Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this bold, sweeping book, David Day surveys the ways in which one nation or society has supplanted another, and then sought to justify its occupation -- from the English in Australia and North America, the Normans in England, and the Spanish in Mexico to the Japanese in Korea and the Chinese in Tibet. Human history has been marked by territorial aggression and expansion, an endless cycle of ownership claims by dominant cultures over territory occupied by peoples unable to resist their advance. Day outlines the...
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Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others

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Overview

In this bold, sweeping book, David Day surveys the ways in which one nation or society has supplanted another, and then sought to justify its occupation -- from the English in Australia and North America, the Normans in England, and the Spanish in Mexico to the Japanese in Korea and the Chinese in Tibet. Human history has been marked by territorial aggression and expansion, an endless cycle of ownership claims by dominant cultures over territory occupied by peoples unable to resist their advance. Day outlines the strategies, violent and subtle, such dominant cultures have used to stake and bolster their claims -- by redrawing maps, rewriting history, recourse to legal argument, creative renaming, use of foundation stories, tilling of the soil, colonization, and ultimately outright subjugation and even genocide. In the end the claims they make reveal their own sense of identity and self-justifying place in the world. Conquest is an accessible and captivating macro-narrative about empire, expansion, and dispossession.
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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199987016
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/30/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,091,230
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

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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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

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