Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World

What the rulers of empire can teach us about navigating today’s increasingly interconnected world


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Aug 6, 2019
6.13 x 9.25 in.
33 b/w illus. 9 maps.
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The empires of the past were far-flung experiments in multinationalism and multiculturalism, and they have much to teach us about navigating our own increasingly globalized world. Visions of Empire sheds critical new light on their rulers—who they were, how they justified their empires, how they viewed themselves, and the styles of rule they adopted toward their subjects. Krishan Kumar provides panoramic and multifaceted portraits of five major European empires—Ottoman, Habsburg, Russian/Soviet, British, and French—showing how each, like ancient Rome, saw itself as the carrier of civilization to the rest of the world. This compelling book demonstrates how the rulers of empire, in their quest for a universal world order, left behind a legacy of multiculturalism and diversity that is uniquely relevant for us today.

Awards and Recognition

  • Co-Winner of the 2018 Barrington Moore Book Award, Comparative and Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association
  • Winner of the 2018 Ab Imperio Award, KRES Poliskola