Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others

Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others

by David Day
     
 

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The story of conquest through the ages-from the Normans in England to the Chinese in Tibet, the British and Americans in North America to the Germans in Poland. Award-winning historian David Day explains how conquerors have triumphed, how they have legitimated their conquests, and what the consequences have been for the conquerors themselves and for their victims.

Overview

The story of conquest through the ages-from the Normans in England to the Chinese in Tibet, the British and Americans in North America to the Germans in Poland. Award-winning historian David Day explains how conquerors have triumphed, how they have legitimated their conquests, and what the consequences have been for the conquerors themselves and for their victims.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Historian Day (Claiming a Continent) surveys the justifications that nations have offered for conquering other peoples, and lays out the process of claiming a territory by a symbolic act like planting a flag, then by mapping the land and naming it. Many of his examples are familiar-the Spanish in Central and South America, the Germans in Eastern Europe. But he includes less familiar instances, such as Japan's 18th-century takeover of the Ainu culture on the island of Hokkaido and the contest between the Dutch, French and English to claim Australia. As interesting as Day's stories are, he comes up short on interpretation and analysis. Much more could have been made, for example, of the impact of population pressures. And the book lacks almost any examples of conquests in the ancient world, a striking omission when one considers that modern nations have looked to Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome for models in their own empire building. Nevertheless, history buffs' curiosity will be piqued by Day's accounts of lesser known conquests. Maps. (June)

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From the Publisher
"Full of interesting facts and thoughts.... This is a book imbued with fine scholarship, but one that deserves a wide readership.... Day has an unfailing eye for vivid, arresting avidence."—Times Literary Supplement

"The virtue of Day's book is to bring together wide-ranging examples of conquest in a well-defined argument. It is well expressed and deserves attention. The volume is an important contribution to the ongoing debate on empires and colonies in the various fields that examine this subject such as history, literature, ethnology, law and politics." —European History Quarterly

"Day's provocative and well-written book will require readers in many countries around the globe to come to grips with equally grim and brutal aspects of their history, and that alone makes it a study well worth reading and discussing...This reviewer consequently recommends Conquest highly and looks forward to the debate." —Technology and Culture

"Conquest is an extremely challenging book, particularly for those in 'new world' countries such as Australia and the USA, as it confronts many of the underlying assumptions regarding national identity and legitimacy of tenure." —Teacher

"[Day] sweeps expertly and effortlessly across the globe and into the pages of history to back up his arguments...[Conquest] is as much thought-provoking as it is uncomfortable reading." —Herald Sun

"David Day has written a fascinating account of the way nations have always moved into other people's countries and taken over as the dominant culture. This is still happening of course, as with China and Tibet, and Day ranges over an extraordinary historical panorama to show how universal the practice has been." —Newcastle Herald

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199931330
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

David Day has been a research fellow at Clare College in Cambridge and a Visiting Professor at University College Dublin, the University of Aberdeen and the Centre for Pacific and American Studies at the University of Tokyo. He is currently a research associate at La Trobe University in Melbourne, where he is working on a history of Antarctica. His many books include best-selling histories of the Second World War, prize-winning biographies, and a study of Winston Churchill and Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies that has been made into a television documentary. He has also written a highly-praised history of Australia, Claiming a Continent. His books have won or been short-listed for major literary prizes and have been translated into several languages.

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