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经济学人:大英帝国日不落(1)

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Books & arts

文艺板块

Book review

书评

Britain’s past and present

英国的过去和现在

The sun never sets

日不落

Empireland. By Sathnam Sanghera.

《帝国》,作者:萨瑟南·桑赫拉

As Britain’s global role has shrunk, so the island’s politics have become increasingly insular. But occasionally wider concerns intrude—as in the Brexit saga, or during the protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. Both led to anguished debates about Britain’s place in the world, and over British identity more generally.

随着英国的国际角色日渐萎靡,这一岛国的政治也变得愈发孤立。但英国偶尔也会受到国际社会的广泛关注,比如英国脱欧事件,或者乔治·弗洛伊德去年在明尼阿波利斯死亡后引发的抗议活动。这两大事件都导致了有关英国的国际地位,以及英国身份的痛苦争议甚嚣尘上。

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In these discussions, the British Empire has been fingered as the culprit for many of the country’s problems and neuroses, from racism to a sense of exceptionalism that fuelled Brexit. Statues have been toppled and punches thrown. If, in the past, much of the thinking about empire was blinkered and jingoistic, these days it is often lacerating. British imperialism is identified as the source not only of militarism and hooliganism, but of the irresponsibility of high finance and much besides. In contrast to such polemics, Sathnam Sanghera’s new book is nuanced, intelligent and even entertaining.

在这些讨论中,人们将怀疑的矛头指向大英帝国,认为它是英国许多问题和焦虑(例如:推进英国脱欧的种族主义以及例外主义)的罪魁祸首。英国民众推倒雕像并拳打脚踢。如果说,在过去,人们大多认为帝国狭隘且大国主义;那么到了如今,人们通常持有抨击态度。人们认定英帝国主义不仅是军国主义和流氓行为的根源,也是巨额融资和其他诸多方面的无责任化的根源。萨瑟南·桑赫拉的新书与这样的激烈论辩截然不同,他的书细致入微,充满智慧,甚至富有娱乐性。

It is also refreshingly honest. The son of Punjabi immigrants, Mr Sanghera was born in the mid-1970s in Wolverhampton, an industrial town in the West Midlands and a focal point of anti-immigrant politics. He learned nothing about the British Empire at school, he writes. But as wrangles about Brexit and racism swirled around him, he resolved to read up. “Empireland” is the result.

这本书同样坦率真诚,令人耳目一新。桑赫拉是旁遮普移民的儿子,20世纪70年代中期出生于沃尔弗汉普顿,那里是英国中西部的一座工业城镇,也是反移民政治的焦点。他在书中写道,自己在上学时对大英帝国一无所知。但当他身边充斥着有关脱欧和种族主义的争论时,他决心要深入钻研。而“帝国”就是他得到的结果。

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重点单词   查看全部解释    
intelligent [in'telidʒənt]

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adj. 聪明的,智能的

 
contrast ['kɔntræst,kən'træst]

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n. 差别,对比,对照物
v. 对比,成对照<

 
source [sɔ:s]

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n. 发源地,来源,原始资料

 
entertaining [entə'teiniŋ]

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adj. 引起乐趣的,娱乐性的,令人愉快的 n. 招待,

 
intrude [in'tru:d]

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v. 闯入,侵入,打扰

联想记忆
occasionally [ə'keiʒənəli]

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adv. 偶尔地

 
identified

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adj. 被识别的;经鉴定的;被认同者 v. 鉴定(id

 
insular ['insjulə]

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adj. 岛的,岛民的,岛特有的

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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identity [ai'dentiti]

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n. 身份,一致,特征

 

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