Italy Since 1945
Reflecting in its title the fragmentary nature of the nation it describes, The Archipelago tells how, after emerging from the war in ruins, Italy became an economic and cultural powerhouse. It explores the multifaceted nature of Italian society through TV, cinema, football and popular songs, and celebrates its capacity for reinvention despite deep political divisions, crime, terrorism, corruption and industrial unrest. Finally, it examines the career of Silvio Berlusconi and the rise of populism in the 21st century.
In Napoleon's Shadow
The Memoirs of Louis-Joseph Marchand, Valet and Friend to the Emperor 1811–1821
Louis-Joseph Marchand was Napoleon Bonaparte’s valet from 1811, remaining in his service throughout the failed Russian invasion, his abdication, his exile to Elba, defeat at Waterloo and his death on St Helena in 1821. His personal account of the Emperor, whose reputation he defended for decades after his death, is the heartfelt memoir of a long-term friend and offers an insight into Napoleon’s private temperament and personality.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
Swindon’s principal employer – the Great Western Railway – expanded its output of rolling stock during the First World War, as well as extending operations to munitions production. This review of the conflict’s impact on the town includes archive photographs and ephemera.
Architects of Death
The Family who Engineered the Holocaust
JA Topf and Sons began as an unremarkable provincial engineering company, but under the direction of Ludwig and Ernst Wolfgang Topf, it began to manufacture cremation ovens for Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Drawing on interviews and thousands of archive documents, this investigation reveals how the brothers and their colleagues, driven not by ideology but by personal ambition, facilitated the murder of millions, and tells the story of a descendant who sought to expose and atone for his family’s crimes.
The Maker of Modern France
A proud, indomitable, absolutist monarch, Francis I (1494–1547) ‘was the king that his country needed, if not the one it might have wished for’, and despite his achievements – in unifying and glorifying France and as the patron of art and architecture who recruited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and built Fontainebleau – Francis is remembered, if at all, for his failings. In this biography, Leonie Frieda offers a rigorous reassessment of the ‘Maker of Modern France’.
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.
The Portable Renaissance Reader
During the 15th and 16th centuries Europe rediscovered the ancient world and underwent a revolution in scientific knowledge. This classic anthology brings together selections from a range of Renaissance texts illustrating ‘characteristic tendencies, themes and seminal forms of the self-expression of the age’. It features the words of more than 100 writers including scientists and scholars (Erasmus, Copernicus), poets and artists (Petrarch, Michelangelo), and prelates and saints (Pius II, Teresa of Avila). Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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 Maker of Modern France
A proud, indomitable, absolutist monarch, Francis I (1494–1547) ‘was the king that his country needed, if not the one it might have wished for’, and despite his achievements – in unifying and glorifying France and as the patron of art and architecture who recruited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and built Fontainebleau – Francis is remembered, if at all, for his failings. In this biography, Leonie Frieda offers a rigorous reassessment of the ‘Maker of Modern France’. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
As the Ottoman Empire reached its apogee and feudal Europe developed into national states, four dynamic rulers each shaped their domains – the English and French kings, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Sultan. With his characteristically colourful approach, Norwich discusses the achievements of these men and weaves their stories together to reveal how their relationships changed the continent. ‘Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, the four of them held Europe in the hollow of their hands.’
Greek Civilization Through the Eyes of Travellers
From The Collection of Dimitris Contominas
The library of businessman Dimitris Contominas in Athens is one of the world’s most important private collections of antiquarian books. This catalogue presents 825 items, which relate largely to foreign travellers’ visits to Greece since the 15th century but also include works on Greek history. Bibliographical details are provided for each book, together with brief information on the authors and contents. Illustrations show a selection of the volumes’ bindings and engravings.
The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
First published in 1946 Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired the Oscar-winning film The Pianist. Reprinted here with diary extracts by the German officer who saved him, it offers a picture of the claustrophobia and terror of ghetto life.
Crimea from Potemkin to Putin
Since it was founded in 1783, during the reign of Catherine the Great and Potemkin, Sevastopol has survived a long history of conflict, including two major sieges: the city’s commanding strategic advantage as a naval anchorage in the Black Sea has made it a city worth fighting for. In this study, Mungo Melvin traces the story of Sevastopol and its Crimean hinterland since prehistory, illuminating the historical background to the 2014 referendum vote to return to Russia.
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.
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.
Memoirs and Reflections
Born in Moscow in 1971, Evgeny Kissin made his concert debut at the age of ten and is now internationally renowned for his interpretation of the classical and Romantic piano repertoire. In this collection of reminiscences he answers some of the questions that he is most often asked – about his childhood, his early teachers and his encounters with the world’s great musicians – and muses on topics including fame, inspiration and his favourite composers. Slightly off-mint.
Napoleon's Other War
Bandits, Rebels and thier Pursuers in the Age of Revolutions
Illuminating a less familiar aspect of Napoleon’s empire, Michael Broers’s study focuses not on military clashes with foreign enemies but on the animosity of rural populations – peasantry, marginalized nobility and deposed clergy – and their resistance towards the new regimes of urban revolution and Napoleon. Demonized as ‘bandits’ rather than ideological opponents, these were the enemy in Napoleon’s ‘other war’.
Love Among the Ruins
A Memoir of Life and Love in Hamburg, 1945
The author and activist Harry Leslie Smith recalls how, as an RAF serviceman stationed in Hamburg, he met the love of his life, a young German woman named Frieda. In a city reduced to rubble by Allied bombing, and populated with refugees, black-marketeers, corrupt businessmen and cynical soldiers, their relationship flourished, despite suspicion and disapproval on both sides. Slightly off-mint.
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.