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The Great Defiance : How the world took on the British Empire

David Veevers
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Ebury Publishing (Ebury Press)
Published: June 13, 2024
ISBN: 9781529109962
512 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom


The story of the British Empire is a familiar one: Britain came, it saw, it conquered, forging a glorious world empire upon which the sun never set. In fact, far from being the tale of a single nation imposing its will upon the world, the British Empire found itself reshaped by the tenacious resistance of the powerful Indigenous and non-European people it encountered. From ill-advised ventures in Ireland to the failure to curtail North African Corsair states all the way to the collapse of commercial operations in East Asia, British attempts to create an imperial enterprise often ended in embarrassment and even disaster.

In this book, David Veevers looks beyond the myths of triumph and into the realities of British misadventures in the early days of Empire, meeting the extraordinary people across the world who were the real forces to be reckoned with. From the Emperors who determined the expansion of the English East India Company, to the West African kings who resisted English entreaties and set the terms of the lucrative slave trade, to the Paramount Chiefs in America who fought to expunge European forces from their homelands, The Great Defiance retells the story of early Empire from the perspective of the Indigenous and non-European people who held the fate of the British in their hands.

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