The story of thirteen modern empires told with a rich profusion of illustrations drawn from a wide range of vivid, authentic sources.
Images of empire are extraordinarily potent. Spanish memories of the Conquistadors; Camöes' saga of the Portuguese "discoverers," The Lusiads; Pondichéry and the other French enclaves in India; the Dutch heritage of trade in the East Indies; above all, perhaps, the colonial gallery of great explorers like Stanley and Livingstone—none of these have lost their resonance.
In the modern period of Western history, from the Renaissance until the present, empires in one form or another have been a constant feature of the political landscape. For Germany and Italy, overseas dreams were short-lived; in the United States and the Soviet Union, imperialistic activity existed but was never accepted as an official state policy; and the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires has obscured some of the imperial dimensions of these states. But a generation or more after the final collapse of most of the European empires, the subject is still a major issue for historians.
This intriguing account raises new subjects, from the roles of women in empire building to food and ecology. It shows how the maps of the explorations, the chronologies of the conquests, the balance sheets of commerce, the pantheons of explorers, settlers, and administrators, and all else that made up the Age of Empires play a key role in explaining the global civilization of today. With contributions by Esther Captain, Jill Dias, Nicholas Doumanis, Josep Fradera, Jacques Frémeaux, Graeme Gill, Kund J. V. Jespersen, Guno Jones, Kirsten MacKenzie, Walter Sauer, Frank Schumacher, Irma Taddia, Jean-Luc Vellut and Joachim Zeller. 300 illustrations, 200 in color.