The notion of "empire" has been at the forefront of world politics for over a century. Bernard Porter's landmark work traces the critical response to the British imperial project in the years leading up to World War I. Imperial adventures, including the intervention in Egypt and the Anglo-Boer War. Long regarded as the classic account, the author has now added a substantial new Introduction. He demonstrates the power and influence of major critics such as J.A. Hobson -- the acknowledged creator of the "capitalist theory" of imperialism -- E.D. Morel and Mary Kingsley and of organizations like the Congo Reform Association. With themes which are also highly relevant to the present day discourse on the American "empire", this book will prove essential reading for all students of imperial and international history.