Leviathan: The Rise of Britain as a World Power
In this paperback of his acclaimed and wide-ranging study, David Scott challenges traditional assumptions about how Britain achieved her global might. Shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature 2013 Navigating the 300 years between the Tudor accession and the loss of the American colonies Leviathan charts one of history's greatest transformations: the rise of Britain as the world's most formidable maritime power. From the chaos of the Wars of the Roses, Henry VIII's split with Rome and Oliver Cromwell's Parliamentary regime, David Scott's masterly narrative explodes traditional assumptions to present a much darker interpretation of this extraordinary story. Powered by a rapidly growing navy, a rapacious merchant marine, resilient politics, bigotry and religious fanaticism, warmongering and slavery, this candid book is required reading for all those wishing to understand how Britain achieved her global might.
'Thoughtful, entertaining and elegantly written ... Amid the flood of new books on the making of the British Empire, Leviathan stands out as one of the best. Much of the book's strength lies in its uncompromising insistence on the importance of institutions and politics ... There are delightful character sketches and witty asides' Sunday Times 'Leviathan deserves to be widely read; Scott negotiates vast terrain with clear, lively prose and weaves his argument around vivid pen portraits and telling anecdotes ... Above all this is a stirring narrative' History Today 'Challenging and erudite ... perceptive ... Scott is superb when he casts his eye on the culture of the times ... [his] telling of this vast series of contingencies is masterful. Epic in scale, shrewd in judgement, utterly convincing, Leviathan demands the widest possible readership' Literary Review
David Scott is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the History of Parliament Trust and has formerly taught at both York and Yale Universities. His previous book (for Palgrave) 'Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms 1637-49' was chosen by the Sunday Telegraph as one of its Books of the Year in 2004.