The extension of empire involved the militarisation of landscapes everywhere.
Fortresses of various types became the principal expression of the imperial
presence on almost every continent, notably in North America, India (already
a country of indigenous forts) and elsewhere in Asia, Africa and the
Caribbean islands. Forts came to represent the baleful horrors of the slave
trade and also the struggle among European imperial powers for conquest and
economic gain. But empire always illustrated the tension between stasis and
mobility. Forts were replaced by major military barracks, while the supreme
illustration of mobility lay in the extensive use of tents, by the military,
administrators and in early settlements. Tents were also vital in ceremonial
and diplomacy, particularly in India. Government houses eventually became
the major expression of the dispersal of Crown authority since they were, in
effect, royal residences (for the representatives of the monarch), created
everywhere and performing a whole range of vital functions in diplomacy and
the expression of power.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.