Imperial Endgame: Britain's Dirty Wars and the End of Empire (Britain and the World)
The story of the British Empire in the twentieth century is one of decline, disarray, and despondency. Or so we have been told. In this fresh and controversial account of Britain‘s end of empire, Grob-Fitzgibbon rejects this consensus, showing instead that in the years 1945-1960 the British government developed a successful imperial strategy based on devolving power to indigenous peoples within the Commonwealth. This strategy was calculated to allow decolonization to occur on British terms rather than those of the indigenous populations, and to thus keep these soon-to-be former colonies within the British and Western spheres of influence during the Cold War. To achieve this new form of informal liberal imperialism, however, the government had to rely upon the use of illiberal dirty wars. Spanning the globe from Palestine to Malaya, Kenya to Cyprus, these dirty wars represented Britain's true imperial endgame.
Pre-Publication Praise for Imperial Endgame:
“Grob-Fitzgibbon challenges the popular view that Britain shed its empire politely, like a tea party at the vicarage in an Agatha Christie mystery. He makes it clear that the reality was very different. Withdrawal from empire was difficult, dangerous and dirty and the politicians, diplomats, soldiers and policemen who brought empire to an end did so in a way not brought out as powerfully and persuasively before. For anyone worried about how things might end in Iraq or Afghanistan, Grob-Fitzgibbon‘s excellent, dispassionate, forensic analysis will make uncomfortable but illuminating reading.” Colonel Alex Alderson, MBE, Director of the United Kingdom Counterinsurgency Centre
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