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The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen

Audiobook
Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   16 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/18/2021

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The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen

Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World

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Digital Download ISBN:9781696602105

Summary

Vivid and magisterial, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through the advent and spread of written constitutions.

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Product Description

A work of extraordinary range and striking originality, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen traces the global history of written constitutions from the 1750s to the twentieth century, modifying accepted narratives and uncovering the close connections between the making of constitutions and the making of war. In the process, Linda Colley both reappraises famous constitutions and recovers those that have been marginalized but were central to the rise of a modern world.

She brings to the fore neglected sites, such as Corsica, with its pioneering constitution of 1755, and tiny Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, the first place on the globe permanently to enfranchise women. She highlights the role of unexpected players, such as Catherine the Great of Russia, who was experimenting with constitutional techniques with her enlightened Nakaz decades before the Founding Fathers framed the American constitution. Written constitutions are usually examined in relation to individual states, but Colley focuses on how they crossed boundaries, spreading into six continents by 1918 and aiding the rise of empires as well as nations. She also illumines their place not simply in law and politics but also in wider cultural histories, and their intimate connections with print, literary creativity, and the rise of the novel.

Author Bio

Professor of history at Princeton, Linda Colley is the author of books including Britons, winner of the Wolfson Prize, and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh, a New York Times "Top 10" Book of the Year. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.