Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World

I read "After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World" by A. N. Wilson. The book deals with British history from the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 to the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. As is the case in his other books that I've read, Wilson paints a vivid picture of people and events. His ability to describe in detail a scene or event makes the book interesting. There's no question that Wilson is a truly amazing writer and someone with an exceptional intellect. He uses irony, cynicism, and cutting wit throughout, making the book more compelling. He's particularly adept at highlighting the foibles and errors of elected officials across the political spectrum.

As I've noted about other books by Wilson, some of the subject he covers aren't overly familiar and could use additional context for a reader in the USA. And I say this as someone who took two graduate courses on British history in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This book is particularly relevant for the USA now. Just as Britain was eclipsed by the United States in the 20th century, the USA may be eclipsed by China in the 21st century. As such, Wilson's account of how and why Britain declined is well worth studying.

7 of 10.


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