Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pg. 99: Martin J. Wiener's "An Empire on Trial"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870–1935 by Martin J. Wiener.

About the book, from the publisher:
An Empire on Trial is the first book to explore the issue of interracial homicide in the British Empire during its height – examining these incidents and the prosecution of such cases in each of seven colonies scattered throughout the world. It uncovers and analyzes the tensions of empire that underlay British rule and delves into how the problem of maintaining a liberal empire manifested itself in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The work demonstrates the importance of the processes of criminal justice to the history of the empire and the advantage of a trans-territorial approach to understanding the complexities and nuances of its workings. An Empire on Trial is of interest to those concerned with race, empire, or criminal justice, and to historians of modern Britain or of colonial Australia, India, Kenya, or the Caribbean. Political and post-colonial theorists writing on liberalism and empire, or race and empire, will also find this book invaluable.

• Shows the importance of criminal justice for the history of empire • Illustrates the centrality of race relations to the history of empire • Combines ‘close to the ground’ case studies with empire-wide overview of a common problem (how can a ‘liberal empire’ work?)
Read an excerpt from An Empire on Trial.

Martin J. Wiener is Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Rice University. His other publications include the books English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980 and Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness, and Criminal Justice in Victorian England.

The Page 99 Test: An Empire on Trial.

--Marshal Zeringue