• by Robert McCrum
  • Narrated by James Langton
  • 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 19th century. Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation across the Atlantic grows into the military and cultural colossus of the 20th century. How? By the sword, of course; by trade and industrial ingenuity; but principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their common language.
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 21st century, writes the author, English + Microsoft = Globish.


What the Critics Say

"Robert McCrum argues, brilliantly and provocatively, that England's greatest contribution to the world is English." (Malcolm Gladwell, author of the New York Times best seller Blink)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


A most interesting format for a history of the English speaking world. It is an easy and informative listen. I've enjoyed reading sections at a time rather than reading straight through. Many sections I have repeated time and time again.
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- James J. Edwards

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-01-2010
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio