Just twenty years ago it seemed impossible that Scotland would ever get home rule, let alone full independence. Yet very soon there will be a Scottish referendum which will not only decide on this matter but which will have profound consequences for the future of all people on these islands.
In The Battle for Scotland, first published in 1992, Andrew Marr provides the historical backdrop to these extraordinary events. He attempts to explain the deep sources of Scottish national feeling and the political will which has brought us to this deeply uncertain time.
And in a substantial new introduction, Marr considers how we got here so suddenly, what the stakes really are and what the questions every voting Scot (and every non-voting UK citizen) will be asking themselves.
Andrew Marr was born in Glasgow. He graduated from Cambridge University and has enjoyed a long career in political journalism, working for the Scotsman, the Independent , the Economist, the Express and the Observer. From 2000 to 2005 he was the BBC's Political Editor. Andrew's broadcasting includes series on contemporary thinkers for BBC 2 and Radio 4, political documentaries for Channel 4 and BBC Panorama, and Radio 4's 'Start The Week'.
A History of the World is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For ‘the better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.’
Fresh, exciting and vividly readable, this is popular history at its very best.
The purpose of this insider's account is to provide an answer to all these questions and more. My Trade, Andrew Marr's brilliant, and brilliantly funny, book is a guide to those of us who read newspapers, or who listen to and watch news bulletins but want to know more. Andrew Marr tells the story of modern journalism through his own experience.
This is an extremely readable and utterly unique modern social history of British journalism, with all its odd glamour, smashed hopes and future possibility.
Between the death of Queen Victoria and the end of the Second World War, the nation was shaken by war and peace. The two wars were the worst we had ever known and the episodes of peace among the most turbulent and surprising. As the political forum moved from Edwardian smoking rooms to an increasingly democratic Westminster, the people of Britain experimented with extreme ideas as they struggled to answer the question ‘How should we live?’ Socialism? Fascism? Feminism? Meanwhile, fads such as eugenics, vegetarianism and nudism were gripping the nation, while the popularity of the music hall soared. It was also a time that witnessed the birth of the media as we know it today and the beginnings of the welfare state.
Beyond trenches, flappers and Spitfires, this is a story of strange cults and economic madness, of revolutionaries and heroic inventors, sexual experiments and raucous stage heroines. From organic food to drugs, nightclubs and celebrities to package holidays, crooked bankers to sleazy politicians, the echoes of today's Britain ring from almost every page.
Elizabeth II, one of England's longest-reigning monarchs, is an enigma. In public, she confines herself to optimistic pieties and guarded smiles; in private, she is wry, funny, and an excellent mimic. Now, for the first time, one of Britain's leading journalists and historians gets behind the mask and tells us the fascinating story of the real Elizabeth.
Born shortly before the Depression, Elizabeth grew up during World War II and became queen because of the shocking abdication of her uncle and the early death of her father. Only twenty-five when she ascended to the throne, she has been at the apex of the British state for nearly six decades. She has entertained and known numerous world leaders, including every U.S. president since Harry Truman. Brought up to regard family values as sacred, she has seen all but one of her children divorce; her heir, Prince Charles, conduct an adulterous affair before Princess Diana's death; and a steady stream of family secrets poured into the open. Yet she has never failed to carry out her duties, and she has never said a word about any of the troubles she has endured.
Andrew Marr, who enjoys extraordinary access to senior figures at Buckingham Palace, has written a revealing and essential book about a woman who has managed to remain private to the point of mystery throughout her reign.
Andrew Marr’s first novel is a darkly comic tale of deception and skullduggery at Downing Street and Whitehall. Making full use of his unrivalled inside knowledge of the British political scene, Marr has created a sparkling entertainment, a wholly original depiction of Westminster and its denizens, and a fascinating, irreverent glimpse behind the parliamentary curtain.
A History of 20th Century Britain collects together for the first time Andrew Marr's two bestselling volumes A History of Modern Britain and The Making of Modern Britain. Together, they tell the story of how the country recovered from the grand wreckage of the British Empire only to stumble into a series of monumental upheavals, from World Wars to Cold Wars and everything in between. In each decade, political leaders thought they knew what they were doing, but found themselves confounded. Every time, the British people turned out to be stroppier and harder to herd than predicted.
This wonderfully entertaining history follows all the political and economic stories, but deals too with the riotous colour of an extraordinary century: a century of trenches, flappers and Spitfires; of comedy, punks, Margaret Thatcher’s wonderful good luck, and the triumph of shopping over idealism.
The ‘Great War’, from July 1914 to November 1918, was without parallel. It brought to an end four dynasties, ignited revolution, and forged new nations. It introduced killing on an unprecedented scale, costing an estimated nine million lives. It was the war that destroyed any notion of romance or chivalry in battle; it pulled in combatants from nations across the globe and shattered them, body and mind.
The War involved all of the world’s great powers – the Central Powers, dominated by Germany and Austria-Hungary; the Triple Entente, lead by Britain, France and Russia; and America. World War One: History in an Hour explains the unprecedented battles on land, sea and in the air and describes the Home Front, espionage, and the politics behind them. This, for the first time in history, was ‘total war’.
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In his ambition to provide a male heir to the throne, Henry VIII married six times. Divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, caused England’s break from the Catholic church in Rome. He went on to divorce Anne of Cleves and behead Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard for infidelities. Jane Seymour died and Catherine Parr survived Henry.
Henry VIII’s Wives in an Hour will introduce you to these six entirely diverse and captivating personalities and the events that propelled them to their individual fates. You will learn which wife had what impact on Henry and England and understand why Henry and his six wives form the most popular period of Tudor history.
Know your stuff: read about Henry VIII’s wives in just one hour.
‘An essential book ... closely-reasoned, formidably intelligent and utterly compelling ... required reading across the political spectrum ... important and riveting’ Roy Foster, The Times
‘An outstanding new book on the IRA ... a calm, rational but in the end devastating deconstruction of the IRA’ Henry McDonald, Observer
‘Superb ... the first full history of the IRA and the best overall account of the organization. English writes to the highest scholarly standards ... Moreover, he writes with the common reader in mind: he has crafted a fine balance of detail and analysis and his prose is clear, fresh and jargon-free ... sets a new standard for debate on republicanism’ Peter Hart, Irish Times
'The one book I recommend for anyone trying to understand the craziness and complexity of the Northern Ireland tragedy.’ Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes
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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From the end of World War Two to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia and America eyed each other with suspicion and hostility as the world lived in the shadow of the Cold War. As post-war Europe was rebuilt, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin struggled to maintain peace among the former Eastern and Western Allies. Two ideologies, two political systems, two cultures, two superpowers became entrenched in a fight for dominance, each firm in the belief that history would prove them right.
The Cold War: History in an Hour is the concise account of the political tensions that arose as the world rebuilt after World War Two – an era beset by the constant fear of nuclear weapons and the looming threat of a Third World War.
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy, America’s youngest President, was assassinated barely one thousand days into his Presidency. In the fiftieth anniversary of his death, this is the story of the man who brought an aspirational new approach to American politics.
Born into the glamorous cast of Kennedys, JFK was propelled to political success despite family tragedy, disappointment and pressure. He engaged in a Space Race, averted the Cuban missile crisis and showed solidarity with the fledging civil rights movement. Throughout all he maintained a charismatic public image as son, brother and husband, despite his concealed personal failings and the chronic illness that beset him. JFK: History in an Hour provides a compelling and comprehensive overview of the man who epitomised the hopes of a decade and remains an influential figure to this day.
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‘Remember, remember, the fifth of November’. The gunpowder plot is a famed tale of treachery that continues to fascinate and capture the imagination four hundred years on.
The Gunpowder Plot in an Hour reveals the elaborate background to the infamous plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and James I, the ultimate act of treason. This compelling and engaging account of one of the most famous historical events in English history follows the Catholic protagonists hatching their plan through to their inevitable, gruesome deaths.
Learn who the Catholic traitors were, what drove them to such desperate measures, and how the plot was discovered. The Gunpowder Plot in an Hour gives a concise overview of this enduring event and is a must for all history lovers.
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When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth's memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as "powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage" in the face of dire circumstances.
Here, at last, is the full story of Chummy's delightful courtship and wedding. We also meet Megan'mave, identical twins who share a browbeaten husband, and return to Sister Monica Joan, who is in top eccentric form. As in Worth's first two books, Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times and Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse, the vividly portrayed denizens of a postwar East End contend with the trials of extreme poverty—unsanitary conditions, hunger, and disease—and find surprising ways to thrive in their tightly knit community.
A rich portrait of a bygone era of comradeship and midwifery populated by unforgettable characters, Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End will appeal to readers of Frank McCourt, Katherine Boo, and James Herriot, as well as to the fans of the acclaimed PBS show based on the trilogy.
The Norman Conquest was the most significant military—and cultural—episode in English history. An invasion on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans, it was capped by one of the bloodiest and most decisive battles ever fought. Language, law, architecture, and even attitudes toward life itself —from the destruction of the ancient ruling class to the sudden introduction of castles and the massive rebuilding of every major church—were altered forever by the coming of the Normans. But why was this revolution so total?
Reassessing original evidence, acclaimed historian and broadcaster Marc Morris goes beyond the familiar story of William the Conqueror, an upstart French duke who defeated the most powerful kingdom in Christendom. Morris explains why England was so vulnerable to attack; why the Normans possessed the military cutting edge though they were perceived as less sophisticated in some respects; and why William’s hopes of a united Anglo-Norman realm unraveled, dashed by English rebellions, Viking invasions, and the insatiable demands of his fellow conquerors.
Named one of the best books of the year by the Kansas City Star, who called the work “stunning in its action and drama,” and the Providence Journal, who hailed it “meticulous and absorbing,” this USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller is a tale of gripping drama, epic clashes, and seismic social change.
From the author of The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England, this popular history explores daily life in Queen Elizabeth’s England, taking us inside the homes and minds of ordinary citizens as well as luminaries of the period, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake.
Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, Mortimer relates in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail everything from the sounds and smells of sixteenth-century England to the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion.
Original enough to interest those with previous knowledge of Elizabethan England and accessible enough to entertain those without, The Time Traveler’s Guide is a book for Elizabethan enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
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.
Robert Tombs’s momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history.
The English have come a long way from those first precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world. This book describes their history and its meanings from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today’s England. Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples. Not the least of these connections are the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it and yet been shaped by it. These diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings are an inherent part of their identity.
Rather to their surprise, as ties within the United Kingdom loosen, the English are suddenly embarking on a new chapter. The English and Their History, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, and which incorporates a wealth of recent scholarship, presents a challenging modern account of this immense and continuing story, bringing out the strength and resilience of English government, the deep patterns of division and also the persistent capacity to come together in the face of danger.
On the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill’s death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays—with characteristic wit and passion—a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.
Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale, yet he hated war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was the most famous journalist of his time and perhaps the greatest orator of all time, despite a lisp and chronic depression he kept at bay by painting. His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II, even as it ushered in England’s post-war decline. His openmindedness made him a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, he was a rebuttal to the idea that history is the story of vast and impersonal forces; he is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference.
Laurence Olivier starred as Stanhope in the first performance of Journey's End in 1928; the play was an instant stage success and remains a remarkable anti-war classic.
Who were the first Britons, and what sort of world did they occupy? In A HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN Neil Oliver turns a spotlight on the very beginnings of the story of Britain; on the first people to occupy these islands and their battle for survival.
There has been human habitation in Britain, regularly interrupted by Ice Ages, for the best part of a million years. The last retreat of the glaciers 12,000 years ago brought a new and warmer age and with it, one of the greatest tsunamis recorded on Earth which struck the north-east of Britain, devastating the population and flooding the low-lying plains of what is now the North Sea. The resulting island became, in time, home to a diverse range of cultures and peoples who have left behind them some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic monuments in the world.
Through what is revealed by the artefacts of the past, Neil Oliver weaves the epic story - half a million years of human history up to the departure of the Roman Empire in the Fifth Century AD. It was a period which accounts for more than ninety-nine per cent of humankind's presence on these islands.
It is the real story of Britain and of her people.
Scotland is one of the oldest countries in the world with a vivid and diverse past. Yet the stories and figures that dominate Scottish history - tales of failure, submission, thwarted ambition and tragedy - often badly serve this great nation, overshadowing the rich tapestry of her intricate past.
Historian Neil Oliver presents a compelling new portrait of Scottish history, peppered with action, high drama and centuries of turbulence that have helped to shape modern Scotland. Along the way, he takes in iconic landmarks and historic architecture; debunks myths surrounding Scotland's famous sons; recalls forgotten battles; charts the growth of patriotism; and explores recent political developments, capturing Scotland's sense of identity and celebrating her place in the wider world.
As part of the Allied forces, thousands of Kenyans fought alongside the British in World War II. But just a few years after the defeat of Hitler, the British colonial government detained nearly the entire population of Kenya's largest ethnic minority, the Kikuyu-some one and a half million people.
The compelling story of the system of prisons and work camps where thousands met their deaths has remained largely untold-the victim of a determined effort by the British to destroy all official records of their attempts to stop the Mau Mau uprising, the Kikuyu people's ultimately successful bid for Kenyan independence.
Caroline Elkins, an assistant professor of history at Harvard University, spent a decade in London, Nairobi, and the Kenyan countryside interviewing hundreds of Kikuyu men and women who survived the British camps, as well as the British and African loyalists who detained them.
The result is an unforgettable account of the unraveling of the British colonial empire in Kenya-a pivotal moment in twentieth- century history with chilling parallels to America's own imperial project.
Imperial Reckoning is the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
Alone is the second volume of William Manchester's brilliant three-volume biography of Winston Churchill. In this volume, we witness the war within, before the colossal war to come. During this period, Churchill was tested as few men are: relentlessly pursued by creditors, disowned by his own party, vociferously dismissed by the press as a warmonger, and twice nearly lost his seat in Parliament. Yet despite his personal and political troubles, Churchill managed to assemble a vast, underground intelligence network-both within the British government and on the continent-which provided him with more complete and accurate information on Germany than the British government. Recognizing the horrifying truth, Churchill stood almost alone against Nazi aggression and the sordid British and French policy of appeasement.
Manchester's luminous portrait never loses sight of Churchill the man-a man with limitations, especially his callousness toward others (including his supporters) and his recklessness, which could border on the foolhardy; but also a man whose vision was global and whose courage was boundless. Here is Churchill as a light in the approaching darkness, readying himself for the terrible stand to come.
Once vast swathes of the globe were coloured imperial red and Britannia ruled not just the waves, but the prairies of America, the plains of Asia, the jungles of Africa and the deserts of Arabia. Just how did a small, rainy island in the North Atlantic achieve all this? And why did the empire on which the sun literally never set finally decline and fall? Niall Ferguson's acclaimed Empire brilliantly unfolds the imperial story in all its splendours and its miseries, showing how a gang of buccaneers and gold-diggers planted the seed of the biggest empire in all history - and set the world on the road to modernity.
'The most brilliant British historian of his generation ... Ferguson examines the roles of "pirates, planters, missionaries, mandarins, bankers and bankrupts" in the creation of history's largest empire ... he writes with splendid panache ... and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit' Andrew Roberts
'Dazzling ... wonderfully readable' New York Review of Books
'A remarkably readable précis of the whole British imperial story - triumphs, deceits, decencies, kindnesses, cruelties and all' Jan Morris
'Empire is a pleasure to read and brims with insights and intelligence' Sunday Times
Hannah Arendt's definitive work on totalitarianism and an essential component of any study of twentieth-century political history
The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.
The daughter of the American ambassador to the Court of St James’s, Kick swept into Britain’s aristocracy like a fresh wind on a sweltering summer day. In a decaying world where everything was based on stultifying sameness and similarity, she was gloriously, exhilaratingly different. Kick was the girl whom all the boys fell in love with, the girl who remained painfully out of reach for most of them.
To Kick, everything about this life was fun and amusing—until suddenly it was not. For this is also a story of how a girl like Kick, a girl who had everything, a girl who seemed made for happiness, confronted crushing sadness. Willing to pay the price for choosing the love she wanted, she would have to face the consequences of forsaking much that was dear to her.
Bestselling and award-winning biographer Barbara Leaming draws on her unique access to firsthand accounts, extensive conversations with many of the key players, and previously-unseen sources to transport us to another world, one of immense wealth, arcane rituals and rules, glamour and tragedy, that has now disappeared forever. It was a world of dukes and duchesses, of grand houses, of country house weekends, and of wild rich boys. But it was also a world of blood and war, and of immeasurable loss.
It was a time of complete upheaval, as reflected in the life of this most unlikely and unforgettable central character. Kick Kennedy reveals her story, that of a young girl learning about love, sex, and death—and doing it all at warp speed as the world races toward war and then reels in the war’s chaotic aftermath. This is the coming-of-age story of the female star of the Kennedy family, and ultimately a tragic, romantic story that will break your heart.
“There is a temptation, when you are around George Friedman, to treat him like a Magic 8 Ball.” —The New York Times Magazine
With remarkable accuracy, George Friedman has forecasted coming trends in global politics, technology, population, and culture. In Flashpoints, Friedman focuses on Europe—the world’s cultural and power nexus for the past five hundred years . . . until now. Analyzing the most unstable, unexpected, and fascinating borderlands of Europe and Russia—and the fault lines that have existed for centuries and have been ground zero for multiple catastrophic wars—Friedman highlights, in an unprecedentedly personal way, the flashpoints that are smoldering once again.
The modern-day European Union was crafted in large part to minimize built-in geopolitical tensions that historically have torn it apart. As Friedman demonstrates, with a mix of rich history and cultural analysis, that design is failing. Flashpoints narrates a living history of Europe and explains, with great clarity, its most volatile regions: the turbulent and ever-shifting land dividing the West from Russia (a vast area that currently includes Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania); the ancient borderland between France and Germany; and the Mediterranean, which gave rise to Judaism and Christianity and became a center of Islamic life.
Through Friedman’s seamless narrative of townspeople and rivers and villages, a clear picture of regions and countries and history begins to emerge. Flashpoints is an engrossing analysis of modern-day Europe, its remarkable past, and the simmering fault lines that have awakened and will be pivotal in the near future. This is George Friedman’s most timely and, ultimately, riveting book.
From the Hardcover edition.
Robert Kaplan first visited Romania in the 1970s, when he was a young journalist and the country was a bleak Communist backwater. It was one of the darkest corners of Europe, but few Westerners were paying attention. What ensued was a lifelong obsession with a critical, often overlooked country—a country that, today, is key to understanding the current threat that Russia poses to Europe. In Europe’s Shadow is a vivid blend of memoir, travelogue, journalism, and history, a masterly work thirty years in the making—the story of a journalist coming of age, and a country struggling to do the same. Through the lens of one country, Kaplan examines larger questions of geography, imperialism, the role of fate in international relations, the Cold War, the Holocaust, and more.
Here Kaplan illuminates the fusion of the Latin West and the Greek East that created Romania, the country that gave rise to Ion Antonescu, Hitler’s chief foreign accomplice during World War II, and the country that was home to the most brutal strain of Communism under Nicolae Ceaușescu. Romania past and present are rendered in cinematic prose: the ashen faces of citizens waiting in bread lines in Cold War–era Bucharest; the Bărăgan Steppe, laid bare by centuries of foreign invasion; the grim labor camps of the Black Sea Canal; the majestic Gothic church spires of Transylvania and Maramureş. Kaplan finds himself in dialogue with the great thinkers of the past, and with the Romanians of today, the philosophers, priests, and politicians—those who struggle to keep the flame of humanism alive in the era of a resurgent Russia.
Upon his return to Romania in 2013 and 2014, Kaplan found the country transformed yet again—now a traveler’s destination shaped by Western tastes, yet still emerging from the long shadows of Hitler and Stalin. In Europe’s Shadow is the story of an ideological and geographic frontier—and the book you must read in order to truly understand the crisis Europe faces, from Russia and from within.
Praise for In Europe’s Shadow
“[A] haunting yet ultimately optimistic examination of the human condition as found in Romania . . . Kaplan’s account of the centuries leading up to the most turbulent of all—the twentieth—is both sweeping and replete with alluring detail.”—Alison Smale, The New York Times Book Review
“This book reveals the confident, poetical Kaplan . . . but also a reflective, political Kaplan, seeking at times to submerge his gift for romantic generalization in respectful attention to the ideas of others.”—Timothy Snyder, The Washington Post
“A serious yet impassioned survey of Romania . . . Kaplan is a regional geographer par excellence.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Kaplan is one of America’s foremost writers on the region. . . . In a series of deep dives into the region’s past—Byzantine, Ottoman, Habsburg and Soviet—he finds parallels and echoes that help us understand the present.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Kaplan moves seamlessly from sights, sounds, and conversations to the resonance of history.”—Foreign Affairs
From the Hardcover edition.
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.
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In the spring of 1939, a top-secret organization was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler's war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage.
The guerrilla campaign that followed was every bit as extraordinary as the six men who directed it. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler's favorite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world's leading expert in silent killing, hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines. Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men—along with three others—formed a secret inner circle that, aided by a group of formidable ladies, single-handedly changed the course Second World War: a cohort hand-picked by Winston Churchill, whom he called his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
Giles Milton's Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do that is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.
"No novelist has made his creations live for us more thoroughly than Carlyle has made the men of the French Revolution," observed George Eliot. In his company, the scenes of the Revolution are plainly visible, and the pages of this book offer a walk through the streets of eighteenth-century Paris with a well-informed guide. This abridged edition represents the best introduction to Carlyle's masterpiece for students and history buffs.
Highly illustrated with photographs and timelines throughout, Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family tells the story of the House of Windsor and includes events such as the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and profiles on key people such as Princess Diana and Prince Harry.
Graphics illuminate details of the queen's personal and private life, vivid photographs highlight important events, special features showcase the royal residences, and timelines untangle the complete history of the kings and queens of England and Scotland, tracing the line of succession to the throne.
This gorgeous book is the most complete visual history of Britain's most enduring icon, Queen Elizabeth II, and the royal family.
On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began perhaps the most crucial debate in British parliamentary history. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain—indeed, perhaps, the world. Troublesome Young Men is Lynne Olson's fascinating account of how a small group of rebellious Tory MPs defied the Chamberlain government's defeatist policies that aimed to appease Europe's tyrants and eventually forced the prime minister's resignation.
Some historians dismiss the "phony war" that preceded this turning point—from September 1939, when Britain and France declared war on Germany, to May 1940, when Winston Churchill became prime minister—as a time of waiting and inaction, but Olson makes no such mistake, and describes in dramatic detail the public unrest that spread through Britain then, as people realized how poorly prepared the nation was to confront Hitler, how their basic civil liberties were being jeopardized, and also that there were intrepid politicians willing to risk political suicide to spearhead the opposition to Chamberlain—Harold Macmillan, Robert Boothby, Leo Amery, Ronald Cartland, and Lord Robert Cranborne among them. The political and personal dramas that played out in Parliament and in the nation as Britain faced the threat of fascism virtually on its own are extraordinary—and, in Olson's hands, downright inspiring.
It was the love story of the century--the king and the commoner. In December 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry "the woman I love," Wallis Warfield Simpson, a twice-divorced American who quickly became one of the twentieth century's most famous personalities, a figure of intrigue and mystery, both admired and reviled.
"Never explain, never complain."
Wrongly blamed for the abdication crisis, Wallis suffered hostility from the Royal Family and much of the world. Yet interest in her story has remained constant, resulting in a small library of biographies that convey a thinly veiled animosity toward their subject. The truth, however, is infinitely more fascinating than the shallow, pathetic portrait that has often been painted.
"For a gallant spirit, there can never be defeat."
Using previously untapped sources, acclaimed biographer Greg King presents a complete and, for the first time, sympathetic portrait of the Duchess that sifts the decades of rumor and accusation to reveal the woman behind the legend. From her birth in Pennsylvania during the Gilded Age to her death in Paris in 1986, King takes the reader through a world of privilege, palaces, high society, and love with the accompaniment of hatreds, feuds, conspiracies, and lies. The cast of characters is vast: politicians and presidents, dictators and socialites. Twenty-four pages of photographs reveal the life of the Duchess in all its incomparable glamour and romance.
What was Jenny Diski doing in the sixties? A lot: dropping out, taking drugs, buying clothes, having sex, demonstrating, and spending time in mental hospitals. Now, as Diski herself turns sixty years old, she examines what has been lost in the purple haze of nostalgia and selective memory of that era, what endures, and what has always been the same. From the vantage point of London, she takes stock of the Sexual Revolution, the fashion, the drug culture, and the psychiatric movements and education systems of the day. What she discovers is that the ideas of the sixties often paved the way for their antithesis, and that by confusing liberation and libertarianism, a new kind of radicalism would take over both in the UK and America.
Witty, provocative, and gorgeously written, Jenny Diski promises to feed your head with new insights about everything that was, and is, the sixties.
Since Princess Diana died in Paris on 31 August 1997 there have been more questions than answers about the crash that killed her, despite lengthy official French and British investigations.
This is the authoritative and up-to-date study into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, which includes unique access to Diana's close friends and bodyguards, French and British detectives who probed the crash, and the official French investigation's dossier into the crash.
“Sweeping . . . an ambitious synthesis . . . [Evans] writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color . . . Fascinating.”—Stephen Schuker, The Wall Street Journal
From the bestselling author of The Third Reich at War, a masterly account of Europe in the age of its global hegemony; the latest volume in the Penguin History of Europe series
Richard J. Evans, bestselling historian of Nazi Germany, returns with a monumental new addition to the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series, covering the period from the fall of Napoleon to the outbreak of World War I. Evans’s gripping narrative ranges across a century of social and national conflicts, from the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 to the unification of both Germany and Italy, from the Russo-Turkish wars to the Balkan upheavals that brought this era of relative peace and growing prosperity to an end. Among the great themes it discusses are the decline of religious belief and the rise of secular science and medicine, the journey of art, music, and literature from Romanticism to Modernism, the replacement of old-regime punishments by the modern prison, the end of aristocratic domination and the emergence of industrial society, and the dramatic struggle of feminists for women’s equality and emancipation. Uniting the era’s broad-ranging transformations was the pursuit of power in all segments of life, from the banker striving for economic power to the serf seeking to escape the power of his landlord, from the engineer asserting society’s power over the environment to the psychiatrist attempting to exert science’s power over human nature itself.
The first single-volume history of the century, this comprehensive and sweeping account gives the reader a magnificently human picture of Europe in the age when it dominated the rest of the globe.
The Battle of Britain paints a stirring picture of an extraordinary summer when the fate of the world hung by a thread. Historian James Holland has now written the definitive account of those months based on extensive new research from around the world including thousands of new interviews with people on both sides of the battle. If Britain's defenses collapsed, Hitler would have dominated all of Europe. With France facing defeat and British forces pressed back to the Channel, there were few who believed Britain could survive; but, thanks to a sophisticated defensive system and the combined efforts of the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy and the defiance of a new Prime Minister, Britain refused to give in. From clashes between coastal convoys and Schnellboote in the Channel to astonishing last stands in Flanders, slaughter by U-boats in an icy Atlantic and dramatic aerial battles over England, The Battle of Britain tells this epic World War II story in a fresh and compelling voice.
These agencies rank as two of the oldest and most powerful in the world, and Thomas's wide-sweeping history chronicles a century of both triumphs and failures. He recounts the roles that British intelligence played in the Allied victory in World War II; the postwar treachery of Great Britain's own agents; the defection of Soviet agents and the intricate process of "handling" them; the often frigid relationship that both agencies have had with the CIA, European spy services, and the Mossad; the cooperation between the British and Americans in the search for Osama bin Laden; and the ways in which MI5 and MI6 have fought biological warfare espionage and space terrorism.
All told, this is the story of two agencies led by men---and women---who are enigmatic, eccentric, and controversial, and who ruthlessly control their spies. Based on prodigious research and interviews with significant players from inside the British intelligence community, this is a rich and even delicious history packed with intrigue and information that only the author could have attained.
Nietzsche's Great Politics shows how Nietzsche made Bismarck's notion his own, enabling him to offer a vision of a unified European political order that was to serve as a counterbalance to both Britain and Russia. This order was to be led by a "good European" cultural elite whose goal would be to encourage the rebirth of Greek high culture. In relocating Nietzsche's politics to their own time, the book offers not only a novel reading of the philosopher but also a more accurate picture of why his political thought remains so relevant today.
Lasting six years and a day, the Second World War saw the lives of millions – soldiers and civilians, young and old – changed forever. During the conflict, a thousand people died for each and every hour it lasted. With eighty-one of the world’s nations involved and affected in some way, this was war on a truly global scale.
Offering a wide overview of the major figures, politics and action on all sides, World War Two: History in an Hour provides a concise picture of the world upturned. How the conflicts began, the violence involved and how they affected a century: this is the story of the events that ended over sixty million lives and challenged our understanding of humanity.
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour...
Working at the front-line on the streets of London can be thrilling, frightening, rewarding, infuriating, and sometimes plain hilarious.
In this eye-opening account of on-the-beat policing, Delito narrates some of his most interesting cases – from working undercover in a city club to being ambushed in the London riots – as well as taking us through the gadgets, procedures, and lingo that go with life at the other end of a 999 call.
From the team that brought you the bestselling CONFESSIONS OF A GP and CONFESSIONS OF A MALE NURSE comes CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CONSTABLE: a book that will shine a light on the gripping, touching and shocking realities of life as a city police constable.
What did you do at work today?
Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalog of ills seems endless: an economic crisis spread through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier that has crippled Greece and driven a wedge between northern and southern Europe; terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice; growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states; and refugees escaping war-torn neighbors. The European Union's inability to handle any of these disasters was a driving factor in Great Britain voting to leave, and others may soon follow. The result won't just be a continent in turmoil, but also a serious threat to American and British security-the Atlantic, let alone the Channel, simply isn't big enough to keep European troubles in Europe. For everyone's sake, Europe must survive.
The question is how. In Europe's Last Chance, Guy Verhofstadt-former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal faction in the European Parliament-provides the essential framework for understanding Europe today, laying bare the absurdity of a system in which each member state can veto legislation, opt in or out of the Euro, or close borders on a whim. But Verhofstadt does not just indict the European Union, he also offers a powerful vision for how the continent can change for the better. The key, argues Verhofstadt, is to reform the European Union along the lines of America's federal government: a United States of Europe strong enough to stand with the United States of America in making a better, safer world.
A visionary book from one of today's luminaries of European leadership, Europe's Last Chance is a clarion call to save the European Union, one of the world's greatest chances for peace and prosperity.
The defiant capital of England had always been Hitler's prime target. The last months of the Second World War saw the final phase of the battle of London as the enemy unleashed its new vengeance weapons, the flying bombs and rockets. They were terrifying and brought destruction on a vast scale, but fortunately came too late to dent morale seriously.
The people of London were showing the spirit, courage, and resilience that had earned them the admiration of the world during a long siege. In the harshest winter of fifty years, they were living in primitive conditions. Thousands were homeless, living in the Underground and deep shelters. Women lined up for horse meat and were lucky to obtain one egg a month. They besieged emergency coal dumps. Everyone longed for peace.
The bright new world seemed elusive. As the victory celebrations passed into memory, there were severe hardships and all the problems of post-war adjustment. Women lost the independence the war had lent them, husbands and wives had to learn to live together again, and children had a lot of catching up to do.
Yet London's loss has often been its opportunity. Its people had eagerly embraced plans for a modern metropolis and an end to poverty. They voted overwhelmingly for a Labour government and the new, fairer social order that was their reward for all they had endured.
The year of victory, 1945, represents an important chapter in London's---and Britain's---long history. Acclaimed historian Maureen Waller draws on a rich array of primary sources, letting the people tell their own story, to re-create that moment, bringing to it the social insight at which she excels.
Written with wit and elegance, and illustrated with delightful images and cartoons from both sides of the Channel, That Sweet Enemy is a unique and immensely enjoyable history, destined to become a classic.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Everyone remembers the powder keg, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife by Serbian national Gavrilo Princip; but what about the fact that a full month elapsed between Princip’s deed and the actual beginning of war? Or that the German Kaiser spent much of that time on his imperial yacht Hohenzollern, on his annual cruise in the Norwegian fjords? John Keegan explains in careful and fascinating detail how exactly the war began, taking the reader through this fateful and exciting month of diplomatic back and forth, last-minute near-saves, and ultimate failure.
An eBook short.
Thomas Piketty’s work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality, and that without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands, threatening democracy. For years, his newspaper columns have pierced the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath.
Why Save the Bankers? collects these columns from the period between the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. In crystalline prose, Piketty examines a wide range of topics, and along the way he decodes the European Union’s economic troubles, weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.
“Easy to follow for readers without much knowledge of economics, especially when [Piketty] picks apart topics that defy classical economic logic; in this he resembles Paul Krugman, who similarly writes clearly on complex topics . . . Helps make sense of recent financial history.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Anyone with an interest in politics, monetary policy, or international diplomacy will get a kick out of Piketty’s clear discussion.” —Shelf Awareness
“If you have been influenced by Piketty’s landmark work on inequality, make sure to read this next.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything
So, you want to be knowledgeable about British politics butdon't know where to start? You've come to the right place!British Politics For Dummies is your essential guide tounderstanding even the trickiest questions surrounding politics inthe UK. In no time, you'll have the confidence to discuss the insand outs of past and present elections, political leaders, partiesand ideologies.
Packed with understandable information on the origins, historyand structure of the UK parliamentary system, British PoliticsFor Dummies offers a fascinating glimpse into the rollercoasterworld of politics. Explaining everything from key politicalideologies and the spread of democracy to the current electionprocess and the differences between political parties, thishands-on, friendly guide is an ideal companion to British politicsand elections.Includes expanded coverage of coalition governments, devolutionand independence effortsProvides updated information on UKIP and Britain's place inEuropeServes as a helpful guide to elections and British politicalparties—electoral systems, voting behaviour and trends andthe role of pressure groups and the mediaOffers a fascinating examination of British politics on theworld stage
Whether you want to get to grips with British politics andgovernment or build your knowledge beyond the basics, this updatededition of British Politics For Dummies is the placeto start.
NOW A MAJOR BBC TELEVISION SERIES
"He writes so well and sympathetically, and chooses his detail so deftly, that if there is one new history of the war that you might actually enjoy from the very large centennial selection this is very likely it" The Times
We may think we know about it, but what was life really like for the British people during the First World War?
The well-known images - the pointing finger of Lord Kitchener; a Tommy buried in the mud of the Western Front; the memorial poppies of remembrance day - all reinforce the idea that it was a pointless waste of life. So why did the British fight it so willingly and how did the country endure it for so long?
Using a wealth of first-hand source material, Jeremy Paxman brings vividly to life the day-to-day experience of the British over the entire course of the war, from politicians, newspapermen, campaigners and Generals, to Tommies, factory workers, nurses, wives and children, capturing the whole mood and morale of the nation. It reveals that life and identity in Britain were often dramatically different from our own, and show how both were utterly transformed - not always for the worst - by the enormous upheaval of the war.
Rich with personalities, surprises and ironies, this lively narrative history paints a picture of courage and confusion, doubts and dilemmas, and is written with Jeremy Paxman's characteristic flair for storytelling, wry humour and pithy observation.
"A fine introduction to the part Britain played in the first of the worst two wars in history. The writing is lively and the detail often surprising and memorable" Guardian
Jeremy Paxman is a renowned broadcaster, award-winning journalist and the bestselling author of seven works of non-fiction, including The English, The Political Animal and Empire.