The Last of the Tsars
Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution
The distinguished historian of revolutionary Russia, Robert Service brings a profound understanding of the period and a forensic examination of official and personal records to this study of Nicholas II’s life and thought in the 16 months after the February 1917 Revolution and his abdication. The book examines the political environments of the Tsar’s places of detention, Irkutsk, Tobolsk and Ekaterinberg; his thinking on Russia and his own role; and the circumstances of the Romanov family’s execution in July 1918.
Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
With the outbreak of war in 1939, many factories were turned over to the war effort, while new ones were quickly built to manufacture munitions. Millions of women worked arduous shifts, day and night, dealing with dangerous materials, often after being forced to leave home and live in uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings. Based on extensive interviews, this book recounts the experiences of nine 'bomb girls', revealing the hardships that they endured and their often-unrecognized contribution to the Allied victory.
A Very Dangerous Woman
The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia's Most Seductive Spy
Adventurer, seductress and spy, the Russian baroness Moura Budberg embarked on a passionate affair in 1918 with Robert Bruce Lockhart, a British agent plotting Lenin’s downfall. Based on previously unexamined letters, diaries and documents, and narrated with the pace of a thriller, this first-ever biography tells the incredible story of a woman whose lovers included Maxim Gorky and HG Wells, and who became embroiled in the web of scandal surrounding the Cambridge Five.
At War on the Gothic Line
Fighting in Italy 1944–45
If much of the attention in Summer 1944 was on Normandy and the progress of the Allies through France, another enormous multinational army was also fighting doggedly further south and facing the last formidable barrier of German defensive positions, the Gothic Line, stretching from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean across mountainous northern Italy. This analysis of a year of fighting on the front tells the story through the varied experiences of 13 men and women from seven different countries.
No Milk Today
From doorstep delivery and money collection to amorous liaisons and dog attacks, this nostalgic social history takes an affectionate look at a great British institution, examines the changes that have taken place over the years, and laments the demise of the industry. Rich with stories and reminiscences, the book documents and celebrates the figure who not only delivered milk but also acted as community worker, handyman and family friend.
Game of Spies
The Secret Agent, The Traitor and The Nazi
During the Second World War, German-occupied Bordeaux was a hotbed of espionage as the Gestapo attempted to thwart clandestine British efforts to support the Resistance. Drawing on newly discovered documents, the late Paddy Ashdown and Sylvie Young reveal the deadly game of cat and mouse played out by three men – one British, one French and one German – against a backdrop of intrigue, treachery and death.
Then and Now
Matching archive images of the landmarks of Paris with photographs taken from the same viewpoints today, this book captures the changes that have taken place in the French capital from the heady days of the Belle Epoque. Here are the great monuments such as Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, alongside the atmospheric old streets of the Marais and the Left Bank. A detailed colour map shows the location of every view.
The Country House at War
Fighting the Great War at Home and in the Trenches
In August 1914, few realized the effects that war would have on every part of society. Simon Greaves explores the experiences of the men and women who lived and worked at properties that are now part of the National Trust. Drawing on unpublished letters, diaries and memoirs, and illustrated with period images, the book evokes life at stately homes as they became military hospitals and training camps – and the fate of those who left them to fight in the trenches.
The Liberation of Europe 1944–1945
The Photographers Who Captured History from D-Day to Berlin
This collection of archival images from The Times and Kemsley Newspapers, many published here for the first time, documents remarkable scenes from the Allies’ invasion of Europe, including the capture of Berlin, where a sombre Churchill inspects the site at which Hitler’s body was burnt. Set against a backdrop of devastation, action shots of airdrops, beach landings, tank battles and troop manoeuvres contrast with the delighted faces of liberated civilians, telling stories as compelling as they are harrowing.
Air Raids & Ration Books
Life on the Home Front in Wartime Britain
The government lost no time in making plans to manage the inevitable food shortages that would come with war, registering everyone in the country for ration books in September 1939, before rationing was actually introduced in January 1940. With chapters on wartime food, clothing, home life, air raids and transport, this book recalls life for ordinary Britons during the Second World War and is illustrated with hundreds of contemporary posters, coupons, advertisements, public information leaflets and photographs.
The West End Front
The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels
Partly thanks to their potentially bomb-resistant solidity, The Ritz, the Savoy, Claridges and the Dorchester became central to the cultural and political life of the country during the Second World War. This colourful history explores a remarkable period when cabinet ministers, military officials, exiled foreign dignitaries, journalists, spies, artists and chancers all used the hotels as meeting places, makeshift offices, temporary embassies and social centres.
Everything to Nothing
The Poetry of the Great War, Revolution and the Transformation of Europe
In this cultural history of the First World War, the conflict and the tremendous changes it wrought are seen from the perspective of poets and writers from all over Britain and Europe, including those who wrote propaganda or embraced the new violence, as well as more familiar 'war poets'.
The Long Shadow
The Great War and the Twentieth Century
‘In Britain … 1914–18 has become a literary war, detached from its moorings in historical events.’ In this study, David Reynolds seeks to redress the balance and broaden our vision by demonstrating how the First World War shaped the 20th century at home and abroad, through the widening of the democratic franchise, the creation of states in Europe and the Middle East, and the establishment of an ‘international order’; and how it paved the way for another, greater conflict.
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
How did the women of Paris survive the grim years of German occupation – and how, in the aftermath of liberation, did they come to terms with their actions? This first in-depth account of the lives of ordinary women in the occupied city charts the experiences of collaborators and resisters, actresses and prostitutes, teachers and writers, Nazis and Jews, in an atmosphere where sex became currency and life-or-death decisions were faced every day.
The Story of the Deadliest Influenza in History
While the First World War raged in Europe, the devastating ‘Spanish flu’ suddenly overwhelmed the world; in three successive waves it would kill around 100 million people. This history of the pandemic traces its origins and progress, using information from official documents and the personal accounts of those, such as David Lloyd George and Vera Brittain, who lived through it. The book also follows today’s scientists as they investigate the virus and draw lessons for our response to future pandemics.
When Britain Saved the West
The Story of 1940
‘In 1940 the only major power fighting Germany was Britain. Had Britain collapsed and Europe become Nazified, the future of the West would have been very bleak.’ In this book Robin Prior re-examines a vast range of official, semi-official and private documentary sources to give a full account of political and military events, and the many crises that threatened the nation during the year that Britain fought alone, from Dunkirk to the Blitz.