Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others


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.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$16.92 price
(Save 10%)$18.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $11.01   
  • New (4) from $16.29   
  • Used (5) from $11.01   
Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.49 price
(Save 11%)$12.99 List Price


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.

Read More Show Less

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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199931330
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Plates

List of Maps

Introduction 1

1 Staking a Legal Claim 11

2 The Power of Maps 28

3 Claiming by Naming 49

4 Supplanting the Savages 69

5 By Right of Conquest 92

6 Defending the Conquered Territory 112

7 Foundation Stories 132

8 Tilling the Soil 159

9 The Genocidal Imperative 176

10 Peopling the Land 198

11 The Never-Ending Journey 223

Endnotes 239

Select Bibliography 265

Index 277

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)