With our former hegemons in precipitous decline I am often reminded of Aesop's inquisitive fox, who visits an old lion one day as he lies enfeebled amidst the cold shadows of his cave. Presumably the story had as much to say to us in the early 1900s with the slow shrinking of the Pax Britannica as it does today as our vexed Pax Americana gradually hits the dust.
Seeing very large historical events being reduced to smallish news stories, some no bigger than a small-town doctor obituary, is always a humbling experience. The great and grand problem or problems that consumed your era that everyone worried about may very well end up only being a very small story in the annals of history.
This is not mere ancient history. It is playing out today, and not just in the consequences of British (or French, or German, or American) imperial misadventures. It informs our Western portrayal of the "East" and our understanding of its peoples. We still see ourselves as the civilized world, the bearers of universal values. And we still portray the "East" as less civilized, more prone to violence, less respectful of human life and liberty.