Author

Henk Wesseling

Henk Wesseling (1937-2018) was Professor Emeritus at Leiden University, Honorary Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) and Editor in Chief of the European Review. His earlier publications included Certain Ideas on France, Soldier and Warrior. French attitudes towards the army and war of the First World War, and Divide and Rule. The partition of Africa. In 2012 he published The Man Who Said No, a biography of Charles de Gaulle. His last book Scheffer-Renan-Psichari (2017) focussed on the lives of three generations of artists, philosophers and writers belonging to the Scheffer-Renan-Psichari family.

Divide and Rule

Divide and Rule

The partition of Africa 1880-1914

(Bert Bakker, 1991)

The partition of Africa at the end of the nineteenth century was one of the most dramatic episodes in modern history. For Europeans, Africa was still an unknown continent in 1880; thirty years later almost the entire land mass was under European control. The race for colonies involved countless thrilling exploits and spectacular conflicts, of which Stanley’s exploration of the Congo and Gordon’s death in Khartoum are just two examples.

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Europe’s Colonial Age

Europe’s Colonial Age

De koloniale rijken in de negentiende eeuw

(Bert Bakker, 2003, 397 pages)

European colonialism lasted barely a hundred years. The historian, Wesseling stated this in his earlier book, Divide and Rule: the partition of Africa. In Europa’s Colonial Age he proves this premise for all European colonial empires, which, at their high point, encompassed most of the inhabited world.
Wesseling ranges widely through history to show how differently colonial developments progressed in the various spheres of influence.

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France at War, 1870-1962

France at War, 1870-1962

(Bert Bakker, 2006, 351 pages)

We tend to forget that France – the land of culture, gastronomy and fashion – was until recently a nation so bellicose that it was waging war for almost a hundred years. In France at War Henk Wesseling, a historian with a lifelong fascination for French history, tells the story of the French hunger for colonies and its desire for revenge on Germany. The loss of its status as a great power, and the continual struggle to come to terms with that loss, exert a powerful influence on French politics and society to this day.

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