View from across the Atlantic

David Cannadine on the changing nature of British history in the US

There is nothing like a dose of distance for getting things in perspective. I have recently returned from six weeks' stay on the east coast of the United States, which is just about the best vantage point for viewing Britain and its history close enough to feel the pull of a common culture, yet distant enough to provide a salutary and stimulating degree of detachment. But to what purpose?

To state the obvious, British history as practised in the United Kingdom is the all-pervasive history of home, whereas British history as practised in the United States is but one particle of the history of abroad.

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