Local historian James Belich earns plaudits from Tyler Cowen, who calls Belich’s new book Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World, 1783-1939 “one of the very best non-fiction books of the year.”
And that in a year when Thomas Wood’s Meltdown successfully explains the single most important event of the year: the meltdown of the world’s economies.
So that’s high praise indeed.
In a world of navel-gazing about minutiae, Belich seeks to explain “the explosive historical process that now sees English as one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.” Not a simple task. Canadian historian Andrew Smith says,
“Rather than writing to condemn or celebrate Anglo-Saxon expansion, [Belich] simply wants to explain why it took place. In particular, Belich seeks to explain why it was English-speaking people and not, say the French or the Spanish or the Chinese, who were able to colonize North America and Australasia and thus become the dominant culture on the planet.”
Looks like you should file it along with Paul Moon’s work as books by local historians that are worth checking out.