"IN THE NAME OF GOD, GO! Leo Amery and the British Empire in the Age of Churchill" by Wm. Roger Louis

"IN THE NAME OF GOD, GO! Leo Amery and the British Empire in the Age of Churchill"

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A brief account by Louis (History/Oxford and Univ. of Texas, Austin), a preeminent historian of the British Empire, of the influence of Leo Amery in shaping British imperialism from the turn of the century to the end of WW II. Amery, though not well known today, was considered the leading British imperialist of his generation, and even a possible prime minister ""had he been half a head taller and his speeches half an hour shorter."" HIS most dramatic moment came when, in a debate in the House of Commons early in WW II, he rounded on Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with the words used by Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament: ""You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"" But when Churchill became prime minister and appointed Amery secretary of state for India, a series of terrible rows ensued. Amery, though he consistently denigrated Gandhi, was virtually alone among his colleagues in believing that the Indians were capable of managing their own affairs and that they would respond well to British magnanimity. Churchill, by contrast, believed in self-government only for those in the white dominions, and, in Amery's view, knew ""as much of the Indian problem as George III did of the American colonies."" Louis believes that Amery's greatest achievement was to prepare the way for the transfer of power in India, thereby, ironically for this imperialist, contributing to national independence elsewhere in Asia and eventually in Africa. An interesting if somewhat dry glimpse of a man of ideas fated to see those ideas transformed into something he never envisioned.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1992
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Norton