Hardly had the fighting petered out on the Somme in November 1916 than one American reviewer, W. S. Rusk, was warning scholars that much writing about the Great War would be lost to the ‘winnowing flail of time’.(1)
One might be forgiven for thinking that British defence policy between the Napoleonic era and the outbreak of the First World War was always geared towards a large, continental commitment.
In this impressive and well-researched book, L. H. Roper offers an innovative examination of the 17th-century English global empire to establish exactly who directed English colonial expansion during its nascent years.
Of all former government officials who have turned to the pen, Sir Rodric Braithwaite should arguably be considered one of the more welcome additions. Following three previous books focusing on the Soviet Union and Russia, he has recently turned his attention to the issue of nuclear weapons and the precarious deterrence which has kept them from being used in warfare since 1945.