Britain has invaded Afghanistan twice before in the nineteenth century. Both times tenacious Afghan fighters defended their country to humiliating British defeats. The Soviet Union also discovered what a tough enemy the Afghans are after nearly a decade of conflict from 1979 to 1989. When not fighting foreign invaders, Afghanistan was torn apart by Civil War from 1990 to 1996, resulting in victory for the Taliban.
The Afghan Wars in an Hour is an excellent way to learn all about the complex wars that have been fought in Afghanistan for almost four decades. It explains who the Taliban and the Mujahedeen are and how their politics work. It explores why Osama Bin Laden was so significant, and helps us understand why, still, it is so hard to achieve peace Afghanistan.
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour...
Encompassing everything from immigration to civil war, emancipation, slavery and migration, Black History in an Hour gives you a neat overview of this vast and fascinating subject.
This e-book is a superb introduction to the long and varied history of African Americans.
Know your stuff: read about Black History in just one hour.
Midnight, Tuesday 6 June 1944: the beginning of D-Day, the operation to invade Nazi-occupied Western Europe and initiate the final phase of World War II. A vast undertaking, it involved 12,000 aircraft and an amphibious assault of almost 7,000 vessels. 160,000 troops would cross the English Channel during Operation Overlord, paving the way for more than three million allied troops to enter France by the end of August 1944.
Forces from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Free French and Poland all heavily participated, alongside contingents from Belgium, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway, They capitalised on the element of surprise achieved due to bad weather and the success of Operation Bodyguard – a feat of massive deception to convince Hitler that the landings would hit Pas-de-Calais. In just over a year, the war would be won. ‘D-Day: History in an Hour’ is the story of how the largest military operation in history had been planned, practised and executed.
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The Siege of Leningrad was one of the longest sieges in history and it inflicted some of the worst civilian casualties of World War Two. When Hitler declared his intention to obliterate the key city of Leningrad on 22 September 1941, he could not have foreseen the grim determination of its citizens. Over the course of 900 days, the city resisted the Germans pounding at its gates. Its survival contributed to the defeat of Nazism. But the price was heavy – over 1 million died in Leningrad from German bombs and artillery, or from disease, the cold or starvation.
In its suffering Leningrad became a source of symbolic national pride, of good conquering evil. The story of the siege is one of heroic resistance and stoical survival but it also one of unimaginable suffering and extreme deprivation. THE SIEGE OF LENINGRAD: HISTORY IN AN HOUR is essential reading for all history lovers.
Know your stuff: read about the Siege of Leningrad in just one hour.
1943 Nazi-occupied France.
Six Frenchmen are in a Nazi prison: a doctor, a postman, a policeman, a soldier, a teacher and a priest.
After six months of prison, they are a desperate looking set of men. But, despite their circumstances, they are happy – for tonight is their last night of incarceration. Tomorrow, they will be free men.
But then – there’s a change of plan. The French resistance have blown up a German train. Five German soldiers lie dead.
Tomorrow, five of the six prisoners will be executed in reprisal. They have until dawn to decide which one of them should be allowed to live.
Six happy men are now six desperate frightened souls, victims of the Nazi’s arbitrary justice. The doctor, the postman, the policeman, the soldier, the teacher and the priest. Only one of them will live to see another day. Who will be The Sixth Man?
The Sixth Man is a novel about the difficult choices we have to make and living with the consequences.
The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 constituted the most serious threat to the USSR’s hegemony throughout the Cold War years. It is a story of extraordinary bravery in a fight for autonomy against a ruthless superpower.
Rupert Colley, founder of the bestselling ‘History In An Hour’ series, recounts the years leading up to the days of October 1956, from the post-First World War years, the Second World War and Nazi Germany’s occupation of Hungary, to the post-war Stalinist years. He recounts the days of the uprising from its heroic beginnings to its tragic end; and finishes with an account of the immediate post-revolution years and the subsequent downfall of communism in Hungary in 1989.
Illustrated with over 30 contemporary photographs, The Hungarian Revolution, 1956 provides a perfect introduction to one of the momentous occasions in 20th century history.
It is June 1940. France has surrendered and the Nazi German occupation begins. A small village in northern France awaitsthe arrival of a garrison of conquering Germans.
To their dismay, 16-year-old Pierre and his parents, Georges and Sandrine, are forced to accommodate a German major, Major Hurtzberger.
He is the enemy within their midst; the invader of their country, and, more pertinently, the unwanted lodger within their home. The problem, however, is that the German is annoyingly pleasant. The major, with a son of his own, empathises with Pierre in a way Georges has never been able to. Immediately the two of them find a bond, leaving Pierre confused and his understanding of good and bad, of black and white, shattered.
But then, Georges, Pierre’s father, is arrested by the Gestapo and taken away. Forced to confront the prejudices of others, as well as his own, Pierre has to ask where his loyalties lie, and who are his friends and who, exactly, is the enemy.
Desperate to prove himself a man, Pierre is continually thwarted by those he trusts – his parents, the villagers and especially Claire, the girl he so desires.
Pierre’s quest brings to the fore a traumatic event in the family’s past, a tragedy never forgotten but never mentioned. Only by confronting his trauma, can Pierre find the answer and prove he is a man in a country at war.
From the founder of the History In An Hour series, comes another powerful novel that will remain with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
“Really enjoyed this book. Loved the characters and their involvement in the story.”
“This is a book with difference. I will look for more books by this author.”
“Colley draws his characters with fine lines, illustrating both the brutality and compassion shown by individuals on both sides of this war.”
“Told with great poignancy.”
Historical fiction with drama and heart.
A compelling story of war, brotherly love, passion and betrayal during World War One.
Vast in scope and intimate in the portrayal of three lives swept along by circumstances, ‘This Time Tomorrow’ moves from the drawing rooms of Edwardian London to the trenches of the Western Front and to the uncertainty of post-war Britain.
When Guy Searight volunteers to fight with the British army in the early days of World War One, he leaves behind his girlfriend, Mary. While away fighting, Guy’s younger brother, Jack, seizes an opportunity to woo Mary for himself.
Forthright and self assured, Guy has always looked out for his confident but frail brother and blithely promises his fretting mother that he’ll look out for him when Jack’s turn comes to join up. But embittered by Jack’s betrayal, Guy vows that when Jack has to face the horrors of war for himself, he won’t be there to look after him.
When the brothers are reunited in the trenches of the Western Front, their thoughts are both with Mary. As Jack buckles under the strain of war, can Guy sustain his anger and allow his brother to suffer alone?
A shocking event, catastrophic in its intensity and barbaric in its conclusion, forces Guy to re-evaluate his relationship with his brother, with Mary and ultimately himself.
‘This Time Tomorrow’ is a tale of love, loss and longing.
“Great descriptive story… brought tears to my eyes… very well written… couldn’t put it down… highlyrecommend… you won’t be disappointed.”
“You will surely LOVE this book. It’s brilliant.”
“Should be read by anyone with a conscience in order that we never forget.”
“An immense journey … I cried several times! I strongly recommend this enriching read; the characters will stay with you for a long time afterwards.”
“A cinematic view of the Western Front.”
“The dialogue is masterful … Not to be missed.”
“An incredibly moving novel and wonderfully written. Highly recommended and one which I shall long remember.”
“A beautiful novel.”
“For days I found my thoughts drifting back to instances in the story … It would be a moving drama if this novel could be made into a movie.”
“Each time I picked this up to read a few chapters, I’d end up reading far longer than intended, until I finally gave up and sat and finished it.”
From 1930s Soviet Union to 1950s communist Hungary via 1940s Nazi Germany, a triple set of novels depicting love, life and survival living under oppression, fear and tyranny.
The Black Maria
‘When love becomes your greatest enemy’
Maria has a past – the sort that, if known, would cost her her freedom. So monstrous her past crime, she is forced to live a lie. Maria marries Petrov, a Party activist, not out of love, but as a means of forming a new identity, to escape her past. Her existence is safe – but dull. Until the day she meets Dmitry.
“I don't recall being quite as thoroughly chilled by Solzhenitsyn's works as I was with Rupert Colley's The Black Maria.”
“I'm seriously in awe. It's a remarkable piece of historical fiction. It's dark, gritty, and really quite disturbing. And heartbreaking at the same time. A brilliant achievement!”
My Brother the Enemy
‘Fear on the streets. Death on every corner. But the real enemy is the brother at his side.’
A story of jealousy, sibling rivalry and betrayal, and a desperate bid for freedom, set against a backdrop of Nazi oppression and war.
“This book not only grabs your mind, but grips your heart and won't let go! Grab the tissue box and hold on.”
“Turbulent historical setting? Check. Vivid descriptions? Check. Realistic and likeable central character? Check. Page-turning excitement? Check. Heart-stopping denouement? Check. Passion, heroism, betrayal? Check, check, and check."
‘Sometimes the simplest of choices can have the most devastating of consequences.
Sometimes falling in love can be a curse.
Sometimes being the hard man is the hardest job.’
Hungary, 1949. George, Eva and Zoltan. Three people trying to live by the rules within a system that demands total obedience. And at the heart of the novel, the everlasting presence of Eva's dead baby - Anastasia.
“Characters come alive -- you get into their heads. They are empathetic or cruel and heartless, but always interesting. There is the dark side of human nature as well as its opposite.”
“Impactful. Heart-wrenching. An important read.”
By Rupert Colley, founder, editor and writer of the bestselling ‘History In An Hour’ series of ebooks and audio, published by HarperCollins.
Historical fiction with heart and drama.
The first day of the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the blackest day in British military history – 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 dead.
This concise account of the Battle of the Somme includes a summary of the First World War leading up to July 1916, plans and preparations for the Somme Offensive, the role of Douglas Haig, the First Day of the Somme and the continuing battle, followed by a summary of the war to 11 November 1918.
There are tales of men who won the Victoria Cross at the Somme and those shot for desertion; and accounts of famous people who fought at the Somme, including future British prime minister Harold Macmillan; Siegfried Sassoon; mountaineer, George Mallory; one of Britain’s first black professional footballers, Walter Tull; authors J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Graves; and even Adolf Hitler.
A century later, The Battle of the Somme: World War One’s Bloodiest Battleprovides a perfect introduction to this momentous occasion in Great Britain’s history.
A short, heart-wrenching historical novella on a large canvas from the founder of History In An Hour.
My Brother the Enemy is a story of jealousy, sibling rivalry and betrayal, and a desperate bid for freedom, set against a backdrop of Nazi oppression and war.
1936 – Exiled by the Nazi regime for their father’s beliefs, Peter’s love for his brother is slowly eroded as Martin proves himself to be ruthless and manipulative. When Monika comes into their young lives, their mutual jealousies heighten and threaten to tear them apart.
1941 – A childhood accident saves Peter from active service. His brother, posted to the killing fields of the Eastern Front, isn’t so lucky.
1945 – Berlin is torn apart by Allied bombs. Amid the carnage and death that descends over the city, Martin returns from Russia – battered and embittered. The twins’ seething bitterness and their shared love for Monika finally explodes with devastating consequences.
“Turbulent historical setting? Check. Vivid descriptions? Check. Realistic and likeable central character? Check. Page-turning excitement? Check. Heart-stopping denouement? Check. Passion, heroism, betrayal? Check, check, and check.”
“This book not only grabs your mind, but grips your heart and won’t let go! Grab the tissue box and hold on.”
“Could hardly stand to put it down but at the same time I didn’t want to finish it! Would recommend to all.”
“This is a fantastic first novel from an already established and excellent, non-fiction history author …The characters were fully formed and utterly believable.”
“The characters are well drawn and the ending is especially clever.”
“A short but compelling historical novella.”
“This is a superbly written and acutely observed book, with well-rounded characters and convincing dialogue … (which) certainly packs a considerable punch.”
Moscow, 1935. Stalin is in power. People live in constant fear – fear of each other, fear of being denounced, and fear of Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD. Ordinary citizens live behind a mask – a public face that enables them to toe the Party line and conceal their true feelings and personal thoughts.
One such citizen is thirty-year-old Maria. She has a past – the sort that, if known, would cost her her freedom. So monstrous her crime, she is forced to live a lie. Maria marries Petrov, a Party activist, not out of love, but as a means of forming a new identity, to escape her past. Her existence is safe – but dull. Until the day she meets Dmitry.
Dmitry is an artist, whose work allows him a standard of living above the average Muscovite. But Dmitry feels straitjacketed by what he’s allowed to paint. Instead of the state approved rural idyll of his latest commission, he aspires to paint the female form. But when Maria offers to pose for him, he refuses – until he falls in love with her.
Dmitry’s artistic aspirations and Maria’s yearning for a new life force them to risk everything in the name of love and freedom.
‘The Black Maria’ is a novel about truth – the distortion of it, and the fear of it. And at the heart of the novel, is Maria’s brutal past. When love comes unexpectedly, it threatens to expose the truth and destroy her.
“I don’t recall being quite as thoroughly chilled by Solzhenitsyn’s works as I was with Rupert Colley’sThe Black Maria.”
“I’m seriously in awe. It’s a remarkable piece of work. It’s dark, gritty, and really quite disturbing. And heartbreaking at the same time. A brilliant achievement!”
“Colley is unflinching in his depiction of the depravity that can be borne out of desperate circumstances, and in doing so he examines the depths to which we are capable of descending when faced with little other choice. This novel is hard-hitting, dark and, at times, unpalatable. It is also honest. Because although Maria’s past deeds may have blackened her soul, the reader does not despise her. We are left feeling that she is not, in fact, the `black‘ Maria – she is, like us all, a curious shade of grey.”
“An absorbing if confronting read, [which] stayed with me long after I’d finished it. Will definitely be buying his other historical novels.”
“Wonderfully written, this is a novel that lives long in the memory. Highly recommended.”
“The Black Maria really gave a feel for how it must have been living in Russia under the rule of Stalin. There was a sense of fear for the characters throughout the story. I couldn’t put it down.”
A historical fiction novella.
World War Two, summer, 1942, Nazi-occupied France. A nervous young man sits on a train; his simple mission – to deliver a message on behalf of the resistance. The Germans ask for his papers and his nerves give way. An older woman, sitting opposite, intervenes and rescues him from the clutches of the Gestapo.
Paris, 1968. The young man is now the most successful music conductor in France; a household name throughout the land. Yet, he still wonders, 26 years on, why did the woman on the train intercede on his behalf? Without her, he knows his life would have turned out very differently. He owes her everything.
Unexpectedly, in the midst of the ’68 Parisian riots, he receives a letter from her, begging him to come to her aid. Honour-bound, he gladly offers to return the favour.
When he realises precisely what repaying his debt entails, he faces a dilemma that threatens to ruin his career. Torn between those he loves and his sense of honour, his life rapidly spirals out of control.
Who exactly was The Woman on the Train?
A WW2 / Holocaust novel from the founder of History In An Hour. Historical fiction with drama and heart.
A novel that follows in the footsteps of Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See, Kristin Hannah'sThe Nightingale and Charles Belfoure's The Paris Architect.
"Why haven't I heard of this man before? This is a little jewel box of historical fiction. The central premise is intriguing, the writing is crisp, and the story unfolds at pace."
"Most intriguing, wonderful book. Everyone should read this."
"Short, sharp and wonderful. Couldn't put it down."
"What a ride... Colley takes you on more than a train ride with this story.
Historical fiction with heart and drama.
The sequel to This Time Tomorrow.
June 1944, World War Two: a convoy ship is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat. Most on board are killed but ten sailors manage to clamber aboard a lifeboat.
Robert Searight emerges as the sole survivor. Traumatized by the experience, he returns to his English village to recuperate. His only task is to return a dead friend’s wedding ring to Joanna, the man’s widow. But Joanna is nowhere to be found.
His return to the village brings back the heartache he felt when, a year previously, his fiancée, troubled by her own past, broke off their relationship.
But ultimately, it’s his own dark secret that he must confront before he can come to terms with his broken heart and the trauma of having survived The Unforgiving Sea.
A sequel to This Time Tomorrow, The Unforgiving Sea is, on its surface, a tale of murder, survival and loss, while at its core we find a story of deep love, loyalty and forgiveness.
"A masterpiece of story telling."
Rupert Colley is the founder, editor and writer of the bestselling ‘History In An Hour’ series of ebooks and audio, published by HarperCollins. The Unforgiving Sea is his seventh work of historical fiction.
Historical fiction with drama and heart.
Sometimes falling in love can be a curse.
Sometimes being the hard man is the hardest job.
Hungary, 1949. George, Eva and Zoltan. Three people trying to live by the rules within a system that demands total obedience.
George, a rising star of Hungarian football, is told to throw a game. Faced with an impossible dilemma, George has to decide – to risk everything to fulfil his dream or, for the sake of his future, obey the rules.
Eva, reeling from the tragedy of losing her baby, Anastasia, falls in love at a time when love is fraught with danger.
Zoltan works for the secret police where having a heart is a sign of weakness. A torn man trying to suppress the good within him, his job takes him further and further from the things he values most.
Seven years later, in 1956, their destinies collide as Hungary erupts into revolution. Secrets can no longer be hidden as loyalties are pushed to the limit.
Set against the violent backdrop of suppression and revolution, Anastasia is a tale of people caught in the machinations of history, where the choices you make determine your fate. And at the heart of the novel, the unseen presence of Anastasia.
Historical fictionwith heart and drama.
“Impactful. Heart-wrenching. An important read.”
“Finished Anastasia – loved it! Recognised a number of scenes during the Hungarian Revolution – clearly done the research! Thought the female characters were particularly believable and well written. So just wanted to say I enjoyed it!”
“I want to give this to others without [an ebook reader] to read it.”
“Emotion bubbles throughout the novel’s pages.”
“A skilfully developed, suspenseful plot keeps the story moving.”
“The characters come alive — you get into their heads. They are empathetic or cruel and heartless, but always interesting. There is the dark side of human nature as well as its opposite.”
The suicide of Hitler’s niece, the assassinations of Malcolm X and Franz Ferdinand, the Battle of the Somme and Stalingrad, and the betrayal of Anne Frank – these are some of the stories you’ll find in Rupert Colley’s new collection of articles, The Savage Years: Tales From the 20th Century.
Covering World War One, World War Two, the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and much more besides, immerse yourself in sixty stories from some of the key moments of modern (and a few not so modern) history.
Fully illustrated with 140 photos, this makes perfect reading for commuters, students or the curious.
Within The Savage Years: Tales From the 20th Century, you’ll also meet Vladimir Lenin, Douglas Haig, Horst Wessel, Nikolai Bukharin, Fritz Haber, Joseph Goebbels, Joseph McCarthy, Rudolph Hess, Stalin’s mother and daughter, Leon Trotsky, Edith Cavell, Charles de Gaulle, Wilhelm II, Abraham Lincoln, Grigori Rasputin, and many, many more.
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is historian Christopher Clark’s riveting account of the explosive beginnings of World War I.
Drawing on new scholarship, Clark offers a fresh look at World War I, focusing not on the battles and atrocities of the war itself, but on the complex events and relationships that led a group of well-meaning leaders into brutal conflict.
Clark traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts between the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, London, and Belgrade, and examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 and details the mutual misunderstandings and unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks.
Meticulously researched and masterfully written, Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers is a dramatic and authoritative chronicle of Europe’s descent into a war that tore the world apart.
From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the Roman Empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history: the spectacular collapse of the 'free' republic, the birth of the age of the 'Caesars', the violent suppression of the strongest rebellion against Roman power, and the bloody civil war that launched Christianity as a world religion.
At the heart of this account are the dynamic, complex but flawed characters of some of the most powerful rulers in history: men such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero and Constantine. Putting flesh on the bones of these distant, legendary figures, Simon Baker looks beyond the dusty, toga-clad caricatures and explores their real motivations and ambitions, intrigues and rivalries.
The superb narrative, full of energy and imagination, is a brilliant distillation of the latest scholarship and a wonderfully evocative account of Ancient Rome.
Read about Hitler's experience as a soldier during World War One, the Nazi Party's climb to power, the elimination of their political opponents and the Weimar constitution. Learn about life in Nazi Germany, for women, the family, the Jews, and the use of state control, propaganda and security. See how Hitler manipulated foreign policy to achieve his aims, and how he brought the world into war.
Nazi Germany in an Hour tell you everything you need to know about Germany under Nazi rule, in just one hour.
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On a summer day in 1914, a nineteen-year-old Serbian nationalist gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. While the world slumbered, monumental forces were shaken. In less than a month, a combination of ambition, deceit, fear, jealousy, missed opportunities, and miscalculation sent Austro-Hungarian troops marching into Serbia, German troops streaming toward Paris, and a vast Russian army into war, with England as its ally. As crowds cheered their armies on, no one could guess what lay ahead in the First World War: four long years of slaughter, physical and moral exhaustion, and the near collapse of a civilization that until 1914 had dominated the globe.
Praise for A World Undone
“Thundering, magnificent . . . [A World Undone] is a book of true greatness that prompts moments of sheer joy and pleasure. . . . It will earn generations of admirers.”—The Washington Times
“Meyer’s sketches of the British Cabinet, the Russian Empire, the aging Austro-Hungarian Empire . . . are lifelike and plausible. His account of the tragic folly of Gallipoli is masterful. . . . [A World Undone] has an instructive value that can scarcely be measured”—Los Angeles Times
“An original and very readable account of one of the most significant and often misunderstood events of the last century.”—Steve Gillon, resident historian, The History Channel
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
Praise for A Distant Mirror
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary
NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
In 1914 the world changed. Europe’s great powers were dragged, one by one, into a war by Serbian conflict which affected very few of them directly. At least it would resemble the short sharp battles of the previous century, many thought – fought with military bands, horsemen, and swift victories. But 1914 proved to be different, a watershed, as old notions of war were trampled in the mud.
‘1914: History in an Hour’ is the indispensable overview of the year that marked the end of the Belle Époque and the shocking birth of modern mechanised warfare. It became a war of unimaginable horror, fought with terrifying new weapons that produced death on an industrial scale, a war that involved so many nations and reached into the fabric of their societies. 1914 shaped the First World War, and the years beyond.
Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody-- or taken away.
A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent from Poland years before for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. The Nazis are imposing more and more restrictions; she won't be safe there for long.
And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. Cyrla must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn--Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair, can Cyrla fool the doctors, nurses, guards, and other mothers-to-be? Can she escape before they discover she is not who she claims?
Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, MY ENEMY'S CRADLE keens for what we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.
Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award
One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year
Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings gives us a conflict different from the familiar one of barbed wire, mud and futility. He traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West, where the French army marched into action in uniforms of red and blue with flags flying and bands playing. In August, four days after the French suffered 27,000 men dead in a single day, the British fought an extraordinary holding action against oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost the British held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. Hastings also re-creates the lesser-known battles on the Eastern Front, brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs inflicted three million casualties upon one another by Christmas.
As he has done in his celebrated, award-winning works on World War II, Hastings gives us frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. He argues passionately against the contention that the war was not worth the cost, maintaining that Germany’s defeat was vital to the freedom of Europe. Throughout we encounter statesmen, generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations in Hastings’s accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts: generals dismounting to lead troops in bayonet charges over 1,500 feet of open ground; farmers who at first decried the requisition of their horses; infantry men engaged in a haggard retreat, sleeping four hours a night in their haste. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.
Historians have only recently awakened to the importance of the family, the basic social unit throughout human history. This book traces the development of marriage and the family from the Middle Ages to the early modern era. It describes how the Roman and barbarian cultural streams merged under the influence of the Christian church to forge new concepts, customs, laws, and practices. Century by century it follows the development -- sometimes gradual, at other times revolutionary -- of significant elements in the history of the family:The basic functions of the family as production unit, as well as its religious, social, judicial, and educational roles.
The shift of marriage from private arrangement between families to public ceremony between individuals, and the adjustments in dowry, bride-price, and counter-dowry.
The development of consanguinity rules and incest taboos in church law and lay custom.
The peasant family in its varying condition of being free or unfree, poor, middling, or rich.
The aristocratic estate, the problem of the younger son, and the disinheritance of daughters.
The Black Death and its long-term effects on the family.Sex attitudes and customs: the effects of variations in age of men and women at marriage.
The changing physical environment of noble, peasant, and urban families.
Arrangements by families for old age and retirement.
Dark Continent provides an alternative history of the twentieth century, one in which the triumph of democracy was anything but a forgone conclusion and fascism and communism provided rival political solutions that battled and sometimes triumphed in an effort to determine the course the continent would take.
Mark Mazower strips away myths that have comforted us since World War II, revealing Europe as an entity constantly engaged in a bloody project of self-invention. Here is a history not of inevitable victories and forward marches, but of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists, where townships boast a bronze of Mussolini on horseback one moment, only to melt it down and recast it as a pair of noble partisans the next. Unflinching, intelligent, Dark Continent provides a provocative vision of Europe's past, present, and future-and confirms Mark Mazower as a historian of valuable gifts.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Churchill’s Trial is organized around the three great challenges to liberty that Churchill faced: Nazism, Soviet communism, and his own nation’s slide toward socialism. Churchill knew that stable free government, long enduring, is rare, and hangs upon the balance of many factors ever at risk. Combining meticulous scholarship with an engrossing narrative arc, this book holds timely lessons for today. Arnn says, “Churchill’s trial is also our trial. We have a better chance to meet it because we had in him a true statesman.”
In a scholarly, timely, and highly erudite way, Larry Arnn puts the case for Winston Churchill continuing to be seen as statesman from whom the modern world can learn important lessons. In an age when social and political morality seems all too often to be in a state of flux, Churchill’s Trial reminds us of the enduring power of the concepts of courage, duty, and honor.
--Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Napoleon: A Life and The Storm of War
Larry Arnn has spent a lifetime studying the life and accomplishments of Winston Churchill. In his lively Churchill’s Trial, Arnn artfully reminds us that Churchill was not just the greatest statesman and war leader of the twentieth century, but also a pragmatic and circumspect thinker whose wisdom resonates on every issue of our times.
--Victor Davis Hanson, senior fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University
In absorbing, gracefully written historical and biographical narration, Larry Arnn shows that Churchill, often perceived as inconsistent and opportunistic, was in fact philosophically rigorous and consistent at levels of organization higher and deeper than his detractors are capable of imagining. In Churchill’s Trial Arnn has rendered great service not only to an incomparable statesman but to us, for the magnificent currents that carried Churchill through his trials are as admirable, useful, and powerful in our times as they were in his.
--Mark Helprin, New York Times bestselling author of Winter’s Tale and In Sunlight and in Shadow
Churchill’s Trial, a masterpiece of political philosophy and practical statesmanship, is the one book on Winston Churchill that every undergraduate, every graduate student, every professional historian, and every member of the literate general public should read on this greatest statesman of the twentieth century. The book is beautifully written, divided into three parts–war, empire, peace–and thus covers the extraordinary life of Winston Churchill and the topics which define the era of his statesmanship.
--Lewis E. Lehrman, cofounder of the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College and distinguished director of the Abraham Lincoln Association
In Empires of the Sea, acclaimed historian Roger Crowley has written his most mesmerizing work to date–a thrilling account of this brutal decades-long battle between Christendom and Islam for the soul of Europe, a fast-paced tale of spiraling intensity that ranges from Istanbul to the Gates of Gibraltar and features a cast of extraordinary characters: Barbarossa, “The King of Evil,” the pirate who terrified Europe; the risk-taking Emperor Charles V; the Knights of St. John, the last crusading order after the passing of the Templars; the messianic Pope Pius V; and the brilliant Christian admiral Don Juan of Austria.
This struggle’s brutal climax came between 1565 and 1571, seven years that witnessed a fight to the finish decided in a series of bloody set pieces: the epic siege of Malta, in which a tiny band of Christian defenders defied the might of the Ottoman army; the savage battle for Cyprus; and the apocalyptic last-ditch defense of southern Europe at Lepanto–one of the single most shocking days in world history. At the close of this cataclysmic naval encounter, the carnage was so great that the victors could barely sail away “because of the countless corpses floating in the sea.” Lepanto fixed the frontiers of the Mediterranean world that we know today.
Roger Crowley conjures up a wild cast of pirates, crusaders, and religious warriors struggling for supremacy and survival in a tale of slavery and galley warfare, desperate bravery and utter brutality, technology and Inca gold. Empires of the Sea is page-turning narrative history at its best–a story of extraordinary color and incident, rich in detail, full of surprises, and backed by a wealth of eyewitness accounts. It provides a crucial context for our own clash of civilizations.
Set in magnificent Renaissance France, this is the story of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.
Catherine de' Medici was a ruthless pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous "Queen Margot," was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control.
When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his followers to their deaths, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family.
Rich in detail and vivid prose, Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, inter-national espionage, and adultery form the background to a story that includes such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition, and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
In this lively and lucid volume, Andrew Hussey brings to life the urchins and artists who've left their marks on the city, filling in the gaps of a history that affected the disenfranchised as much as the nobility. Paris: The Secret History ranges across centuries, movements, and cultural and political beliefs, from Napoleon's overcrowded cemeteries to Balzac's nocturnal flight from his debts. For Hussey, Paris is a city whose long and conflicted history continues to thrive and change. The book's is a picaresque journey through royal palaces, brothels, and sidewalk cafés, uncovering the rich, exotic, and often lurid history of the world's most beloved city.
The Allied powers had met twice before, engaging in the cordial horse-trading of properties and promises, to perpetuate a united military front against Germany. Potsdam, however, was different. With Germany defeated, the Allies knew victory in the Far East was imminent. The objective was no longer how to unite for victory, but how instead to divide the spoils and create a new balance of power. In The Deal, Charles L. Mee Jr. demonstrates how, with national self-interest the primary motivation, peace was destined to be sacrificed to deliberate discord. If Allied harmony would stand in the way of expanding "spheres of influence," then it would become necessary to maintain the political expedient of aggression. What did each power want and were these objectives of sufficient importance to warrant forfeiting peace? Would the outcome have been different had Churchill's rhetoric been less powerfully disruptive, had Stalin been surer of domestic calm, had Truman been more open? Would the history of the last seventy years have been the same?
Through logbooks, eyewitness accounts, and conference transcripts, Mee vividly reconstructs this moment in history, when three men came together to forge a peace and a new face for Western Europe and left with a tri-partite declaration of the Cold War.
“Here is one of the most riveting first-person accounts ever to come out of World War II. Robert Leckie enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January 1942, shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In Helmet for My Pillow we follow his odyssey, from basic training on Parris Island, South Carolina, all the way to the raging battles in the Pacific, where some of the war’s fiercest fighting took place. Recounting his service with the 1st Marine Division and the brutal action on Guadalcanal, New Britain, and Peleliu, Leckie spares no detail of the horrors and sacrifices of war, painting an unvarnished portrait of how real warriors are made, fight, and often die in the defense of their country.
From the live-for-today rowdiness of marines on leave to the terrors of jungle warfare against an enemy determined to fight to the last man, Leckie describes what war is really like when victory can only be measured inch by bloody inch. Woven throughout are Leckie’s hard-won, eloquent, and thoroughly unsentimental meditations on the meaning of war and why we fight. Unparalleled in its immediacy and accuracy, Helmet for My Pillow will leave no reader untouched. This is a book that brings you as close to the mud, the blood, and the experience of war as it is safe to come.”-Print Ed.
The U.S.S. Wahoo was the most successful submarine in the World War II Pacific fleet. She was the first to penetrate an enemy harbor and sink a Japanese ship. She was the first to wipe out an entire enemy convoy single-handed. In her 11 short months of life she managed an incredible 21 kills.
Just 45 minutes before leaving Midway for her last—and fatal—patrol, her Chief Yeoman Forest Sterling was transferred to other duty.
The result is this book—Sterling’s fantastic yet completely authentic account of a remarkable crew and captain, and the ship they lived and died for.
“Many will remember the newspaper stories during World War II and the photo of Wahoo with a broomstick tied to her periscope signifying a clean sweep...But (here is) the full story from the yeoman who made all the patrols...except the last one.”—Medal-of-Honor winner Captain E. B. Fluckey, USN
Originating as a clandestine movement of ideas that was almost entirely hidden from public view during its earliest phase, the Radical Enlightenment matured in opposition to the moderate mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups.
In telling this fascinating history, A Revolution of the Mind reveals the surprising origin of our most cherished values--and helps explain why in certain circles they are frequently disapproved of and attacked even today.
“The political and religious conflicts of early modern Europe receive high-quality treatment from Greengrass.... an excellent addition to the new Penguin History of Europe.”—Financial Times
From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intellectual upheaval of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther’s challenge to church authority forced Christians to examine their beliefs in ways that shook the foundations of their religion. The subsequent divisions, fed by dynastic rivalries and military changes, fundamentally altered the relations between ruler and ruled. Geographical and scientific discoveries challenged the unity of Christendom as a belief community. Europe, with all its divisions, emerged instead as a geographical projection. Chronicling these dramatic changes, Thomas More, Shakespeare, Montaigne, and Cervantes created works that continue to resonate with us.
Spanning the years 1517 to 1648, Christendom Destroyed is Mark Greengrass’s magnum opus: a rich tapestry that fosters a deeper understanding of Europe’s identity today.
From the Hardcover edition.
Midway through the twelfth century, the building of cathedrals became a crusade to erect awe-inspiring churches across Europe. In their zeal, bishops, monks, masons, and workmen created the architectural style known as Gothic, arguably Christianity’s greatest contribution to the world’s art and architecture. The style evolved slowly and almost accidentally as medieval artisans combined ingenuity, inspiration, and brute strength to create a fitting monument to their God.
Here are the dramatic stories of the building of Saint-Denis, Notre Dame, Chartres, Reims, and other Gothic cathedrals.
This provocative and unique anthology analyzes Quentin Tarantino's controversial Inglourious Basterds in the contexts of cinema, cultural, gender, and historical studies. The film and its ideology is dissected by a range of scholars and writers who take on the director's manipulation of metacinema, Nazisploitation, ethnic stereotyping, gender roles, allohistoricism, geopolitics, philosophy, language, and memory.
In this collection, the eroticism of the club-swinging and avenging "Bear Jew," the dashed heroism of the "role-playing" French and German females, the patriotic fools and pawns, the amoral yokel, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, and the cosmopolitan, but psychopathic Colonel Landa, are understood for their true functions in what has become an iconoclastic pop-culture phenomenon and one of the classics of early twenty-first century American cinema. Additionally, the book examines the use of "foreign" languages (subverting English and image), the allegory of Austria's identity in the war, and the particularly French and German cinematic influences, such as R. W. Fassbinder's realignment of the German woman's film and the iconic image of the German film star in Inglourious Basterds.
This idea of cosmic order was one of the genuine ruling ideas of the Elizabethan Age, and perhaps the most characteristic. Such ideas, like our everyday manners, are the least disputed and the least paraded in the creative literature of the time. The province of this book is some of the notions about the world and man that were quite frequently taken for granted by the ordinary educated Elizabethan; the commonplaces too familiar for the poets to make detailed use of, except in explicitly educational passages, but essential as basic assumptions and invaluable at moments of high passion.
The objective of The Elizabethan World Picture is to extract and explain the most ordinary beliefs about the constitution of the world as pictured in the Elizabethan Age and through this exposition to help the ordinary reader to understand and to enjoy the great writers of the age. In attempting this, Tillyard has brought together a number of pieces of elementary lore. This classic text is a convenient factual aid to extant interpretations of some of Spenser, Donne, or Milton.
These discoveries, published in book form for the first time, would provide a unique and profoundly important window into the true mentality of the soldiers in the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe, the German navy, and the military in general—almost all of whom had insisted on their own honorable behavior during the war. Collaborating with renowned social psychologist Harald Welzer, Neitzel examines these conversations—and the casual, pitiless brutality omnipresent in them—to create a powerful narrative of wartime experience.
[Originally published as Soldaten.]
Living by his wits, a courier for the camp underground, Rosenblum is able to help other prisoners, and even to save children selected for the gas chambers. Eventually he finds himself working for the infamous Dr. Mengele. In a bizarre twist of fate, the Angel of Death is persuaded to perform life-saving surgery on Rosenblum--perhaps making him the only Jew to be saved by the deadly doctor's skills.
A remarkable man who danced on the razor's edge of history, Rosenblum did not merely survive the Holocaust, but rose above it by radiating hope and humanity--by defying the darkness.
Piracy explores the intellectual property wars from the advent of print culture in the fifteenth century to the reign of the Internet in the twenty-first. Brimming with broader implications for today’s debates over open access, fair use, free culture, and the like, Johns’s book ultimately argues that piracy has always stood at the center of our attempts to reconcile creativity and commerce—and that piracy has been an engine of social, technological, and intellectual innovations as often as it has been their adversary. From Cervantes to Sonny Bono, from Maria Callas to Microsoft, from Grub Street to Google, no chapter in the story of piracy evades Johns’s graceful analysis in what will be the definitive history of the subject for years to come.
"This collection shines a light onto the character and experience of one of the most interesting of monarchs. . . . We are likely never to get a closer or clearer look at her. An intriguing and intense portrait of a woman who figures so importantly in the birth of our modern world."—Publishers Weekly
"An admirable scholarly edition of the queen's literary output. . . . This anthology will excite scholars of Elizabethan history, but there is something here for all of us who revel in the English language."—John Cooper, Washington Times
"Substantial, scholarly, but accessible. . . . An invaluable work of reference."—Patrick Collinson, London Review of Books
"In a single extraordinary volume . . . Marcus and her coeditors have collected the Virgin Queen's letters, speeches, poems and prayers. . . . An impressive, heavily footnoted volume."—Library Journal
"This excellent anthology of [Elizabeth's] speeches, poems, prayers and letters demonstrates her virtuosity and afford the reader a penetrating insight into her 'wiles and understandings.'"—Anne Somerset, New Statesman
"Here then is the only trustworthy collection of the various genres of Elizabeth's writings. . . . A fine edition which will be indispensable to all those interested in Elizabeth I and her reign."—Susan Doran, History
"In the torrent of words about her, the queen's own words have been hard to find. . . . [This] volume is a major scholarly achievement that makes Elizabeth's mind much more accessible than before. . . . A veritable feast of material in different genres."—David Norbrook, The New Republic
June 6, 1944 was a truly historic day, but it was also a day where ordinary people found themselves in extraordinary situations...
Lieutenant Norman Poole jumped from a bomber surrounded by two hundred decoy dummy parachutists. French baker Pierre Cardron led British paratroopers to his local church, where he knew two German soldiers were hiding in the confessional. Southampton telegram boy Tom Hiett delivered his first “death message” by midday. At the sound of Allied aircraft, Werner Kortenhaus of the twenty-first Panzer Division ran to collect his still damp washing from a French laundrywoman. And injured soldiers wept in their beds in a New York hospital, knowing that their buddies lay dying on the Normandy beaches.
Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and oral accounts, D-Day is a purely chronological narrative, concerned less with the military strategies and more with what people were thinking and doing as D-Day unfolded, minute-by-minute. Moving seamlessly from various perspectives and stories, D-Day sets the reader in the midst of it all, compelling us to relive this momentous day in world history.
Reaching deep into the archives' letters, ledgers, and records from both inside and outside the home, he slowly pieces together the tragic story. The Casa welcomed girls in bad health and with little future, hoping to save them from an almost certain life of poverty and drudgery. Yet this "safe" house was cruelly dangerous. Victims of Renaissance Florence’s sexual politics, these young women were at the disposal of the city’s elite men, who treated them as property meant for their personal pleasure.
With scholarly precision and journalistic style, Terpstra uncovers and chronicles a series of disturbing leads that point to possible reasons so many girls died: hints of routine abortions, basic medical care for sexually transmitted diseases, and appalling conditions in the textile factories where the girls worked.
Church authorities eventually took the Casa della Pietà away from the women who had founded it and moved it to a better part of Florence. Its sordid past was hidden, until now, in an official history that bore little resemblance to the orphanage’s true origins. Terpstra’s meticulous investigation not only uncovers the sad fate of the lost girls of the Casa della Pietà but also explores broader themes, including gender relations, public health, church politics, and the challenges girls and adolescent women faced in Renaissance Florence.
With the sudden rise to power of a compelling personality and the resulting violent threat to ordered society, Jan van Leyden's distant story strangely echoes the many tragedies of the twentieth century. More than just a fascinating human drama from the past, The Tailor-King also offers insight into our own troubled times.