THE LORDS OF HUMAN KIND by V. G. Kiernan

THE LORDS OF HUMAN KIND

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An informal investigation of ""the impressions and opinions. . . attitudes and behavior"" of Europeans toward non-Europeans in the age of empire before 1914, with attention to the non-Europeans' reactions to the imperialists and the pecking order within Europe. Kiernan is a history professor at Edinburgh who has lived in India and Pakistan, and the best-developed section deals with India. It is followed by surveys of Asia, the Moslem world, Africa, the South Seas, and Latin America. The style is rather playful, the data molecular. The book explores the reflexes of civil servants, planters and soldiers, presenting a variety of confrontations; missionaries and traders receive less space--and policymakers lie outside the scope of the study. Kiernan (who notes that the word ""loot"" came from India) deals with economics incidentally and sometimes simplistically. He notes the significance of relations between European men and indigenous women, but none of the book's topics are developed in depth. It remains a lightly adept excursus on the social psychology of foreign rule and racism, with emphasis on the British.

Pub Date: July 22nd, 1969
Publisher: Little, Brown