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The Success, So Far, of England

The English and Their History by Robert Tombs Penguin, 2015, 1014 pages, $35 __________________________   There have been many hundred histories of England, but this is the first work on this scale for more than half a century. Written by the professor of history at Cambridge, it is peppered with criticisms of the English rulers and peoples but—surprisingly in an age where national self-mutilation is common amongst historians—it ends with a verdict that is close to not-guilty. Measured against the story of the whole human race, writes Professor Robert Tombs, “England over the centuries has been among the richest, safest…

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