Written and presented by English broadcaster, journalist, and author Jeremy Paxman, this richly detailed documentary follows the rise of the British Empire. At its height, the small island ...
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Paxman tells the story of how a desire for conquest became a mission to improve the rest of mankind, especially in Africa, and in Central Africa he travels in the footsteps of David Livingstone who ...
Written and presented by English broadcaster, journalist, and author Jeremy Paxman, this richly detailed documentary follows the rise of the British Empire. At its height, the small island nation ruled over a quarter of the world's population. Examining what is often considered a dark stain on British history, it shows how greed and a lust for power marginalized numerous groups across the Empire's vast expanse.
Not a HISTORY, but a tasty personal SAMPLER on the subject
Another review of this 5 part show takes great umbrage to Jeremy Paxman's presentation: It is more of an in-depth review than I'm going to write. In part, it says: "The history on display is pretty weak sauce. Subjects are often only partially covered, with one or two events picked out for special attention whilst others are ignored or omitted entirely. The interviews are invariably with 'ordinary people' rather than experts, with the result that many are simply meaningless."
This review is first rate and I agree with every word of it. But I'm going to give Mr. Paxman's work a pretty good star rating for some of the reasons enumerated. It is a PERSONAL look at the Empire from multiple perspectives, especially the perspectives of many of the colonized. I found Mr. Paxman personally engaging, the photography was specacular, he owes a great deal to his cinematographer.
The subject of the British Empire is a VAST one, and there was no way to give it completeness with five installments and this presenter. And it was not in any chronological order. It was PERSONAL. In the first episode he goes superficially into the history of Gt. Britain in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration and the King David Hotel bombing of 1946. Because he can interview one of the Israeli participants. He gives India much more space, but India is much longer and larger than he can possibly fit in. Perhaps my favorite episode was one that I had least hopes for before watching: "Playing the Game" where he gave a personal Englishman's view of the sportsmanlike ethos with which the upper classes were raised, and how it permeated and inflitrated the self-view and world view of the would-be colonists.
So I found this a worthwhile and engaging series and I agree that it is not by any means historical, nor is it meant to be.
The colonies that became my nation are barely mentioned, the role of the English Republican government in establishing empirical intentions, many many other factors are simply not there. Consider this a small selection of oeur d'oeuvres. And tasty!
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