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Conquest

by Day, David

This very readable book challenges the ways in which we think about the course of modern history and the present state of the world. Highly praised on its publication in Australia, and already being translated into three other languages, Conquest draws on examples from across the world to reveal the dramatic and often bloody process engaged in by societies as they attempt to supplant the hold that the pre-existing inhabitants enjoy over their lands.

Effortlessly moving back as far as the Aztecs and the founding of Constantinople, and forward to the climactic conflicts of our present time, the book ranges across countless examples, from Columbus’ discovery of the ‘New World’ to the presently changing ethnic composition of Los Angeles; from the Japanese conquest of Hokkaido to the German invasion of Poland.

In doing so, Conquestshows how the process of claiming a territory is a never-ending one that shapes the history of the particular societies, as well as the world at large. More importantly, it creates a new paradigm of supplanting societies that challenges our understanding of the course of modern history and the fundamental forces that have helped to shape it.

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Comments

"Day proposes a new term of art – not simply to colonise but to supplant – and a new concept, supplanting societies"


Reviews: Times Higher Education

"In his latest offering, Conquest: A New History of the Modern World, David Day attempts nothing less than to uncover the central dynamic in the establishment and growth of nations and empire. Karl Marx saw class struggle as the driving engine of history. In contrast, the French historian Fernand Braudel nominated geography as primary. In contrast to both, Dr Day posits the dynamics of conquest, and the ‘genocidal imperative’, as the key determinants in historical development. West Australian “ What could be more important than discussion, analysis and dispute about the forces that have shaped human society, without an understanding of which the present cannot be appreciated or the future sensibly speculated about. ... Day's wide-ranging investigations and lively writing give the idea a freshness that makes the book a pleasure to read and an eye-opener. ... This is history on the grand scale, but with an eye to the telling detail. ..."


Reviews: Australian

"Full of interesting facts and thoughts… This is a book with fine scholarship, but one that deserves a wide readership."


Reviews: Times Literary Supplement

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