Preface; 1. Why a global language?; 2. Why English? The historical context; 3. Why English? The cultural foundation; 4. Why English? The cultural legacy; 5. The future of global English; References; Index; List of tables.
Crystal presents an account of the rise and status of English as a global language.
'A masterly synopsis of the spread of English across the world ... English as a Global Language arrives as an elegant successor to Robert McCrum's The Story of English, published in 1986. It is at the same time cool and immensely authoritative. Less than half the size, but with scarcely less text than its richly illustrated Rolls-Royce predecessor, it sets a new standard in the popularisation of linguistics.' Sir John Hanson (Director-General of The British Council), Times Higher Education Supplement 'This little book is a cross between a tourist guide and a no-nonsense school textbook ... Crystal is skilled at assembling scattered yet useful data in a form that seems safe and reliable. He presents enough facts and figures to make readers feel that they are getting good value for their time and money ... The book's value is clear. It is a judicious mix of outline facts and good sense about language ... Overall, this commonsensical little book will be a useful tool for spreading the important message that English is not supreme because it is superior ... , that English is not declining, and that it would be a tragedy if English alone remained among languages.' Jean Aitchison, Times Educational Supplement 'This is a fascinating and useful book... a fine introduction for a wide variety of potential users.' Choice 'Crystal provides us with an excellent account of the growth of English as the global language.' Good Book Guide