For the first time in millennia we live without formal empires. But that doesn't mean we don't feel their presence rumbling through history. From Russia's incursions in the Ukraine to Brexit; from Trump's America-First policy to China's forays into Africa; from Modi's India to the hotbed of the Middle East, Samir Puri provides a bold new framework for understanding the world's complex rivalries and politics. The Shadows of Empire combines history and analysis to explain why the history of empire affects us all in profound ways.
Having provided a fresh perspective [..] [Puri] offers brief and intelligent speculation, but mostly proceeds to simply recount the imperial histories of major countries or parts of the world. Much of this is well written, comprehensive and judicious, but it is still potted history. Having introduced a fascinating subject, Puri declines to fully engage and explore his own thesis. He seems to imply that this task is left to the reader, but that leaves too much to us, and lets the author of this stimulating book off the hook too easily.
... a well-informed yet disjointed account of how the legacy of imperialism influences modern-day global affairs ... Unfortunately, Puri’s lucid insights into the roots of modern-day Hindu nationalism in India, for instance, are somewhat obscured by his tendency to meander through the history and contemporary politics of each country he surveys, and the book’s central argument often falls out of focus. Though Puri’s knowledge of world affairs impresses, readers looking for an actionable guide to overcoming the long shadow of imperialism will be disappointed.