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The Falklands War
An Imperial History


  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108483292

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About the Authors
  • Why did Britain and Argentina go to war over a wintry archipelago that was home to an unprofitable colony? Could the Falklands War, in fact, have been a last-ditch revival of Britain's imperial past? Despite widespread conjecture about the imperial dimensions of the Falklands War, this is the first history of the conflict from the transnational perspective of the British world. Taking Britain's painful process of decolonisation as his starting point, Ezequiel Mercau shows how the Falklands lobby helped revive the idea of a 'British world', transforming a minor squabble into a full-blown war. Boasting original perspectives on the Falklanders, the Four Nations and the Anglo-Argentines, and based on a wealth of unseen material, he sheds new light on the British world, Thatcher's Britain, devolution, immigration and political culture. His findings show that neither the dispute, the war, nor its aftermath can be divorced from the ongoing legacies of empire.

    • Studies the Falklands War in the wider context of the British world to give a fuller understanding of why the conflict occurred
    • Connects the Falklands dispute with ongoing disagreement about the meaning of Britishness
    • Expands on other histories of the British world, broadening their geographical and temporal scope
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This thoughtful and timely book will be read with interest by those wanting to understand the Falklands War and the legacies of Empire in Britain. Mercau shows the importance of an idea of a Greater Britain and how the 1982 Falklands War signalled its unravelling, opening questions about Britain's national identity that still persist.' Helen Parr, Keele University

    'In this accomplished and engaging book, Mercau provides a penetrating analysis of the association between the Falkland Islands and empire. It is a skilful illumination of the continued purchase and contradictions of the idea of Greater Britain in the later twentieth century.' Sarah Stockwell, King's College London

    'This is a deeply researched and highly original work which casts valuable new light on Britain's post-imperial condition in general and the Falklands War in particular. Essential reading.' Richard Toye, University of Exeter

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108483292
    • length: 264 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 161 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 20 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Note on terminology
    Introduction: the Falklands and the legacies of empire
    1. Adrift in the South Atlantic: the Falklands amid the turmoil of decolonisation
    2. 'Dream island': the long prelude to war
    3. 'Goodbye and the best of British': echoes of Greater Britain at the onset of war
    4. 'The ghost of imperial Britain': militarism and the memory of empire
    5. War of the British worlds: the Anglo-Argentines and the Falklands
    6. 'Beyond the quieting of the guns': the Falklands factor and the after-effects of war
    Conclusion: the legacies of Greater Britain

  • Author

    Ezequiel Mercau, University College Dublin
    Ezequiel Mercau is a Research Fellow at the Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin.

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