An “extraordinary” and “monumental” exposé of Big Oil from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll (The Washington Post) Includes a profile of current Secretary of State and former chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe—featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin—and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005, and current chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nomination for Secretary of State. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.
A Private Empire explores Britain's imperial past through the eyes and experiences of a single family. Historian Stephen Foster focuses on the Macphersons of Blairgowrie in Scotland, who recorded their private and public lives through five generations in an extraordinary archive of letters, documents and diaries. Elegantly presented with contemporary paintings and photographs, A Private Empire tells an intimate story of ambition and frustration, love and deception, wisdom and folly, pride and shame, passion and restraint, an attachment to place, an affection for kin-all set against the grand shifting background of Britain's imperial rule. 'In a world overpopulated by self-indulgent family histories, A Private Empire is that rarity which makes one keep reading to find out what happened to its cast of strangers.' Stephen Wilks, The Canberra Times 'A remarkably impressive book. The story he tells is an extraordinary one; indeed if it were written in the fictional genre of the family saga you would think he was stretching credulity.' Professor Stuart Macintyre, AO 'Superbly researched and wonderfully revelatory.' Professor John Mackenzie, The Scotsman 'An enthralling read and an important piece of history.' Undiscovered Scotland
Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall
Author: Timothy Parsons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In The Rule of Empires, Timothy Parsons gives a sweeping account of the evolution of empire from its origins in ancient Rome to its most recent twentieth-century embodiment. He explains what constitutes an empire and offers suggestions about what empires of the past can tell us about our own historical moment. Parsons uses imperial examples that stretch from ancient Rome, to Britain's "new" imperialism in Kenya, to the Third Reich to parse the features common to all empires, their evolutions and self-justifying myths, and the reasons for their inevitable decline. Parsons argues that far from confirming some sort of Darwinian hierarchy of advanced and primitive societies, conquests were simply the products of a temporary advantage in military technology, wealth, and political will. Beneath the self-justifying rhetoric of benevolent paternalism and cultural superiority lay economic exploitation and the desire for power. Yet imperial ambitions still appear viable in the twenty-first century, Parsons shows, because their defenders and detractors alike employ abstract and romanticized perspectives that fail to grasp the historical reality of subjugation. Writing from the perspective of the common subject rather than that of the imperial conquerors, Parsons offers a historically grounded cautionary tale rich with accounts of subjugated peoples throwing off the yoke of empire time and time again. In providing an accurate picture of what it is like to live as a subject, The Rule of Empires lays bare the rationalizations of imperial conquerors and their apologists and exposes the true limits of hard power.
Most histories of European appropriation of indigenous territories have, until recently, focused on conquest and occupation, while relatively little attention has been paid to the history of treaty-making. Yet treaties were also a means of extending empire. To grasp the extent of European legal engagement with indigenous peoples, Empire by Treaty: Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900 looks at the history of treaty-making in European empires (Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and British) from the early 17th to the late 19th century, that is, during both stages of European imperialism. While scholars have often dismissed treaties assuming that they would have been fraudulent or unequal, this book argues that there was more to the practice of treaty-making than mere commercial and political opportunism. Indeed, treaty-making was also promoted by Europeans as a more legitimate means of appropriating indigenous sovereignties and acquiring land than were conquest or occupation, and therefore as a way to reconcile expansion with moral and juridical legitimacy. As for indigenous peoples, they engaged in treaty-making as a way to further their interests even if, on the whole, they gained far less than the Europeans from those agreements and often less than they bargained for. The vexed history of treaty-making presents particular challenges for the great expectations placed in treaties for the resolution of conflicts over indigenous rights in post-colonial societies. These hopes are held by both indigenous peoples and representatives of the post-colonial state and yet, both must come to terms with the complex and troubled history of treaty-making over 300 years of empire. Empire by Treaty looks at treaty-making in Dutch colonial expansion, the Spanish-Portuguese border in the Americas, aboriginal land in Canada, French colonial West Africa, and British India.
A both controversial and comprehensive historical analysis of how the British Empire worked, from Wolfson Prize-winning author and historian John Darwin The British Empire shaped the world in countless ways: repopulating continents, carving out nations, imposing its own language, technology and values. For perhaps two centuries its expansion and final collapse were the single largest determinant of historical events, and it remains surrounded by myth, misconception and controversy today. John Darwin's provocative and richly enjoyable book shows how diverse, contradictory and in many ways chaotic the British Empire really was, controlled by interests that were often at loggerheads, and as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength.
The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State
Author: Alfred W. McCoy
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
At the dawn of the twentieth century, the U.S. Army swiftly occupied Manila and then plunged into a decade-long pacification campaign with striking parallels to today’s war in Iraq. Armed with cutting-edge technology from America’s first information revolution, the U.S. colonial regime created the most modern police and intelligence units anywhere under the American flag. In Policing America’s Empire Alfred W. McCoy shows how this imperial panopticon slowly crushed the Filipino revolutionary movement with a lethal mix of firepower, surveillance, and incriminating information. Even after Washington freed its colony and won global power in 1945, it would intervene in the Philippines periodically for the next half-century—using the country as a laboratory for counterinsurgency and rearming local security forces for repression. In trying to create a democracy in the Philippines, the United States unleashed profoundly undemocratic forces that persist to the present day. But security techniques bred in the tropical hothouse of colonial rule were not contained, McCoy shows, at this remote periphery of American power. Migrating homeward through both personnel and policies, these innovations helped shape a new federal security apparatus during World War I. Once established under the pressures of wartime mobilization, this distinctively American system of public-private surveillance persisted in various forms for the next fifty years, as an omnipresent, sub rosa matrix that honeycombed U.S. society with active informers, secretive civilian organizations, and government counterintelligence agencies. In each succeeding global crisis, this covert nexus expanded its domestic operations, producing new contraventions of civil liberties—from the harassment of labor activists and ethnic communities during World War I, to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, all the way to the secret blacklisting of suspected communists during the Cold War. “With a breathtaking sweep of archival research, McCoy shows how repressive techniques developed in the colonial Philippines migrated back to the United States for use against people of color, aliens, and really any heterodox challenge to American power. This book proves Mark Twain’s adage that you cannot have an empire abroad and a republic at home.”—Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago “This book lays the Philippine body politic on the examination table to reveal the disease that lies within—crime, clandestine policing, and political scandal. But McCoy also draws the line from Manila to Baghdad, arguing that the seeds of controversial counterinsurgency tactics used in Iraq were sown in the anti-guerrilla operations in the Philippines. His arguments are forceful.”—Sheila S. Coronel, Columbia University “Conclusively, McCoy’s Policing America’s Empire is an impressive historical piece of research that appeals not only to Southeast Asianists but also to those interested in examining the historical embedding and institutional ontogenesis of post-colonial states’ police power apparatuses and their apparently inherent propensity to implement illiberal practices of surveillance and repression.”—Salvador Santino F. Regilme, Jr., Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs “McCoy’s remarkable book . . . does justice both to its author’s deep knowledge of Philippine history as well as to his rare expertise in unmasking the seamy undersides of state power.”—POLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review Winner, George McT. Kahin Prize, Southeast Asian Council of the Association for Asian Studies
Thomas examines the private ownership of ecclesiastical institutions to determine the nature and extent of private ownership of religious institutions in the Byzantine Empire. This includes churches, monasteries, and philanthropic institutions such as hospitals and orphanages, which were founded by private individuals and retained for personal administration independent of the public authorities of the state and church.
Church, Society, and Civilization Seen Through Contemporary Eyes
Author: Deno John Geanakoplos
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Byzantine Empire
Deno John Geanakoplos here offers a prodigious collection of source materials on the Byzantine church, society, and civilization (many translated for the first time into English), arranged chronologically and topically, and knit together with an analytical historical commentary. His selections from Byzantine writers as well as from more obscure documents and chronicles in Latin, Arabic, Slavic, Italian, Armenian, and French reflect all the diversity of Byzantine life--the military tactics of the long-invincible cataphract cavalry and the warships armed with Greek fire, the mysticism of Hesychast monks, the duties of imperial officers, the activities of daily life from the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia to the marketplaces, baths, and brothels. Geanakoplos not only covers the traditional areas of political, ecclesiastical, socioeconomic, administrative, and military life, but also provides a vivid picture of Byzantine culture--education, philosophy, literature, theology, medicine, and science. Of particular interest are the insights into the empire's relations with the Latin West, the Slavs, the Arabs, the Turks, and other neighboring peoples. -- Byzantium is much more than a sourcebook. The running commentary reflects the most recent scholarly research in Byzantine studies and places each translated source in its precise historical context. Through the use of both primary sources and commentary, Geanakoplos has represented in all its richness and complexity one of the world's great civilizations. There is no comparable book on Byzantine history and civilization in any language.