What were the beginnings of the English language? Why has American culture spread so successfully and will it continue to do so even as the country’s power apparently wanes? Why are the West Indies no longer any good at cricket? What difference did slavery make to the way we speak English today?
"That was a good book"
It seems impossible: a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the 19th century. Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation across the Atlantic grows into the military and cultural colossus of the 20th century. How? By the sword, of course; by trade and industrial ingenuity; but principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their common language.