The Afghan Wars: History in an Hour

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Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour.

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...

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About the author

Rupert Colley was a librarian in Enfield for 22 years until September 2011. A history graduate, he launched the original History In An Hour in 2009 with a website, blog and ‘World War Two In An Hour’ as an iPhone app. He then expanded it to Kindle, iBooks and into the USA with a series of titles, and enlisted new writers by encouraging guest bloggers on the website. History In An Hour was acquired by Scott Pack for HarperCollins in 2011.

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Reviews

4.1
73 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins UK
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Published on
Oct 13, 2011
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Pages
60
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ISBN
9780007451203
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / Middle East / General
History / Military / Afghan War (2001-)
History / World
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Rupert Colley
A fantastic trilogy of historical fiction set in the 20th century. 

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." 

Anastasia
‘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. 
Rupert Colley
Fear on the streets. Death on every corner. But the real enemy is the brother at his side.

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.”
 
Rupert Colley
Historical fiction at its best… Three engrossing novels set in World War Two Nazi-occupied France.

The Sixth Man
What’s the Worst Thing You’ve Ever Done? Would you ADMIT it if your life depended on it?

Six Frenchmen are in a Nazi prison: a doctor, a postman, a policeman, a soldier, a teacher and a priest.

Tomorrow, five of the six prisoners will be executed. They have until dawn to decide which one of them should be allowed to live.

“Rupert Colley’s striking and uncommon six stories in ‘The Sixth Man’ are so remarkable in their originality; you will be intrigued and spellbound by this engrossing novel. Colley is a master storyteller, and his character-driven tales will stay in your memory for a long, long time.”

”A beautiful and touching story. The six men’s tales will leave the reader breathless and the ending will leave you with goose bumps.”

“A real page turner. I was reading at every opportunity. A fantastic tale with an unexpected twist at the end.” 

The Woman on the Train
Someone saves your life. How far will you go to repay the debt?

A woman on a train saves a nervous young Frenchmen from the clutches of the Gestapo. 26 years later, the young man is now the most successful conductor in France. It is then, at the height of his fame, he receives a letter from the woman on the train, begging him to come to her aid. Honour-bound, he gladly offers to return the favour. 

But 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. 

”Why haven't I heard of this author before? This is a little jewel box of a book.”

“The central premise is intriguing, the writing is crisp, and the story unfolds at pace. Read it in an evening.”

“Short, sharp and wonderful. Couldn't put it down. Mysterious and wonderfully written!!” 

The White Venus
When the ties of loyalty are severed, whom do you trust?

World War Two. France falls to the invading Germans. To their dismay, 16-year-old Pierre and his parents are forced to accommodate a German major. 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 Pierre’s father 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. 

”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. Loved the characters and their involvement in the story.”

“This is a book with difference.”

Historical fiction with heart and drama.
Rupert Colley
Someone saves your life. How far will you go to repay the debt?

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.
Rupert Colley
A fantastic trilogy of historical fiction set in the 20th century. 

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." 

Anastasia
‘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. 
Rupert Colley
When love becomes your greatest enemy.

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.”
 
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