with the coming of empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. A historian of Poland and the author of an acclaimed history of Europe, Davies is especially sensitive to the complex mixing and merging of tribes and races, languages and traditions, conquerors and colonised which has gone on throughout British history and which in many ways makes "our island story" much more like that of the rest of Europe than we usually think. Many myths of the English are dispelled in this book and many historians are taken to task for their blinkered Anglo-centrism. But the book ends on an upbeat note, with Davies welcoming Britain's return to the heart of Europe at the dawn of the new millennium. --Miles Taylor

Amazon.co.uk

When did British history begin, and where will it all end? These controversial issues are tackled head-on in Norman Davies' polemical and persuasive survey of the four countries that in modern times have become known as the British Isles. Covering 10 millennia in just over a thousand pages, from "Cheddar Man" to New Labour, Davies shows how relatively recent was the formation of the English state--no earlier than Tudor times--and shows too how a sense of Britishness only emerged with the coming of empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. A historian of Poland and the author of an acclaimed history of Europe, Davies is especially sensitive to the complex mixing and merging of tribes and races, languages and traditions, conquerors and colonised which has gone on throughout British history and which in many ways makes "our island story" much more like that of the rest of Europe than we usually think. Many myths of the English are dispelled in this book and many historians are taken to task for their blinkered Anglo-centrism. But the book ends on an upbeat note, with Davies welcoming Britain's return to the heart of Europe at the dawn of the new millennium. --Miles Taylor

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 9083 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 1120 Seiten
  • Verlag: Macmillan; Auflage: New Ed (4. September 2008)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B003GK22Z2
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (9 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #70.194 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Kundenrezensionen

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A flawed masterpiece 3. März 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Mr Davies' book is an excellent introduction to the history of the British Isles. The author is at pains to use terms like "British" and "English" only in their proper contexts, and is so careful to avoid anachronism that he refers to historical figures and places only by the names current at the time. King William I, for example, is "Guillaume" in the book. The separate and inter-dependent histories of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are treated in depth. Unfortunately, the book is marred by several egregious errors of fact; notably the assertion on page 905 (hardback) that the Irish civil war was won by Eamon de Valera's anti-treaty forces. The edition I read also suffered from a lack of proofreading that showed up on almost every page. The concluding chapter on the "Post-Imperial Isles" consists of a series of essays documenting various strands of modern society. These essays are very strongly informed by events of the late 1990s and are somewhat out of keeping with the overall scope of the work. All in all however, for the tolerant reader this book is a most enjoyable route to a solid knowledge of British history.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen More than meets the eye 30. Dezember 2005
Format:Taschenbuch
The British Isles are a unique geographical location in the world, having been provided by nature with advantages and problems unique in the world, and peopled by various groups who have worked together and against one another for domination of the Isles. Only for the briefest periods in history did the Isles truly represent a unified group, and even these times were more of an appearance of unity rather than actual unification.
Norman Davies, author of the critically acclaimed `Europe: A History', has put together an interesting history of the British Isles, trying to portray them as a group that, while lacking unity, should be at least addressed as a unified group, always influencing and co-dependent upon each other.
Davies is rather modest in his self-description of the book:
`This book necessarily presents a very personal view of history. Indeed, by some academic standards, it may well be judged thoroughly unsound. As I wrote in relation to a previous work, it presents the past 'seen through one pair of eyes, filtered by one brain, and recorded by one pen'. It has been assembled by an author who, though being a British citizen and a professional historian, has no special expertise in the British historical field.'
Davies self-criticism is really far too strongly expressed here, for he does an admirably thorough job at documentation, reporting, and theorising. Taking a cue from other historians who worry about the increasing lack of historical knowledge of the general public coupled with the increasing specialisation which causes people to lose proper perspective, Davies has put together a comprehensive history of the British Isles which strives to escape at least some of the problems of previous histories.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen some subjects are too big for one volume 23. Juli 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Davies book is massive, which is necessary for a topic as large as History of British Isles from the beginning. Much of his early history adds light to a poorly understood topic & seems worthwhile. When we get to more modern times, in my view he seems to want to pile on history of various different institutions with only passing reference to people. For example there are discussions of British common law, the evolving importance and then waning of importance of the Royal Navy, the size of the British Armed forces including the Army, the history of Imperial measures such as pounds and the mile ( as opposed to the metric system). Yet he has only minimal mention of such figures in the evolution of the British Empire as Clive or Cecil Rhodes. When he does mention them, it is often grouped together with others as part of an abstract discussion of some general trend. There are brief discussions of some of the key explorers of this century, Scott of the Antarctic, Mallory , the team of Hillary and Norgay on Everest. Davies correctly summarizes the failure of Scott to learn how to use specialized equipment, such as dogsleds, as being the key to his failure while Amundsen succeeded. There is a great deal of discussion of the fact that the Royal Family are of German extraction, that the only thing about Diana that they did not criticize was her Englishness. I think many people would find a book more satisfying that spoke somewhat more about stories of individuals and less about the evolution of institutions as abstract concepts. Perhaps Davies is reacting to the fact that most history is told about individuals, so he wishes to correct this by describing abstractions and institutional developments. In one sense this may be correcting an imbalance. Yet it seems difficult to warm to this mode fo telling a story.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, iconoclastic, but also pedantic. 30. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a peculiarly sketchy and idiosyncratic treatment of British history. Although Davies' perspectives are often interesting and novel, they are also frustratingly incomplete and cursory. Early British history (from the beginning, up to and including the Norman invasion) is very well written. From that point on, however, Davies selectively concentrates on whatever he finds of personal interest. For example, Queen Elizabeth I only receives perhaps a couple of pages of discussion at most, while obscure topics are analyzed in great depth and detail.One gets the impression that Davies ran out of energy during the writing of this book, and decided to change gears in order to maintain his interest.
I was disappointed that Davies did not spend any effort discussing sociological aspects of Britain throughout its history, giving the reader some ideas of what life was like from the common peoples' perspective. From his introduction, I thought this was one of his goals, but this certainly was not the case. Hence in many ways this book is just another conventional history book, with the requisite citations of dates, battles, treaties, and biographical names -- albeit less complete and balanced than others.
On the positive side, I admire Davies' goal of writing a socio-politically accurate history of the Isles, in which he convinces the reader that British history is quite different from English history, contrary to conventional treatments. His first chapter rightly points out the nationalistic overtones that determine how the Isles have been labelled (England, Britain, Great Britain, United Kingdom,...). Unfortunately, he becomes overly pedantic about this theme throughout the book, which can become very annoying, especially given his cursory, selective discussion of broader issues.
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