Whilst addressing the political controversy surrounding the bombing offensive against Germany, Leo McKinstry also weaves individual tales into this compelling narrative. Rich characters are brought to life, such as Roy Chadwick the designer, who taught himself engineering at night school and Sir Arthur Harris, the austere head of the Bomber Command. This is a rich saga, a story of triumph over disaster and the history of an iconic plane.
A record-breaking Test cricketer and acerbic commentator, Geoff Boycott has never been far away from controversy during his long career in the game.
Based on meticulous research and interviews with a host of players, Test captains, officials, broadcasters, friends and enemies, this definitive biography cuts through the Boycott myth to expose the truth about this charismatic, single-minded and often exasperating personality.
What was Boycott like as a schoolboy? How did his England cricket colleagues such as Graham Gooch, Dennis Amiss and Brian Close feel about him as a person? Why was he so unpopular in his early career for Yorkshire? And what is the real truth about the relationships that soured his private world?
From his upbringing as a miner’s son in a Yorkshire village, through highlights like his hundredth century at Headingley against Australia, to the low points such as the damaging court case in France, this warts-and-all account of his life makes for captivating reading.
The Luftwaffe greatly outnumbered the RAF, but during the Battle of Britain it was the RAF that emerged triumphant, thanks to two key fighter planes, the Spitfire and the Hurricane. The Hurricane made up over half of Fighter Command's front-line strength, and its revolutionary design transformed the RAF's capabilities.
Leo McKinstry tells the story of the remarkable plane from its designers to the first-hand testimonies of those brave pilots who flew it; he takes in the full military and political background but always keeps the human stories to the fore - to restore the Hawker Hurricane to its rightful place in history.
Ramsey’s life is a romantic story of heroism. Often derided by lesser men, he overcame the prejudice against his social background to reach the summit of world football.
The son of a council dustman from Essex, Ramsey had been through a tough upbringing. After army service during the war, he became a professional footballer, enjoying a successful career with Southampton and Tottenham and winning 32 England caps.
But it was as manager of Ipswich Town, and then the architect for England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, that Ramsey will be most remembered. The tragedy was that his battles with the FA would ultimately lead to his downfall. He was sacked after England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup and was subsequently ostracised by the football establishment. He died a broken man in 1999 in the same modest Ipswich semi he’d lived in for most of his life.
Drawing on extensive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues in the game, author Leo McKinstry will help unravel the true character of this fascinating and often complex football legend.
A self-confident Herman Goring thought that it would be only a matter of weeks before his planes had forced Britain to surrender. The courage, resourcefulness and brilliant organisation of the RAF were to prove him wrong. By late September 1940, the RAF had proved invincible, thanks to the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire. It exceeded anything that any other air force possessed. RJ Mitchell, a shy and almost painfully modest engineer, was the genius behind the Spitfire. On the 5th March 1936, following its successful maiden flight, a legend was born.
Prize-winning historian Leo McKinstry's vivid history of the Spitfire brings together a rich cast of characters and first hand testimonies. It is a tale full of drama and heroism, of glory and tragedy, with the main protagonist the remarkable plane that played a crucial role in saving Britain.