Someone Else's Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony (Hardcover)

Someone Else's Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony By Tom Stevenson Cover Image

Someone Else's Empire: British Illusions and American Hegemony (Hardcover)

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Someone’s Else’s Empire coolly reassesses Britain’s relationship with the United States. Elite descriptions of Britain’s position in the world (‘punching above our weight’) are untenable, Tom Stevenson argues. Yet there is a refusal, in most parts of society, to examine the assumptions behind them. Half a century after British withdrawal from “east of Suez,” why has the Indo-Pacific tilt become a Whitehall priority? Why are newly opened Persian Gulf bases working side by side with Saudi and Emirati forces engaged in the catastrophic war on Yemen?

The impetus for so many decisions about British foreign policy comes from a desire to maintain lieutenant rank with Washington. But British leaders and defence specialists tend to dislike seeing Britain framed by American power. A great effort is required to clear away the build-up of irrelevant, nostalgic detritus around “Global Britain.” Stevenson looks at the infrastructure of a US world order re-energised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and fits the UK into the picture without the usual euphemisms. It is one thing to station military forces around the world to maintain your empire, he observes, but quite another to do so for someone else’s.
Tom Stevenson is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books where he writes about energy, defence and international politics. He has reported from Ukraine, the Middle East and North Africa for the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times and the BBC.

Product Details ISBN: 9781804291481
ISBN-10: 180429148X
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: November 7th, 2023
Pages: 272
Language: English
"A fascinating read about Britain’s dreams of empire and embarrassing deference to Washington"
—Antony Loewenstein, author of The Palestine Laboratory

"This lacerating book lays bare everything from the sanguinary politics of the British defence establishment to the management of venal political proxies in the Middle East."
—Laleh Khalili, author of Sinews of War and Trade

"Stevenson writes vividly of the United States’ relentless pursuit of international predominance and Britain’s role as its loyal adjutant. An insight-laden exploration."
—Rajan Menon, author of The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention

"Welcome ... evocative ... Reproduces a style of reportage, highly literary yet historically informed, that harkens back to a bygone era of journalism"
—John-Baptiste Oduor, Jacobin