The Aquariums of Pyongyang
Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag
Kang Chol-Hwan is the first person to have documented his experiences in a North Korean gulag. In this memoir he recalls a happy childhood spent collecting tropical fish before, at nine years old, he and his family were arrested because of his grandfather’s ‘treason’. He describes the forced labour and near starvation he endured, and the executions he was forced to witness, before his release and flight to the South.
Secret Police Files from the Eastern Bloc
Between Surveillance and Life Writing
Mining the vast secret police archives of the German Democratic Republic (Stasi), Romania (Securitate) and Hungary (ÁVO, later ÁVH), this volume of eight scholarly essays unlocks the stories of love, crime, espionage, betrayal and revenge gathered and recorded by Soviet-style surveillance and its armies of collaborators and informants.
The Inside Story of Brexit
David Cameron’s former Director of Communications offers a day-by-day account the six months leading to the EU membership referendum in June 2016, the machinations of the Brexit campaigners, conflict within the Conservative party, and the aftermath of the shock result.
My Time as MI6's Top Spy Inside al-Qaeda
Aimen Dean was a bomb maker for al-Qaeda and was well respected in the organization, but grew sceptical of their philosophy and defected to become an MI6 agent. Recalling his life as a spy, which included meeting Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and many other key figures, his extraordinary memoir provides a deep insight into the terrorists’ world.
Into the Hands of the Soldiers
As the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times from 2011 to 2015, Kirkpatrick arrived in Egypt shortly before the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime; he watched as a new president was elected and then deposed in a military coup that brought a ferocious crackdown on dissent. This eyewitness account of the turmoil combines analysis of Egyptian politics with the author’s experiences among ordinary people caught up in perplexing and heartbreaking events.
Your Country Needs You
The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster
Alfred Leete’s iconic image of Lord Kitchener pointing over the slogan ‘Your Country Needs You’ is a design classic which was widely imitated, for instance in the American designer James Montgomery Flagg’s Uncle Sam poster. James Taylor explores its influence on the propaganda posters of Allied countries in the First World War and beyond, while arguing that, since it originated as a magazine cover and postcard, its direct effect on enlistment was smaller than is commonly believed.
Up Against the Wall
The KGB and Latvia
In 2018 Latvia’s politicians released KGB files seized when the Soviet Union collapsed almost three decades earlier. Alongside eyewitness interviews, they form the basis of this disturbing account of 50 years of tyranny that saw dissidents tortured and killed and 45,000 exiled to the gulags.
Preparation, Development, Training and the Beginning of The Conflict
Formed in 1938, the ‘Propagandakompanien’ (Pk) comprised motorized units of reporters, film cameramen and photographers, all with military training and attached to Wehrmacht, Waffen SS or Luftwaffe forces. Reproducing many of the unit’s wartime photographs, this volume gives a full account of the organization of the Pk and describes their work in print, film and radio during campaigns in Poland, France and on the Eastern Front.
Persuading the People
British Propaganda in World War II
During the Second World War, the Ministry of Information (MOI) was created to issue ‘national propaganda’, including books, pamphlets, postcards and posters that would maintain morale at home and influence opinion abroad. In 2000, the Ministry’s archive of wartime publications was deposited in the British Library. Drawing on that material, and illustrating 139 examples, Welch’s book demonstrates the range and inventiveness of MOI’s output, whether mobilizing for war, promoting thrift and well-being, celebrating victories or rousing people against the enemy.