“This stunning and important work is destined to become the benchmark study of this topic for many years to come.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Old World, New World
Great Britain and America from the Beginning
978-0-8021-4429-4 • $19.95 • Paperback • Oct. 2009
Our close bond with Great Britain seems inevitable, given our shared language and heritage. But as distinguished historian Kathleen Burk shows in this groundbreaking history, recently published to acclaim in the United Kingdom, the close international relationship was forged only recently, preceded by several centuries of hostility and conflict that began soon after the first English colony was established on the newly discovered continent.
Burk, a fourth-generation Californian and professor of history in London, draws on her unique knowledge of both countries to explore the totality of the relationshipthe politics, economics, culture, and societythat both connected the two peoples and drove them apart. She tells the story from each side, beginning with the English exploration of the New World and taking us up to the present alliance in Iraq. She reveals the real motivations for settling North America, the factors that led to Britain’s losing the colonies, and the reasons why hawks in Congress took the two countries to war in 1812. Indeed, war between Britain and the United States loomed again later in the nineteenth century, and it took common enemies to bring them together in the twentieth. Since 1945, the world has watched and wondered at the close bonds of the leadersKennedy and Macmillan, Reagan and Thatcher, and Bush and Blair.
At once sweeping in scope and intimate in detail, Old World, New World is a vivid, absorbing, and surprising story of one of the longest international love-hate relationships in modern history.