The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World
|Author||Steven A. Grasse|
|Subject||The United Kingdom|
The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World is a book written by Steven A. Grasse, the chief executive officer of Philadelphia marketing agency Gyro. It was first published in April 2007 by Quirk Books. In it, the author argues that many of the world's problems were caused by the British Empire, and also criticises British culture.
The book argues that the British Empire was evil, and responsible for the Irish famine, the atrocities committed by the Black and Tans during the Irish War of Independence, Racism, the Scramble for Africa, the Iraq War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global warming, world poverty, the Great Plague, Islamofascism, the 19th century First and Second Opium Wars with China, the First World War and the Vietnam War. Other events the book places blame on the British Empire for include the Second World War, the fathering of the United States and the drug trade. The book argues that all of these incidents had a negative impact on the world.
Other arguments made in the book involve the popularity of homosexuality among the British nobility that the King James Bible was a deliberate act of heresy, and that the Piltdown Man hoax was a deliberate attempt by British academia to prove that they were a superior race.
Jonah Bloom of Advertising Age said that he believed "very few would take this book too seriously", whilst Charles Laurence writing for the British Daily Mail called the book "outrageous". Laurence also contended that it expressed contempt upon the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and described Grasse's assertion that the Vietnam War was caused by the United Kingdom as "twisted logic". He also responded to Grasse's criticism of the First Opium War, by arguing that the war attacked protectionism and helped the development of the global free market that has benefited the United States greatly. However, Laurence said that Grasse's aim of trying to stop the world viewing the United States as "the root of all evil" was valid, contending that anti-Americanism in the United Kingdom was strong. Nevertheless, he ventured that the book might do the opposite; he suggested what he considered to be absurd accusations against the United Kingdom would provoke more anger against the United States. Jonathan Steinberg, at the University of Pennsylvania, advocated that the United Kingdom has contributed good things, like the Magna Carta, the institution of the first free press and market, as well as the abolition of slavery.
Michael Henderson, writing for the British Daily Telegraph, agreed that the British had caused extreme strife in Ireland and Africa, but considered that the United Kingdom had given much to the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the age of Romanticism. Overall, he opined that the book was silly, and that it should be treated with laughter. British historian Max Hastings said that, when looking through the book, it read "as if every bar bore in Philadelphia, where the author hails from, got together one night and wrote down every half-assed insult they could remember about Britain, somewhat handicapped by the fact that none did high school history past sixth grade." However, he felt there was a serious point to it, arguing it is a manifestation of the United States's annoyance at worldwide anti-Americanism. Hastings agreed that the United Kingdom's record in Africa was mixed, and with Grasse regards the two Opium Wars as brutal, contending likewise about Britain's suppression of the Indian Mutiny of 1857. However, he advocates that the British Empire, nevertheless, "was overwhelmingly a force for stability and good."
- Bloom, Jonah (2007-04-13), "Jonah Bloom on 'The Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World'", Advertising Age
- Laurence, Charles (02-03-2007), "Cruel Britannia", Daily Mail
- Henderson, Michael (2008-12-15), "Britain's many gifts to the world", The Daily Telegraph
- Grasse & Rimbaud 2007, p. 97.
- Grasse & Rimbaud 2007, p. 29.
- Grasse & Rimbaud 2007, p. 78.
- Hastings, Max (02-03-2007), "The Empire Strikes Back", Daily Mail
- Grasse, Steven A.; Rimbaud, Penny (2007). Evil Empire: 101 Ways That England Ruined the World. Quirk Books. ISBN 9781594741739.