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Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics…
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Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1985; vuoden 2004 painos)

Tekijä: Simon Winchester

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
6751334,961 (3.77)34
History. Nonfiction. HTML:

The New York Times bestselling author of Krakatoa and The Professor and the Madman takes readers on a quirky and charming tour of the last outpost of the British empire

Originally published in 1985, Outposts is Simon Winchester's journey to find the vanishing empire, &#8220on which the sun never sets.&#8221 In the course of a three-year, 100,000 mile journeyfrom the chill of the Antarctic to the blue seas of the Caribbean, from the South of Spain and the tip of China to the utterly remote specks in the middle of gale-swept oceanshe discovered such romance and depravity, opulence and despair tht he was inspired to write what may be the last contemporary account of the British empire. Written with Winchester's captivating style and breadth, here are conversations and anecdotes, myths and political analysis, scenery and historya poignant and colorful record of the lingering beat of what was once the heart of the civilized world.

.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:tnoble
Teoksen nimi:Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire
Kirjailijat:Simon Winchester
Info:Harper Perennial (2004), Paperback, 400 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Parhaillaan lukemassa
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Outposts: Journeys to the Surviving Relics of the British Empire (tekijä: Simon Winchester) (1985)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Simon Winchester decided to visit the remnants of the remaining British Empire, and this is the story of his travels, over several years, to those remote outposts. I will say first that I"ve never quite gotten on with Simon Winchester--something about his smugness and attitude of unconscious privilege rubs me the wrong way, and there's a bit of that here. But I was really interested in the topic of exploring these remote places, and decided to read this.

My biggest problem with the book is that it is way out of date, something I should have realized, but did not, before beginning it. It was written in the mid 1980's, when Hong Kong was still a colony, so I can't help wondering what the status of the other places he visited is today. In addition, I couldn't help wondering, as he described these remote places, how accurate these descriptions would be now, nearly 40 years later, and whether these places would even be recognizable today. For example, at the time of his visit, the Cayman Islands were not the overseas financial center for tax shelters they are today. I personally would not recommend this book, but if what the British Empire looked like 40 years ago is of interest to you, go ahead.

Just for informational purposes, here are the British colonies Winchester visited:

1. British Indian Ocean Territory (Diego Garcia)--He didn't step foot on land here, but spent the night on a boat anchored in the lagoon. All natives were evicted by the British, and the island leased to the Americans for a military base. This has led to court proceedings by the natives who want to return to their homeland. Not sure what the status is today.

2.Tristan da Cunha--This remote island was settled by the British military to prevent Napoleon from excaping from St. Helena. Winchester describes it as the "tiniest and loneliest" of the remaining dependencies.

3. Gibraltar--Basically a British naval base. Under a 1970's emigration act, Gibraltans are one of only 2 former British colonies with full rights to emigrate to Great Britain.

4. Ascension Island--Basically a mid-Atlantic volcano, "Earth in its raw state." It was originally classified as a ship, and was settled, like Tristan, to prevent Napoleon from escaping. At the time of Winchester's visit, it was a relay station for the BBC, a cable center, a stopover for the British military on the way to the Falklands, and full of electronic spies and satellite monitoring stuff.

5. St. Helena--in his view the loveliest major outpost, but now an "imperial slum," its need largely ignored by the British government. Once the site of Napoleon's exile, there is now no on-island work for the inhabitants, who frequently go to Ascension Island for months at a time to work.

6. Hong Kong--skyscrapers, bankers and millionaires.

7. Bermuda--British, but utterly dependent on the US. There's a large US military base, and he views it more as an American colony than British.

8. The British West Indies--consisting of the Turks and Caicos, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, and the Cayman Islands.

9. The Falkland Islands--Winchester was there at the beginning of the Falkland War with Argentina.

10. Pitcairn Island--settled by the Bounty mutineers. Two supply ships visit it annually, so a traveler's choice is to stay 10 hours (while the supply ship is in port) or to wait 6 months for the next ship. Winchester did not visit here.

2 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Apr 19, 2021 |
Good idea, but done rather better by [a:Harry Ritchie|303405|Harry Ritchie|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg], I thought. ( )
  AldusManutius | Jul 5, 2020 |
I never thought I would say this about a book written by Simon Winchester, but it's boring. His pompousness (what's with former British colonies being "better" than their French/Dutch/Italian counterparts) I can take, but after reading a full sentence filled with names of obscure places that I don't care to know about, I decided that I didn't have the patience to go on with this book.
  clampoholic | Apr 3, 2013 |
Loved reading about all the "relics" of the British Empire. Just wish that there was an update at the end, it would be nice to know if Simon Winchester ever went back to any of the places he visited in the early 1980s.
Overall a very good read about some very remote, tiny places. ( )
  yukon92 | Jan 20, 2013 |
Simon Winchester's travels to the remnants of the British Empire serves as a genial introduction to the remote places one is unlikely to visit (Gibraltar, Hong Kong and the collection of islands around the Caribbean excepted). To control the world's shipping lanes, the British Empire established posts and colonies in every strategic location. While most spots with a sizable number of inhabitants have nowadays declared their independence, Britannia still rules over the forgotten rocks of Saint Helena and Tristan. There is a curious mix between tourist (Bermuda, Gibraltar, etc.) and military destinations (Diego Garcia, Saint Helena, Gibraltar). The book having been written during the Cold War in 1984, with Soviet nuclear submarines lurking beyond Bermuda, the military obviously didn't like the presence of a snooping journalist.

Winchester draws a perverse joy out of not following protocol (a bit of research, which he surely had done beforehand, would have informed him that he could not simply walk from Spain to Gibraltar). This rebellious spirit lives in perfect conformity in drinking tea with the local governor in his best British Untertan mode. The two themes of the books are pride in British accomplishments and glory that contrasts with somewhat dire British living conditions that lag behind US/First World standards. In reality, the British presence at many of these locations is but to serve as landlord to American tourists and American military forces. Insofar as the current British Empire now only rules over distant rocks and gulls it has become a benevolent institution, similar from the transformation of many crusading orders that lost their territories but have reinvented themselves into modern healthcare providers.

A fast and fun read. ( )
1 ääni jcbrunner | Jul 30, 2011 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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For Elaine
[Dedication of 1985 edition] For my Father and Mother.
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Like most long journeys into the unknown,this one begins with an idea- an idea that was triggered by a strange story I read one wet Sunday afternoon in a recent early spring,on the front page of a London newspaper.
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American title: The Sun Never Sets: Travels to the Remaining Outposts of the British Empire
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (2)

History. Nonfiction. HTML:

The New York Times bestselling author of Krakatoa and The Professor and the Madman takes readers on a quirky and charming tour of the last outpost of the British empire

Originally published in 1985, Outposts is Simon Winchester's journey to find the vanishing empire, &#8220on which the sun never sets.&#8221 In the course of a three-year, 100,000 mile journeyfrom the chill of the Antarctic to the blue seas of the Caribbean, from the South of Spain and the tip of China to the utterly remote specks in the middle of gale-swept oceanshe discovered such romance and depravity, opulence and despair tht he was inspired to write what may be the last contemporary account of the British empire. Written with Winchester's captivating style and breadth, here are conversations and anecdotes, myths and political analysis, scenery and historya poignant and colorful record of the lingering beat of what was once the heart of the civilized world.

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