New Books Network

The Falklands War was in many ways the defining event in the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. In many ways it was also the last...

The Falklands War was in many ways the defining event in the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. In many ways it was also the last roar of the British Lion. An event shrouded in both nostalgia and patriotism, at the time and subsequently.

In his book, The Falklands War: An Imperial History (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Ezequiel Mercau a post-doctoral fellow of University College Dublin, revisits a decades-old debate about whether the Falklands dispute was (and remains) a last-ditch effort to hold on to the vestiges of Britain’s imperial & imperialist past. Taking Britain’s painful process of de-colonisation as his starting point, he shows how the powerful Falklands lobby helped revive the idea of a ‘British world’, transforming a minor squabble into a full-blown war. Boasting original perspectives on the Falklanders, the Four Nations and the Anglo-Argentines, and based on a wealth of unseen material, he endeavors to shed new light on the British world, Thatcher’s Britain, devolution, immigration and political culture – arguing that neither the dispute, the war, nor its aftermath can be divorced from the ongoing legacies of empire. Not everyone will agree with some of the novel and theoretical aspects of Ezequiel Mercau’s treatment, but all will agree that it is a most unusual and interesting treatment of the subject.


Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.