The British Empire: Lessons for America

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photoBefore the new world order dominated by the American superpower, there was another world order — perhaps the most-embracing order the world has ever known. It was called the British Empire. Recently, British audiences have been regaled again with the reach and splendor of that empire by one of their brightest young historians.

But historian Niall Ferguson does more than relive the old British Empire. He challenges the new world power — the United States — to see the empire of its own making, to grasp it, and to learn from the British Empire before it. It's a galling idea for Americans raised on revolt against King George. Ferguson says, "Get over it!"

Click the "Listen" link above to hear about the lessons the U.S. should learn from the rise and demise of the British Empire.


Niall Ferguson, Professor of History at Stern School of Business at New York University and Professor of History at Oxford University and author of "Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power"

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly magazine

This program aired on April 14, 2003.


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