History

Showing 1–36 of 121 results

A brilliant, colourful narrative history of a pivotal year in European history In 1848, Europe was engulfed in a firestorm of revolution. The streets of cities from Paris to Bucharest and from Berlin to Palermo were barricaded and flooded by armed insurgents proclaiming political liberties and national freedom. The conservative order which had held sway since the fall of Napoleon in 1815 crumbled beneath the revolutionary assault. This book narrates the breathtaking events which overtook Europe in 1848, tracing brilliantly their course from the exhilaration of the liberal triumph, through the fear of social chaos to the final despair of defeat and disillusionment. The failures of 1848 would scar European history with the contradictions of authoritarianism and revolution until deep into the twentieth century. Author:Mike Rapport ISBN:9780349118642
KES 1,310
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1914-1918, David Stevenson’s history of the First World War, has been acclaimed as the definitive one-volume account of the conflict In the summer of 1914 Europe exploded into a frenzy of mass violence. The war that followed had global repercussions, destroying four empires and costing millions of lives. Even the victorious countries were scarred for a generation, and we still today remain within the conflict’s shadow. In this major analysis David Stevenson re-examines the causes, course and impact of this ‘war to end war’, placing it in the context of its era and exposing its underlying dynamics. His book provides a wide-ranging international history, drawing on insights from the latest research. It offers compelling answers to the key questions about how this terrible struggle unfolded: questions that remain disturbingly relevant for our own time. ‘It’s harder to imagine a better single-volume comprehensive history of the conflict than this superb study’ Ian Kershaw ‘Perhaps the best comprehensive one-volume history of the war yet written’ New Yorker ‘David Stevenson is the real deal … His defining characteristic is his outstanding rigour as an historian … tremendously clever’ Niall Ferguson ‘This history of the 1914-1918 conflict surpasses all others. It is tough, erudite and comprehensive’ Independent Author:David Stevenson ISBN:9780718197957
KES 1,890
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The story of the huge mobile battles of 1918, which finally ended the Great War. The story of the huge mobile battles of 1918, which finally ended the Great War. 1918 was the critical year of battle as the Great War reached its brutal climax. Warfare of an epic scale was fought on the Western Front, where ordinary British soldiers faced the final test of their training, tactics and determination. That they withstood the storm and began an astonishing counterattack, is proof that by 1918, the British army was the most effective fighting force in the world. But this ultimate victory came at devastating cost. Using a wealth of previously unpublished material, historian Peter Hart gives a vivid account of this last year of conflict – what it was like to fight on the frontline, through the words of the men who were there. In a chronicle of unparalleled scope and depth, he brings to life the suspense, turmoil and tragedy of 1918’s vast offensives. Author: Peter Hart ISBN:9780753826898
KES 1,040
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A compulsively readable collection of all the nastiest things that have afflicted mankind Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, bird flu, international terrorism – the world seems to get more dangerous by the day. Or does it? John Withington’s disturbing yet fascinating new book describes the worst things that have happened on Earth from the dawn of man to the present day. Part One chronicles all the major natural calamities – floods and earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and typhoons, plague and famine. Part Two describes in compelling detail the greatest man-made disasters – war and invasion, air raids, massacres, riots and terrorism, fires and explosions, shipwrecks, and air and train crashes. John Withington takes the reader on an epic journey through the annals of the nastiest things to have afflicted mankind. Out of all this horror, he has somehow fashioned a compulsively readble and entertaining book. Author: John Withington ISBN:9780749909789
KES 2,675
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A pacy, compelling and penetrating account – from the great Norman Stone ‘The best short primer on the war in twenty years’ Andrew Roberts Norman Stone’s gripping book tells the narrative of the Second World War in as brief a compass as possible, making a sometimes familiar story utterly fresh and arresting. As with his highly acclaimed World War One: A Short History, there is a compelling sense of a terrible story unfolding, of a sceptical and humorous intelligence at work, and a wish to convey to an audience who may well have no memory of the conflict just how high the stakes were. Author:Norman Stone ISBN:9780141031569
KES 1,400
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In the wake of the French Revolution & the Industrial Revolution, Europe underwent another revolution–this time a revolution of values. The author examines the rise of industrial capitalism and the consolidation of bourgeois culture, exploring the effects of mounting concentration of wealth, population migrations, and the domination of European culture. Integrating economics with political and intellectual developments, this account studies the cycles of boom & slump that characterize capitalist economies, of the victims & victors of the bourgeois ethos. Author: Eric Hobsbawm ISBN:9780679772545
KES 1,650
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The splendid finale to Eric Hobsbawm’s study of the nineteenth century, The Age of Empire covers the area of Western Imperialism and examines the forces that swept the world to the outbreak of World War One and shaped modern society. Author: Eric Hobsbawm ISBN:9780679721758
KES 1,650
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The first volume of Hobsbawm’s classic and universally acclaimed trilogy on the 19th century, beautifully repackaged as an Abacus History Great Eric Hobsbawm traces with brilliant anlytical clarity the transformation brought about in evry sphere of European life by the Dual revolution – the 1789 French revolution and the Industrial Revolution that originated in Britain. This enthralling and original account highlights the significant sixty years when industrial capitalism established itself in Western Europe and when Europe established the domination over the rest of the world it was to hold for half a century. Author: Erick Hobsbawn ISBN:9780349104843
KES 2,050
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The American Future traces the history of a country whose most enduring trait is its capacity for self-renewal, especially at times of disaster. Examining issues of power, race and immigration, religious fervour and prosperity, this masterful portrait of the world’s most controversial superpower looks backwards and forwards to understand why now, more than ever, the fate of America, and by extension the rest of the world, is hanging in the balance. Author:Simon Schama ISBN:9780099520399
KES 1,190
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Beginning with the Colonial period, progressing through the Revolution and the Antebellum period, the book chronologically documents the historical evolution of slavery in the USA Author: Peter Kolchin ISBN:9780140241501
KES 1,430
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Fascism was the major political invention of the twentieth century and the source of much of its pain. How can we try to comprehend its allure and its horror? Is it a philosophy, a movement, an aesthetic experience? What makes states and nations become fascist? Acclaimed historian Robert O. Paxton shows that in order to understand fascism we must look at it in action – at what it did, as much as what it said it was about. He explores its falsehoods and common threads; the social and political base that allowed it to prosper; its leaders and internal struggles; how it manifested itself differently in each country – France, Britain, the low countries, Eastern Europe, even Latin America as well as Italy and Germany; how fascists viewed the Holocaust; and, finally, whether fascism is still possible in today’s world. Offering a bold new interpretation of the fascist phenomenon, this groundbreaking book will overturn our understanding of twentieth-century history. Author: Robert O Paxton ISBN:9780141014326
KES 1,790
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‘This is a very personal book, about being alone and lost’. In 1975 Kapuscinski’s employers sent him to Angola to cover the civil war that had broken out after independence. For months he watched as Luanda and then the rest of the country collapsed into a civil war that was in the author’s words ‘sloppy, dogged and cruel’. In his account, Kapuscinski demonstrates an extraordinary capacity to describe and to explain the individual meaning of grand political abstractions. Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski, ISBN:9780141186788
KES 1,190
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ARABS, THE

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The Arabs is widely considered one of the essential books for understanding the Middle East and the peoples who live there. David Lamb, who spent years as a correspondent in Cairo, explores the Arabs’ religious, political, and cultural views, noting the differences and key similarities between the many segments of the Arab world. He explains Arab attitudes and actions toward the West, including the growth of terrorism, and situates current events in a larger historical backdrop that goes back more than a thousand years. Now thoroughly revised and updated, The Arabs takes the story up to 2001. Lamb analyzes the developments that led to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and helps the reader to understand how things got to that point. A veteran journalist, Lamb combines his extensive experience in covering international politics with his deeply informed insider’s knowledge to provide an intimate portrait of the Arab world today. Author: David Lamb ISBN:9781400030415
KES 1,790
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Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery’s city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement. The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written. In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks launched a movement that ultimately changed the world. The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era when white men assaulted black women to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy. Black women’s protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during World War II and went through to the Black Power movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle. At the Dark End of the Street describes the decades of degradation black women on the Montgomery city buses endured on their way to cook and clean for their white bosses. It reveals how Rosa Parks, by 1955 one of the most radical activists in Alabama, had had enough. “There had to be a stopping place,” she said, “and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around.” Parks refused to move from her seat on the bus, was arrested, and, with fierce activist Jo Ann Robinson, organized a one-day bus boycott. The protest, intended to last twenty-four hours, became a yearlong struggle for dignity and justice. It broke the back of the Montgomery city bus lines and bankrupted the company. We see how and why Rosa Parks, instead of becoming a leader of the movement she helped to start, was turned into a symbol of virtuous black womanhood, sainted and celebrated for her quiet dignity, prim demeanor, and middle-class propriety—her radicalism all but erased. And we see as well how thousands of black women whose courage and fortitude helped to transform America were reduced to the footnotes of history. A controversial, moving, and courageous book; narrative history at its best. Author: Danielle L. Mcguire ISBN:9780307389244
KES 1,750
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A major literary event: a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God which brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade—illegally smuggled from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States. In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, to interview ninety-five-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past—memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilde, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War. Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture. Author: Zora Neale Hurston ISBN:9780008297664
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Battlefields of the Second World War is what every Richard Holmes fan has been waiting for. In this fascinating and brilliantly articulated study of the Second World War, he clarifies the complexities of four of its campaigns: El Alamein, Monte Cassino, Operation Market Garden (of which Arnhem formed a crucial part)and the RAF’s bomber offensive against Germany. The book originates in his firm conviction that the sacrifices made by British service personnel are not properly understood. It uses eye-witness accounts to illuminate the horror, confusion and sheer enormity of war, and puts this in the context of the conflict’s broader strategy. ‘The name Richard Holmes is to military history what Made in Britain once was to maufactured goods. There is no shoddiness in materials or labour; reliability is the hallmark, not flashiness, John Bull the proud emblem’. The Times. Author: Richard Holmes ISBN:9780563488125
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE ‘A glittering gemstone of a book’ The Times The Jewish story is a history that is about, and for, all of us. And in our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews’ search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever. Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. It spans centuries and continents, from the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 it navigates miracles and massacres, wandering, discrimination, harmony and tolerance; to the brink of the twentieth century and, it seems, a point of profound hope. It tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon’s ruined army. Through Schama’s passionate telling of this second chronicle in an epic tale, a history emerges of the Jewish people that feels it is the story of everyone, of humanity Author: Simon Schama ISBN:9781847922816
KES 2,100
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We’ve all asked, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the bestselling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era yet. Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: the genocides in the Old Testament and crucifixions in the New; the gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm; the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals. Now the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. Tribal warfare was nine times as deadly as war and genocide in the 20th century. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were unexceptionable features of life for millennia, then were suddenly abolished. Wars between developed countries have vanished, and even in the developing world, wars kill a fraction of the numbers they did a few decades ago. Rape, hate crimes, deadly riots, child abuse – all substantially down.How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed? Pinker argues that the key to explaining the decline of violence is to understand the inner demons that incline us toward violence and the better angels that steer us away. Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence. Pinker will force you to rethink your deepest beliefs about progress, modernity, and human nature. This gripping book is sure to be among the most debated of the century so far. Author: Steven Pinker ISBN:9780141034645
KES 2,150
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A classic and impassioned account of the first revolution in the Third World. This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba. It is the story of the French colony of San Domingo, a place where the brutality of master toward slave was commonplace and ingeniously refined. And it is the story of a barely literate slave named Toussaint L’Ouverture, who led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean. Author: C. R. L James ISBN:9780679724674
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PEN/West Award Finalist “ Told with energy, perception and great charm. . . . For anyone who wants to . . . gain insight into the great cultural and political richness of Iran, past, present and future, this book is a marvelous introduction.” –Fred Halliday, Los Angeles Times Iran was the first country in the Middle East to develop an oil industry, and oil has been central to its tumultuous twentieth-century history. A finalist for the PEN/West Award, Blood and Oil tells the epic inside story of the battle for Iranian oil. A prominent member of one of Iran’s most powerful aristocratic families–so feared by Khomeini that the entire clan was blacklisted–Prince Manucher Farmanfarmaian was raised in a harem at the heart of Iran’s imperial court. With wit and provocative detail, he describes the days when he served as the Shah’s oil adviser and pioneered the partnership that resulted in OPEC. Beautifully written and epic in its scope, this scintillating memoir provides a fascinating history of modern Iran. “ Distinguished by its political acumen, historical sense, and vividness of description and anecdote. It is also notable for a wry sense of humour. . . . Amid the euphoria about the development of the oilfields of Central Asia and the Transcaucasus, [its] lesson should be kept in mind.” –Anatol Lieven, Financial Times Author: MANUCHER FARMANFARMAIAN and ROXANE FARMANFARMAIAN ISBN:9780812975086
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The most eloquent and expressive statesman of his time – phrases such as ‘iron curtain’, ‘business as usual’, ‘the few’, and ‘summit meeting’ passed quickly into everyday use – Winston Churchill used language as his most powerful weapon at a time when his most frequent complaint was that the armoury was otherwise empty. In this volume, David Cannadine selects thirty-three orations ranging over fifty years, demonstrating how Churchill gradually hones his rhetoric until the day when, with spectacular effect, ‘he mobilized the English language, and sent it into battle’ (Edward R. Murrow). Author: Winston Churchill ISBN:9780141442068
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The New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest. Author: Daniel James Brown ISBN:9780143125471
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From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold’s Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history – the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men – a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery – came together in a London printing shop and began the world’s first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement’s leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens’ movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last. Author: Adam Hochschild ISBN:9780330485814
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What is a caliphate? What is the history of the idea? How is the term used and abused today? In the first modern account of a subject of critical importance today, acclaimed historian Hugh Kennedy answers these questions by chronicling the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present. At its height, the caliphate stretched from Spain to the borders of China and was the most powerful political entity in western Eurasia. In an era when Paris and London boasted a few thousand inhabitants, Baghdad and Cairo were sophisticated centres of trade and culture, and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates were distinguished by major advances in science, medicine and architecture. By ending with the recent re-emergence of caliphal ideology within fundamentalist Islam, The Caliphate underscores why it is crucial that we know about this form of Islamic government to understand the political ideas of the so-called Islamic State and other Islamist groups in the twenty first century. Author: Hugh Kennedy ISBN:9780141981406
KES 1,250
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Three thousand years of Chinese history in an accessible and authoritative single volume. Despite the recent rise of China to a position of dominance on the world economic stage, Chinese history remains an elusive subject. Yet it is this vast narrative of appalling loss, superhuman endeavour and incredible invention that has made China the superpower it is today. From the dawn of legend to the succession of great dynasties, from Confucius to Chairman Mao and from the clamour of revolution to the lure of slick capitalism, John Keay takes the reader on a sweeping tour through Chinese history. This is a definitive and indispensable account of a country set to play a major part in our future. Author: John Keay ISBN:9780007257850
KES 1,990
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The New York Times bestseller and definitive history of Christianity for our time—from the award-winning author of The Reformation and Silence A product of electrifying scholarship conveyed with commanding skill, Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity goes back to the origins of the Hebrew Bible and encompasses the globe. It captures the major turning points in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox history and fills in often neglected accounts of conversion and confrontation in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. MacCulloch introduces us to monks and crusaders, heretics and reformers, popes and abolitionists, and discover Christianity’s essential role in shaping human history and the intimate lives of men and women. And he uncovers the roots of the faith that galvanized America, charting the surprising beliefs of the founding fathers, the rise of the Evangelical movement and of Pentecostalism, and the recent crises within the Catholic Church. Bursting with original insights and a great pleasure to read, this monumental religious history will not soon be surpassed. Author: Diarmaid MacCulloch ISBN:9780143118695
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Named Churchill’s official biographer in 1968, renowned historian Sir Martin Gilbert has amassed exclusive archival and personal documentation to explore the statesman’s famed affinity for and relationship with the United States. Churchill and America tells the intensely personal story of Winston Churchill’s profound connection to America, which resulted in an Anglo-American alliance that has stood at the center of international relations for more than a century. Drawing on this extensive store of Churchill’s own words — his private letters, his articles and speeches, and press conferences and interviews given to American journalists on his journeys throughout the United States — Gilbert paints a rich portrait of the Anglo-American relationship, illuminated by its most famous proponent. Author: Martin Gilbert ISBN:9780743259934
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Winston Churchill understood and wielded the power of words throughout his six decades in the public eye. His wartime writings and speeches revealed both his vision for the future and his own personal feelings, fascinating generation after generation with their powerful style and thoughtful reflection. In this book Churchill’s official biographer, Martin Gilbert, has skilfully selected 200 extracts from his entire oeuvre of books, articles and speeches that reflect his life story, career and philosophy. From intimate memories of his childhood to his contributions to half a century of debates on war and social policy, we see how Churchill used words for different purposes: to argue for moral causes; to advocate action in the national and international spheres, and to tell of his own struggles, setbacks and achievements. Martin Gilbert’s informed choice of extracts and his illuminating explanations linking them together create a compelling biography of Churchill as recounted in the great man’s own inimitable words. Author:Martin Gilbert ISBN:9780857501462
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‘I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.’ These notorious words, spoken by Churchill in 1942, encapsulate his image as an imperial die-hard, implacably opposed to colonial freedom – a reputation that has prevailed, and which Churchill willingly embraced to further his policies. Yet, as a youthful minister at the Colonial Office before World War I, his political opponents had seen him as a Little Englander and a danger to the Empire. Placing Churchill in the context of his times and his contemporaries, Richard Toye evaluates his position on key Imperial questions and examines what was conventional about Churchill’s opinions and what was unique. Combining a lightness of touch and entertaining storytelling with expert and insightful analysis, the result is a vivid and dynamic account of a remarkable man and an extraordinary era. Author: Richard Toye ISBN:9780330455770
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` A military leader of legendary genius, Caesar was also a great writer, recording the events of his life with incomparable immediacy and power. The Civil War is a tense and gripping depiction of his struggle with Pompey over the leadership of Republican Rome – a conflict that spanned the entire Roman world, from Gaul and Spain to Asia and Africa. Where Caesar’s own account leaves off in 48 BC, his lieutenants take up the history, describing the vital battles of Munda, Spain and Thapsus, and the installation of Cleopatra, later Caesar’s mistress, as Queen of Egypt. Together these narratives paint a full picture of the events that brought Caesar supreme power – and paved the way for his assassination only months later. Author: Gaius Julius Caesar ISBN:9780140441871
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Civilization

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Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries. All over the world, more and more people study at Western-style universities, work for Western-style companies, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and play Western sports. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed like miserable backwaters, ravaged by incessant war and pestilence. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic. These were the ‘killer applications’ that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest; opening global trade routes, exploiting new scientific knowledge, evolving representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the industrial revolution, and hugely increasing human productivity. Civilization shows exactly how a dozen Western empires came to control three-fifths of mankind and four-fifths of the world economy. Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered because the Rest have finally downloaded the six killer apps the West once monopolized – while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside the clashes of civilizations, Civilization recasts world history with verve and wit. Boldly argued but also teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best. Author: Niall Ferguson ISBN:9780141987934
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Winston Churchill’s six-volume history of the cataclysm that swept the world remains the definitive history of the Second World War. Lucid, dramatic, remarkable both for its breadth and sweep and for its sense of personal involvement, it is universally acknowledged as a magnificent reconstruction and is an enduring, compelling work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. Closing the Ring chronicles the period between June 1943 and July 1944 as the Allies consolidated their gains towards a drive to victory – the fall of Mussolini, Hitler’s ‘secret weapon’, the mounting air offensive on Germany, strategies to defeat Japan and the plans for D Day. Author: Winston Churchill ISBN:9780141441764
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A brilliantly arresting historical work, John Lewis Gaddis’s The Cold War takes us as never before to the time when the world stood on the brink of destruction. In 1945 war came to an end. But a whole new terror was only just beginning… Here is the truth behind every spy thriller you’ve read: why America and the Soviet Union became locked in a deadly stalemate; how close we came to nuclear catastrophe; what was really going on in the minds of leaders from Stalin to Mao Zedong, Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev, how secret agents plotted and East German holidaymakers helped the Berlin Wall fall. It is a story of crisis talks and subterfuge, tyrants and power struggles – and of ordinary people changing the course of history. Author:John Lewis Gaddis ISBN:9780141025322
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In this momentous election year, experience the history and personal stories of all 44 U.S. Presidents in this beautifully illustrated edition. From the first president, George Washington, to the most recent, Barack Obama, the United States has seen a host of extraordinary men take office. Their stories are all included in The Complete Book of US Presidents by journalist and historian Bill Yenne. This book features short, biographical essays about the lives of each of the 44 presidents, jam-packed with unusual details and expounding on the significant roles each commander-in-chief played in the shaping of the United States and its relations with the world. Vastly illustrated with sidebars about each and every vice president, First Lady, and interesting anecdotes on each president, this book is accessible to a broad audience and will captivate any history lover during election season. The Complete Book of US Presidents is truly an expansive collection that reflects on America’s rich presidential history, telling the story of a nation through the biographies of some of its greatest political leaders. Author:Bill Yenne ISBN:9780517183533
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This book investigates the major changes in world history and world economy during the past five hundred years and explains to what extent world forces have been responsible for shaping both past and present. Its underlying theme is the struggle for power in which, since the sixteenth century, the West has prevailed. Many of the problems of the contemporary world – including terrorism – are the legacy of the period of Western domination. Until the rise of the West, and its incomparable impact on every branch of human activity, the centre of the world has been in Asia. By the nineteenth century world power was firmly in the hands of the West. America’s later rise to world status was prompted by the two world wars. The most prominent of the Western nations, the US is now blamed for all the excesses of an earlier colonial age. Author:William Woodruff ISBN:9780349118376
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COSA NOSTRA

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The Mafia has been given many names since it was founded in the mid-19th century – the Sect, the Brotherhood, the Honoured Society, and now Cosa Nostra. This book reconstructs the history of the Sicilian Mafia from its origins to the modern day. Author: John Dicke ISBN:9780340935262
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