This tidily argued and well-written synthesis contains no new archival research; it is, rather, an updated examination of European state consolidation at home and then creation and maintenance of overseas empires from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Deliberately framed as “an explicit, if critical, homage to seminal works bearing similar titles published in the mid-twentieth century by historians C. R. Boxer and J. H. Parry,” Paquette pursues the themes in those works while updating their arguments and approaches with new scholarship that has appeared in the last four decades or so (4–5).1 Geared to an educated general readership, the book largely focuses on European expansion to other parts of the world, but most especially in the Atlantic. Because the book is entirely focused on the European empires, it will be of limited utility to scholars and teachers of world history, where these storylines are already broadly familiar.

Paquette...

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