The Shortest History of England
Empire and Division from the Anglo-Saxons to Brexit?A Retelling for Our Times
The newest in The Shortest History series brings you a fast-paced tour of 2,000 years of English history, tracing its secret north-south divide and entrenched class system
England--begetter of parliaments and globe-spanning empires, star of beloved period dramas, and home of the House of Windsor--is not quite the stalwart island fortress that many of us imagine. Riven by an ancient fault line that predates even the Romans, its fate has ever been bound up with that of its neighbors; and for the past millennia, it has harbored a class system like nowhere else on Earth.
This bracing tour of the most powerful country in the United Kingdom reveals an England repeatedly invaded and constantly reinvented--yet always fractured by its very own Mason-Dixon Line. It carries us swiftly through centuries of conflict between Crown and Parliament (starring the Magna Carta), America's War of Independence, the rise and fall of empire, two World Wars, and England's break from the EU. We discover:
- why the American colonists of 1776 believed that they were the true Anglo-Saxons
- how the British Empire was undermined from within
- why Winston Churchill said the UK could only be saved by splitting up England itself
- and how populism spawned Brexit and its "new elite."
The Shortest History of England brings all this and more to prescient life--offering the most direct, compelling route to understanding the country behind today's headlines.
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