Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)





Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)

Stephen Howe is an accomplished historian who dedicates much of the above book into illustrating his worldview on the origin and evolution of empires. In particular, this literature focuses on the distribution of territorial empires and provides a link between the colonial mindset and the current world politics (Howe 12). As such, it is chronologically arranged to provide a sample of today’s global events, definition of imperialists and their tendencies and the launch of kingdoms by land and sea. Afterwards, it also incorporates the lifespan of such empires followed by a scrutiny of their effectiveness. By so doing, the book instills a lot of background information to the reader for him/her to be acquainted with the material before offering supportive material in the later chapters thereby helping to reinforce the notion that past legacies continue to influence world events. Such organization facilitates the flow of thought by illustrating that the current global governance practices have pegged imperialism on financial might thereby making them incomparable to the colonial mindset.

The book has several case studies that tend to offer comparisons between different countries, their colonial experiences and their reactions to economic growth as well as dominance in the world. Consequently, the inclusion of such sections deepens the understanding of the issues by illustrating real life examples. In fact, the analysis conducted aids in gauging the cultural shifts that occurred and their influence on the sovereignty of the states. Therefore, the assertion that the post-colonial period marked the beginning of a new world order is elaborated by the significant space allocated to a study of the United States transformation in tandem with other Western European allies. It is evident that these capitalistic societies have gained a lot of control of the mass market thereby exerting new spheres of influence in which they can coerce other nations due to the latter’s dependence on financial assistance. Moreover, the role of the media in spreading skewed ideologies that advance specific agendas is also mentioned and relevant examples given thereby creating diverse sources of information that break the book’s monotony. It is a feature that makes it interesting to read besides being insightful into the relationship between governments, corporate businesses and the relationships with special allies. Therefore, it helps to spread the author’s argument by using different literal styles and formats that make the book easy to navigate.

Indeed, the book manages to convince the reader about the existence of a new social order that does not rely on military might alone. As opposed to the colonial times where masters could use the threat of force to subdue any form of resistance, Howe clarifies that the forces of globalization have become too controlling thereby having a strangle hold on many aspects of life (Bush 180). Consequently, he narrates the interlinking of various products and services to draw attention to the different systems of governance thereby displaying glaring disparities with the past administrations. Such statements indicate the change in global management and provide signs of cultural differences that occasion the turn of events. However, these ideologies are simply stated in prose form using an easily understandable language, which enhances its absorption and subsequent analysis. In fact, they help the reader to identify the parallels between the current imperialism and that during the colonial period hence assisting him/her to reach conclusions that concur with the author’s opinions because the view that global finance causes the development of autocratic systems for some countries over others is relatable.

Furthermore, chapter five that exposes the nature of empires and how they retain their influence over subjects is particularly useful in propagating the notion that the superior party usually identifies the weakness of the others for exploitation. In most instances, it would use its strengths as leverage for maintaining reverence. In this section, the contemporary world is surveyed dating back to different centuries and it emerges that Howe uses ethos, logos and pathos to make his claims. In so doing, he appeals to emotion and uses logical sentences drawn form careful analysis of various empires thereby making the reader more attached to the reading. While the appeal to ethics and emotions is used sparingly, the use of logic in deciphering the secret to colonial successes and the rationale for current inequality in global power by different countries is prevalent. As such, it seeks to make compelling assessments of the phenomenon that are easily alluded to by the reader too. For example, the rise of China is examined in detail and its selective integration of western culture is dealt with in a manner that exposes its unique heritage as well as authority. Findings of various researches are incorporated too thus lending credence to the book’s ideas (Howe 37). Moreover, the references provided are reputable and this makes the content reliable. The impact of modernity on imperialism is captured under the latter chapters and is filled with rhetorical questions that make the book interactive for the reader. Such a strategy engages his/her mind and helps to perpetuate the notion that the rise in globalization has enhanced the power of producers while minimizing that of consumers thereby leading to a state of national dependence on friendly states for survival.





Works Cited

Bush, Barbara. Imperialism and Postcolonialism. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2006. Print.

Howe, Stephen. Empire: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print.



















Calculate your order
275 words
Total price: $0.00

Top-quality papers guaranteed


100% original papers

We sell only unique pieces of writing completed according to your demands.


Confidential service

We use security encryption to keep your personal data protected.


Money-back guarantee

We can give your money back if something goes wrong with your order.

Enjoy the free features we offer to everyone

  1. Title page

    Get a free title page formatted according to the specifics of your particular style.

  2. Custom formatting

    Request us to use APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, or any other style for your essay.

  3. Bibliography page

    Don’t pay extra for a list of references that perfectly fits your academic needs.

  4. 24/7 support assistance

    Ask us a question anytime you need to—we don’t charge extra for supporting you!

Calculate how much your essay costs

Type of paper
Academic level
550 words

How to place an order

  • Choose the number of pages, your academic level, and deadline
  • Push the orange button
  • Give instructions for your paper
  • Pay with PayPal or a credit card
  • Track the progress of your order
  • Approve and enjoy your custom paper

Ask experts to write you a cheap essay of excellent quality

Place an order