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Thread: Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire

    The Anglo-French exit from their empires features on several threads, usually about one place, e.g. Algeria. A new book 'Fight or Flight: Britain, France, and their Roads from Empire' by Martin Thomas is fully reviewed and looks like a must buy for me. I already have Douglas Porch's book on France' wars and a few British episodes too.

    It is a "broad brush" history, covering places rarely mentioned and four authors add in detail their reviews:https://networks.h-net.org/node/2844...nd-their-roads There is a PDF URL too.

    Here is the opening paragraph:
    In the comparative study under review here, Fight or Flight, the talented and prolific British historian Martin Thomas provides an in-depth account of how and why the French and the British tried to hold on to their empires against all odds but in the end had to let go. Sometimes, Thomas tells us, the colonizers chose to cut their losses and get out in order to focus on other parts of the empire. It was a question of preservation. On other occasions, Thomas counters, they went to war to hold on to their prize possessions. In both cases, it –what we now call decolonization – was a messy, complicated, unpredictable, and terribly bloody business. There was no roadmap for ending empires because, at least in the immediate wake of World War II, neither the French nor the British decision-makers could fathom that imperial time was perhaps not universal.
    I found the review via a Tweet from the Blog of the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter (not yet fully explored, maybe it a resource to check):http://imperialglobalexeter.com/
    davidbfpo

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    Looks to be an interesting read. I read Thomas' "Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder After 1914" and found it to be very good indeed. I look forward to digging into this one.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Colonial Policing and the Imperial Endgame 1945-80

    The catalyst for this discovery was Red Rat's RFI on policing in Iraq, thanks to Google for showing this book which slipped past me.

    'At the End of the Line: Colonial Policing and the Imperial Endgame 1945-80' (Studies in Imperialism) by Georgina Sinclair, pub. 2010; which has rave reviews and includes several hundred interviews with colonial police officers:http://www.amazon.co.uk/At-End-Line-...S05DRQQY225V9D

    Just ordered a copy, so an update in a few months time.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    'At the End of the Line: Colonial Policing and the Imperial Endgame 1945-80' (Studies in Imperialism) by Georgina Sinclair, pub. 2010; which has rave reviews and includes several hundred interviews with colonial police officers:http://www.amazon.co.uk/At-End-Line-...S05DRQQY225V9D

    Just ordered a copy, so an update in a few months time.
    We can compare reviews as I have started on my copy. I have enjoyed what little I have skimmed through so far. Conspicuously absent from the aforesaid book is the Indian Police Service an area that has interested me for some time. What is very clear from the book is the heavy influence that police and policing from the Royal Irish Constabulary had in colonial policing. That expertise is something untapped by the current UK Government, although when the RUC became the PSNI and downsized many became security and policing contractors.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

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