The MacKenziean moment in retrospect (or how one hundred volumes bloomed)
in Writing imperial histories
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John M. MacKenzie's Studies in Imperialism series was launched in the mid-1980s, with the publication of MacKenzie's own Propaganda and Empire. The Series masthead, in its conviction that 'imperialism as a cultural phenomenon had as significant an effect on the dominant as on the subordinate societies', was both a response to, and an elaboration upon, a range of social, political and intellectual cross-currents. At a time when the neo-jingoism of the Falklands War was a recent memory and the pervasive 'Raj revival' in British popular culture seemed ubiquitous, there was indeed much to be said for pursuing the idea of a deep-rooted British popular preoccupation with the culture of empire. The nature, function and scope of imperial influences have also been revised over the course of one hundred volumes. The most recent departure is the comparative European experience of popular imperialism, with MacKenzie once more at the helm.

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