W. W. Norton & Company
On Sale: May 24, 2010
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How English conquered the world: a Guns, Germs, and Steel
argument based on the power of the word. 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
nineteenth century. Equally unlikely, a colony of that
island nation, across the Atlantic, grows into the military
and cultural colossus of the twentieth century. How? By the
sword, of course; by trade and industrial ingenuity; but
principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their
In this provocative and compelling new look at the course of
empire, Robert McCrum, coauthor of the best-selling book and
television series The Story of English, shows how the
language of the Anglo-American imperium has become the
world’s lingua franca. In fascinating detail he describes
the ever-accelerating changes wrought on the language by the
far-flung cultures claiming citizenship in the new hegemony.
In the twenty-first century, writes the author, English +
Microsoft = Globish.
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