This well-written and comprehensive book by an outstanding expert provides students of history and the general reader with reliable, up-to-date information on an essential part of the history of mankind: the global impact of European colonial expansion from the late Middle Ages to the present. It deals with the discoveries; with Portuguese, Dutch, and English trade systems in Asia; with the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British Colonies in America; the American plantation economy and the trade in African slaves; with settler colonies in the southern hemisphere; with US, Russian, and Chinese continental imperialism; with Western colonial rule in Asia and Africa; and the several waves of decolonization between 1775 and 1989. Twenty-four maps illustrate the narrative.
A useful teaching text, it combines traditional and more recent perspectives to produce a final balance sheet of Western colonialism and its global heritage. A carefully selected bibliography encourages further reading.