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A Future of the English-Speaking Peoples

Lie Back and Think of the Anglosphere

A British flag recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, on display at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, August 2011. Nigel Roddis / Reuters

From U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” to Brexiteers’ “Global Britain” and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Great rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” nostalgic nationalism has become a major force in politics around the world. Appeals to past national glories animate far-right populist movements in Europe, fueling Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expansionism in his neighborhood, and animating Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ambitions. Such a world is prone to conflict. Yet nostalgia can still be consistent with some form of international cooperation, especially where culture, history, and values overlap. And in that context, the re-emergence of an Anglosphere—a long-held dream for many proud Britons—is no longer so far-fetched.

The idea of the Anglosphere dates back to the collapse of the British Empire. In his voluminous History of the English-Speaking Peoples, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill weaved through 2,000 years of history a

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