Informal empire is a key mechanism of control that explains much of the configuration of the modern world as it is today. This book traces the broad and undeniable outline of westernization through elite formations around the world in the modern era. It explains why the world is western and how formal empire describes only the tip of the iceberg of British and American power. Barton examines how the imperial web of influence can justly be said to have revolutionized human thought and culture at every level and in every location. He concludes by warning that the open elites that characterized the Victorian age have given way to closed elites that manipulate the levers of the imperial web to the detriment of meaningful culture and human liberty.