“The shape the book eventually took, as a genealogy of liberal imperialism, was prompted by the combat clerisy themselves. They were the ones appealing to the legacy of 19th Century liberal imperialism. They were the ones vaunting a kitschy manifest-destinarianism, as well as a muscular determination to visit vengeance on the barbarians. It was they who culled their catchphrases from a disgraced imperial lexicon. Unless I wanted to write a gossipy, huffy polemic in the manner of Nick Cohen’s What’s Left, I had no choice but to anatomise these discursive strategies from their origins to the present day.”
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