D-Day through German Eyes
How the Wehrmacht Lost France
Hampered by tactical mistakes in preparation for the invasion and by severely stretched resources, the Germans nevertheless almost repelled the Allies in June 1944 and the Battle of Normandy remained in the balance for two months. This assessment of the D-Day landings and the subsequent struggle for the Falaise Pocket from the defenders' perspective, focuses on the performance of the German commanders on the ground and uses first-hand accounts to give an insight into conditions and contemporary attitudes.
Votes for Women
The Pioneers and Heroines of Female Suffrage
Jenni Murray, the former presenter of BBC Radio 4's Women’s Hour, counter’s Carlyle’s assertion that history ‘is but the biography of great men’ with a personal selection of inspirational women who have made significant contributions to British history. In 21 short biographies, Murray includes just one queen, Elizabeth I, among writers, artists and scientists, social reformers and politicians from Boadicea to Nicola Sturgeon.
And the Last Days of the Third Reich
While he commanded the German submarine fleet, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz earned Allied respect as a military leader and formidable enemy, but after he succeeded Hitler as head of the Third Reich, his name became more closely associated with Nazi ideology. Turner's study looks in depth at the Admiral's character and conduct, particularly his Operation Hannibal, which rescued two million civilians and troops from the Russian advance; his negotiations for ending the war; and his actions in its aftermath.
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900
Picking up where Churchill’s work of the same title left off, Andrew Roberts follows Britain’s relations with the United States and the Commonwealth over the last 120 years. He examines the Western Alliance’s response to the challenges of two world wars and the Cold War, arguing that the unity of the English-speaking peoples is a bastion of liberty, and warning that the ‘wasted breathing space’ between 1991 and 2011 left us ill-prepared to meet the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
Hell and Good Company
The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made
The Spanish Civil War inspired and haunted artists and authors including Picasso, Miró, Hemingway and Orwell. It was also the testbed for military and medical technology that would come to the fore in the Second World War. This book tells its story through the eyes of the writers, reporters, doctors and nurses who experienced it first-hand, few of whom were in any doubt that they were witnessing the shape of things to come.
30-Second Twentieth Century
The 50 Most Significant Ideas and Events, Each Explained in Half a Minute
The fast-moving 20th century brought extraordinary medical and technological advances as well as some of humanity’s darkest hours. These 50 snapshots encapsulate the century through defining moments from the Boxer Rebellion to the exponential growth of the World Wide Web.
Wallis in Love
The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Woman Who Changed the Monarchy
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, turns his attention to Wallis Simpson, the twice-married divorcée who claimed the heart of Edward VIII, causing his abdication. Using interviews, secret letters, diaries and previously unseen primary sources, Morton charts Wallis’s life, from falling in love with a female teacher as a teenager to ignoring the cries of her husband as he lay dying. While Morton makes plain Wallis’s disdain for the duke, it seems his devotion to her never wavered.
Midnight at the Pera Palace
The Birth of Modern Istanbul
Inter-war Istanbul was a city in transition between east and west, past and future. This book recreates the social and cultural ferment of a cosmopolitan society peopled with Russian exiles, Jewish refugees and significant figures such as Atatürk and Trotsky. Slightly off-mint.
Stalag Luft III
An Official History of the 'Great Escape' PoW Camp
Prepared for the War Office at the end of hostilities, this history of the PoW camp has never been published before. Drawing on prisoners’ testimonies, it details the German administration of the camp, the morale and conditions of the men, and the many escape attempts, including the famous ‘Wooden Horse’ of October 1943 and the ‘Great Escape’ of March 1944.
The 1/5th (Territorial) Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War
The volunteer ‘Saturday night soldiers’ of the West Yorkshire Territorials were considered ‘too sleepy to fight well’ by General Haig, but on the Western Front the 1/5th Battalion became a formidable body of men. Sheehan uses newspapers, letters and photographs to tell the stories of many individuals who displayed heroism and fought with honour, even as their battalion was virtually wiped out on the Somme, at Passchendaele and at Wytschaete.
The Battle of Kursk
Controversial and Neglected Aspects
Valeriy Zamulin has written extensively on the Battle of Kursk. Here he takes a closer look at aspects of it that have been subject to debate, including examples of friendly fire censored from Soviet history, German preparations for the counterattack, and myths about battlefield tactics.
The Drowned and the Saved
In his final book, Primo Levi turned once again to his time in Auschwitz, and the lessons to be drawn from it. He reflects on the necessity of bearing witness to the truth, on survivor guilt, his feelings towards the Germans and the futility of hatred, and delivers a sobering reminder that, with would-be dictators waiting in the wings, the unimaginable could happen again.
The Forgotten Suffragettes
The long struggle for women's suffrage involved thousands of campaigners and activists from every walk of life. While some protested peacefully, others – exasperated with the government's indifference to their demands, burned down football stadiums or refused to pay their taxes. This compendium tells the stories of 48 lesser-known figures in the movement including the arsonist Edith Rigby, the Irish nationalist Mary Hayden and the Communist Ellen Wilkinson.
1989: The Year in Pictures
A momentous year in world events, the dramatic images of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia are emblematic of a turning point in history. Also included in this photographic summary are the protests in Tiananmen Square, the Hillsborough disaster, the fall of Ceau?escu in Romania and the opening of the Louvre pyramid.
The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
In 1968 Donald Crowhurst, an amateur sailor in an untested trimaran, amazed the public by taking the lead in the first solo round-the-world sailing race. Eight months later, his boat was found abandoned in mid-Atlantic. Based on interviews with family and friends, and Crowhurst’s logbook, this account of the stress that prompted him to deceive the world and suffer a mental breakdown formed the basis of the movie The Mercy, starring Colin Firth. Off-mint.
Constellation of Genius
1922 Modernism Year One
January 1922: TS Eliot is in Paris working on The Waste Land with Ezra Pound; in Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks decides to film the story of Robin Hood; insulin is first successfully used to treat diabetes; and Vaughan Williams's Pastoral Symphony is premiered in London: month by month, Jackson presents that spectacular year through the diaries of writers, artists, anthropologists and actors, philosophers, playwrights, politicians and scientists at work during the heyday of modernism.
University mathematicians and chess champions were invited to work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War but problem solvers were also sought amongst the general public, most famously through a competition to solve the Daily Telegraph crossword in under 12 minutes. That puzzle and over 100 other tests of lateral thinking are included in this book which also tells the story of how Station X recruited its talented staff.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
The Secret Twenties
British Intelligence, the Russians and the Jazz Age
Beneath the glamour and hedonism of the Roaring Twenties lay a fear that Britain was under threat from the fledgling Soviet state, and that its agents were everywhere, gathering intelligence and fomenting unrest. Drawing on newly declassified documents, this book uncovers British intelligence’s largest peacetime operation, a spy hunt that cast its net over MPs, aristocrats, the Bloomsbury group, workers and trade unionists, bringing down a government and ending several eminent careers.
Fit Men Wanted
Original Posters from the Home Front
Recruitment posters were a key tool in getting men and women to enlist during the First and Second World Wars and public notices of all kinds were further used to inform and direct the population’s behaviour. This collection of 62 detachable facsimile posters ranges from the blunt ‘Men of Hull Get a Move On’ to the surprising ‘Attack With Your Wastepaper’ and ‘Sultanas are News’.
The Art of Survival
France and the Great War Picaresque
Libby Murphy argues that writers and artists during the First World War reactivated and re-imagined the picaresque hero of classic Spanish fiction, an exemplar of resourcefulness and self-preservation, as a counter to the culture of heroism. Among the literary works, cartoons and films discussed are the journalism of Georges de la Fouchardière, Le Feu by Henri Barbusse, and Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp.
Struggle or Starve
Working-Class Unity in Belfast's 1932 Outdoor Relief Riots
Northern Ireland’s economy was decimated in the late 1920s, with unemployment rising to 40 per cent and those out of work forced to sign on for Outdoor Relief, a pittance given in return for manual labour. Mitchell gives a complete account of ‘relief’ programmes in the North, the reaction of the unemployed in the Outdoor Relief Strike and the ensuing riots – a show of working-class unity in a city usually associated with sectarian violence.
The Lost Revolution
Germany 1918 to 1923
‘Without an understanding of the defeat of the revolutionary movements of Germany after the First World War’, writes Chris Harman, ‘the Nazism that followed cannot be understood’. In this book he presents an in-depth study of the lost revolution in Germany, revealing its significance for the Russian Revolution and its lessons for future revolutionary struggle. International Socialism series.
The Dawn Watch
Joseph Conrad in a Global World
The novelist Joseph Conrad lived at a time of rapid and unsettling change, which he reflected in his work. Blending history, biography and travelogue, this book explores his childhood and youth in Russian-occupied Poland, his experiences as a sea-captain, and his life as an emigrant. It argues that the forces that shaped his world – migration, nationalism, revolution and terrorism – are still shaping ours, which is why his books resonate so strongly today.
1916: One Hundred Years of Irish Independence
The Easter Rising in April 1916 saw civilian deaths, the destruction of a large part of Dublin and the true beginning of Irish independence. Coogan's account of this turning-point in Irish history introduces the major players and the ideas that drove them, and vividly describes the events which they set in train. He also examines how the British government's mishandling of the aftermath had the effect of galvanizing popular support for the rebels.
Voices from the Holocaust
This collection of eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust, from Hitler's rise to power to the Nuremburg trials, draws on both Nazi and Jewish sources including political speeches and extracts from Anne Frank’s diary. Alongside survivors' tales of the death camps are stories showing how the situation in Germany deteriorated through the 1930s, and grim details of the massacres in Eastern Europe.
Death and Intrigue in the Promised Land
In February 1942, in a Tel Aviv flat, Assistant Superintendent Geoffrey Morton shot Avraham Stern dead. This first biography tells of Stern’s comfortable upbringing as a dentist’s son in small-town Poland, his emigration to Palestine and his commitment to the Zionist cause. It describes the terrorist attacks he organized against British targets, and his subsequent elevation as a martyr to the cause of Israel.
Passage Across the Mersey
Helen Forrester wrote vividly about her family's harrowing struggles in Depression-era Liverpool in her bestselling memoir Twopence to Cross the Mersey. Now, drawing upon her carefully kept papers and letters, her son Robert Bhatia recounts the surprising life she went on to live, initially in India, and later in Canada, and in doing so reveals his parents' touching love story.
Standing Up to Hitler 1935–1944
Even before the Second World War, senior German officers were seeking to save their country by overthrowing Hitler. Paddy Ashdown profiles opponents such as Admiral Canaris and draws on newly released files to reveal their repeated efforts to pass military secrets the Allies. He also consider whether half of Europe would have fallen under the Soviet yoke had Britain and the US heeded their attempts to negotiate a peace settlement in 1943. Slightly off-mint.
The Devil's Diary
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
Alfred Rosenberg was the principal ideologue behind the Nazi Party, whose ideas formed the theoretical basis for the Third Reich and the Holocaust. This book chronicles his rise to power, his relations with other leading Nazis, and his trial and execution. Its sources include Rosenberg’s own diary, which disappeared after his trial at Nuremberg and was only rediscovered 75 years later.
Securing the Narrow Sea
The Dover Patrol, 1914–1918
The men of the Dover Patrol, including many citizen volunteers, fought the longest continuous naval campaign of the First World War. It brought together a ramshackle assortment of vessels including trawlers, drifters, yachts and riverboats, and even airships, under controversial commanders who were often hampered by Admiralty infighting. This is a detailed account of their duties, from shore bombardment and barrage building to antisubmarine and escort tasks, culminating in the infamous Zeebrugge and Ostend raids.
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.
Billy Brown, I'll Tell Your Mother
The winner of The Alan Titchmarsh Show’s ‘People’s Author’ competition recalls his adventures growing up in the close-knit neighbourhood of post-war Brixton, where reports of his mischief could be quick to reach his mother's ears. Nevertheless, he scoured bombsites and markets, selling everything from bricks to horse dung, amid spivs, barrow boys and new arrivals from the West Indies, and found himself in more scrapes than most.
A History of the Long Range Desert Group, 1940–1945
The brainchild of desert adventurer Ralph Bagnold, the LRDG carried out clandestine acts of sabotage behind enemy lines in the North African desert during the Second World War. This account of the British unit, which was among the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of special forces, details their formation and deployment in Libya and later activities in the Mediterranean, where they retrained as mountain guerrillas and fought alongside the notorious Partisans in the Balkans.
The Hawker Hurricane was designed and built to counteract the growing aerial power of the Axis nations in the 1930s. With its stable firing platform and robust construction, it played a vital role in the RAF’s success. This illustrated guide details the technical history and combat performance of the aircraft, which chalked up more kills than the better-known Spitfire in the battles over Britain and France.
Dressing the Decades
Twentieth-Century Vintage Style
From the Parisian haute couture houses of the 1900s, with their elite clienteles, unique garments and personal fittings, to the high-end designers and luxury ready-to-wear clothes of the 1990s, Emmanuelle Dirix traces the progress of high fashion through the 20th century. Using an exceptional collection of photographs and illustrations, she discusses significant stylistic changes, the social and economic background to fashions and, within each decade, focuses on three ‘looks’ and the work of three of the most representative designers.
The Battle for Peace
Yitzhak Rabin (1922–95) is remembered as the Israeli leader who came closest to achieving peace with the Palestinians. This biography explores his youth in British-ruled Palestine, his part in Israel’s war of independence, his rise to high office, and his assassination.
Makers of the Modern World: Chaim Weizmann
The Zionist Dream
The Zionist cause was peripheral to the European concerns of the Paris Peace Conference, yet Chaim Weizmann (1874–1952), future President of the State of Israel, ensured Zionist voices were at the centre of diplomatic negotiations crucial to the future of Palestine.
Makers of the Modern World: General Smuts
Jan Christian Smuts wrote of the Paris Conference, ‘Such a chance comes but once in a whole era of history – and we missed it’. Lentin surveys Smuts’ role in wartime and at the peace talks, describing him as ‘the most principled, level-headed and far-sighted’ of the delegates.
Makers of the Modern World: Pašić and Trumbić
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
The delegates of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) – Pašić, the wartime Prime Minister of Serbia, and Trumbić, a Dalmatian Croat – had differing territorial objectives but were united in an ideal: unification and international recognition for Yugoslavia. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Ion IC Brătianu
Ionel Brătianu went to Paris convinced that Romania had made the right alliances and sacrifices to earn a place at Conference and territorial reward; but Romania’s 1918 Bucharest Treaty with the Central Powers was held against him and his quest to modernize his nation. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Ignacy Paderewski
After sketching the historical background to the Polish situation in 1914, this study focuses on Ignacy Paderewski, the internationally renowned pianist and nationalist who represented Poland in Paris and who contributed greatly to its emergence as an independent nation in 1919. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: WF Massey
New Zealand’s wartime Prime Minister, William Massey went to the Peace Conference to fight for his country’s interests, including recognition of its wartime sacrifice; a strong, united Empire and imperial preference in trade; and practical measures against future German aggression. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Vittorio Orlando
Against history’s ‘default’ position on Italy’s First World War history – its poor military performance and unjustified demands at the Peace Conference – this study examines the country’s aims and actions through the career of its wartime leader Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Maharaja of Bikaner
Over one million Indian soldiers fought for Britain during the War and at the Peace Conference India was classed as a ‘belligerent power with special interests’. This study focuses on the Indian princes’ representative, the ‘magnificent Maharajah’ Ganga Singh, and the emerging debate on Indian self-government. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Mihály Károlyi and István Bethlen
Structured around the careers of two future Hungarian Prime Ministers, Károlyi and Bethlen, this volume shows how the punitive terms imposed by the Treaty of Trianon led Hungary to its future alliance with the Nazis, defeat and Soviet domination. Slightly off-mint.