A People's History
While in office, President Obama received thousands of letters a day from ordinary American citizens. Every night, he read ten of these at bedtime, whether they were apologies, appreciations, thanks or rants, and he often sent handwritten responses. The author of this book has interviewed the letter-writers, members of the White House staff and Obama himself to create a vivid portrait of an empathetic leader and the people he represented.
Churchill and Fisher
Titans at the Admiralty
The legendary Admiral Jacky Fisher and the energetic Winston Churchill were a formidable pair as the political and professional heads of the Royal Navy in the lead up to the First World War but their partnership ended in acrimony over the Gallipoli campaign. This detailed study of the two leaders’ term at the Admiralty draws on an extensive new analysis of the Churchill and Fisher papers held at Churchill College, Cambridge.
Punch and Judy Politics
An Insiders' Guide to Prime Minister's Questions
First formalized into a regular event in 1961, ‘PMQs’ dominates the lives of senior British politicians and is a source of fascination abroad. This book’s authors prepared Ed Miliband for combat each week; here they revisit the high and low points and survey the history and evolution of the format, with reflections from participants including Vince Cable, Tony Blair and David Cameron. An afterword brings the story up to 2018.
Churchill and Attlee
The Unlikely Allies Who Won the War
This book explores the unique relationship between Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee as partners in the UK’s national wartime government. Despite leading rival parties they were close friends who shared common pastimes and aspirations on social reform. While Churchill led the war effort, Attlee, the first deputy prime minister, looked after the home front, and the results of their leadership were instrumental in forming the post-war political landscape.
A History of Despots Through Their Writing
From Mein Kampf to Mao’s Little Red Book, dictators have often sought to expound their ideology in print, while some have even turned their hand to creative writing. Starting with the Big Five of 20th-century tyranny – Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao – this study also examines the memoirs of Enver Hoxha, the poetry of Serb warlords, the historical fiction of Saddam Hussein and the speeches of Fidel Castro to provide a chilling insight into the despotic mindset.
The Spirit of Self-Help
A Life of Samuel Smiles
A worldwide sensation following its publication in 1859, Smiles’ Self-Help still influences our thinking about ‘the search for happiness’ in everyday life. This first biography of the man behind a modern phenomenon draws on his many other writings to trace how his ideas developed throughout his long life. It provides insights into the Victorians’ responses to their fast-changing world but also highlights the relevance of Smiles’ perspectives to today’s pressing questions about progress and freedom.
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: Prince Saionji
A powerful statesman and inscrutable diplomat, Saionji led a delegation committed to achieving racial equality and international influence. Their lack of success and the Conference’s compromise – the granting of colonial territory – sowed the seeds of further conflict. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Friedrich Ebert
Imperial Chancellor as of 9 November 1918, Ebert guided the German delegation from Berlin. Rejecting the Versailles Treaty demands for punitive reparations, war crimes trials and admission of war guilt, Ebert considered re-opening hostilities before finally agreeing to sign. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Georges Clemenceau
David Robin Watson describes the political career of Georges Clemenceau and his negotiations with his allies and adversaries at the Peace Conference, during which, as Chairman, he made the dramatic presentation of the Versailles Treaty to the German delegation. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Wellington Koo
The return of Shandong, once a German colony, then occupied by Japan, was the focus of China’s Peace Conference negotiations. When Japan’s claim was upheld, the Chinese delegate, the distinguished diplomat Wellington Koo, refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles.
Prime Ministerial Anecdotes
Roger Mason’s concise survey of Britain’s prime ministers gives a brief biography of each of their careers, followed by anecdotes and details that reveal their human side, such as Margaret Thatcher’s childhood nickname and examples of Clement Attlee’s talent for writing light verse. Illustrated with photos or portraits, and the occasional satirical cartoon, each chapter covers one of the 54 PMs, from Sir Robert Walpole to Theresa May.
The Illustrated Biography
This detailed biography of Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life focuses on the pivotal role he played in the development of the United States’ political and economic systems and frames his legacy in the context of both American and world history. It is illustrated with more than 200 paintings, photographs and excerpts from historical documents and the dust jacket unfolds to reveal a frameable map of Revolutionary-era New York.
Drawing on previously unpublished archive material, this acclaimed biography of Stalin describes his formative years – emphasizing the importance of his parents, Georgian origins, religious training and his embrace of Marxism, as well as his poetry and voracious reading – to show that the notorious tyrant was ‘a more dynamic and diverse figure’ than is generally supposed.
From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome
A soldier of enormous height, Maximinus ‘the Thracian’ was enlisted into the Roman imperial bodyguard before himself becoming Emperor in a coup. Pearson charts this lesser-known ruler’s rise, his response to Rome’s 3rd-century ‘crisis’ and his campaigns against Persia and into barbarian Germania.
The Inevitable Prime Minister
Attlee has been labelled ‘the accidental Prime Minister’, but, as this biography demonstrates, Labour’s longest-serving leader lacked neither ambition nor ability, and his party’s landslide victory in 1945 was not merely due to a temporary wave of populism. Jago traces Attlee’s rise to power, including his role as Churchill’s wartime deputy, and shows how his relentless quest for a more egalitarian society inspired far-reaching reforms, not least the creation of the NHS.
British Liberal Leaders
Leaders of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats Since 1828
This volume traces the development of British Liberalism through profiles of 25 leaders. Analysing their attributes and achievements, the authors discuss the success with which each man guided his party through revolutionary social and political changes. The book ends with three interviews in which David Steel, Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg give their own reflections on their experiences of leadership.
Six Minutes in May
How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister
Britain’s first land operation of the Second World War, the attempted invasion of Norway in April 1940, was a disaster. Just weeks later, Winston Churchill, the man blamed for the debacle, became Prime Minister. Ranging from the Arctic battlefields to the corridors of Westminster, this history charts the dramatic events and secret intrigues that would see Churchill oust Neville Chamberlain as premier and defeat his favoured successor, Lord Halifax, to lead Britain through the greatest challenge it had ever faced.
The French Exception
Emmanuel Macron: The Extraordinary Rise and Risk
How did France’s youngest-ever president assemble the network, team and finances to sweep to electoral victory in just twelve months? Based on previously unpublished interviews with Emmanuel Macron’s friends, mentors, opponents, and key members of his team, this first-ever biography in English charts his meteoric rise. It outlines his political vision, examines his support-base, analyses his strengths and weaknesses, and asks what his presidency means for Britain and the EU.
All the Kremlin's Men
Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, the Russian journalist Mikhail Zygar presents a portrait of Putin, the ‘man who accidentally became king’ and the machinations of his court. Described as ‘a milestone’ by the Financial Times, the book covers the years 1999 to 2015, revealing the inner workings of the Kremlin and the power struggles of oligarchs and officials as it traces Putin’s metamorphosis from ‘Vlad the Lionheart’ to ‘Vlad the Terrible’.
Adolf Hitler is probably the most reviled person in history, and the myth has all but obscured the man. Drawing on hitherto unseen documents and fresh research, this biography recounts his journey from childhood, through his early failures in Vienna and service in the First World War, to ultimate power. With acute psychological insight, Ullrich analyses Hitler’s insecurities, his beliefs, and the political instinct that enabled him to captivate a German public humiliated by wartime defeat and economic depression. American-cut pages.
The Mantle of Command
FDR At War 1941–1942
This opening volume of Hamilton’s trilogy, which asserts that Roosevelt’s role during the Second World War has been underestimated, ranges from his meeting with Churchill in Placentia Bay on 9 August 1941 to the landing of US troops in North Africa in late 1942. During this period the president rejected calls to delegate decisions to military leaders, overcame an attempted ‘mutiny’, and demonstrated his talent for strategic thinking by devising a global plan to defeat Hitler.
An Illustrated Biography
When Gandhi joined the struggle for Indian independence, he was already in his forties and had achieved an international reputation for civil rights activism in South Africa. This biography of the leader uses contemporary accounts, a range of letters and documents, and archive photographs to tell the story of his life from teenage arranged marriage and legal studies to his great campaigns and assassination in 1948.
No Room for Small Dreams
Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel
One of the founders of modern Israel, Shimon Peres served his country as prime minister, president and foreign minister. He is best remembered, however, for his unswerving commitment to peace. In this final book, completed shortly before his death in 2016, he reflects on 70 years in politics, the turning points in Israeli history, the qualities required for leadership, and the hard choices that face his nation in the quest for peace.
Great crowds attended public services and ceremonies following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1865; this study explores personal as opposed to public responses to the president’s death. Using letters, diaries and other contemporary records of people’s reactions and sentiments rather than memoirs written with hindsight, the book gives a human dimension to this crucial event in American history.
Churchill's Cold War
How the Iron Curtain Speech Shaped the Post War World
On VE Day, 8 May 1945, Winston Churchill was the victorious leader who had steered Britain through five years of war. By VJ Day in August, he had been ejected from office and his great ally Franklin Roosevelt was dead. This history provides a month-by-month account of how Churchill, increasingly fearful of Stalin’s ambitions in Europe, became a voice in the wilderness once again, warning of the danger of Communism as he had warned against Nazism in the 1930s.
Dr Lachlan Grant of Ballachulish
General practitioner, researcher and activist Lachlan Grant influenced debate about social reform in rural Scotland in the early 20th century. The two parts of this book comprise a collection of essays examining a broad range of his interests, from the provision of healthcare in the Highlands and Islands to land reform and economic development, and a selection of his journalism, speeches and correspondence, including his evidence to the Dewar Committee in 1912.
You Can't Say That
One of the most charismatic and outspoken politicians of the past 50 years, Ken Livingstone has never fought shy of controversy. In this frank and engaging memoir, he recalls his tough South London childhood, his formative political experiences, the demise of the GLC, and his comeback as Mayor of London. It offers an eye-opening insight into his battles with Thatcher and Blair, the committee-room intrigues of civic politics, and the seismic shift in social attitudes in recent decades.Slightly off-mint.
Lives of Victorian Political Figures II
These volumes use carefully selected extracts, reprinted in facsimile from contemporary sources, to examine four prominent Irish leaders - Daniel O'Connell, Parnell, Michael Davitt and James Bronterre O'Brien - both in Irish context and in the wider framework of UK politics. No jackets.
The Double Life of Fidel Castro
The Hidden World of Cuba's Greatest Leader
Fidel Castro (1926-2016) was a towering figure, the leader of Cuba's revolution and one of the world's last Communist strongmen; but his fiercely defended privacy meant that biographers could barely scratch the surface of his personal life. Here Juan Sanchez, once Castro’s bodyguard, but later persecuted by the regime, shares his intimate knowledge of this 'man of the people' who amassed vast personal wealth (partly through government-sanctioned drug-running) and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle including a luxury yacht and secret island marina.