20th Century History
All Behind You, Winston
Churchill's Great Coalition 1940–45
Beginning with the dramatic events of 10 May 1940 and the beginning of the coalition government with Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, Roger Hermiston provides a meticulously researched account of the men and women of Churchill’s war ministry, among them Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Anthony Eden, Lord Beaverbrook and Ellen Wilkinson: ‘the government that would win the war’.
Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936
The Spanish Civil War is largely known through the accounts of outsiders such as Orwell and Hemingway, with the long years of Franco's dictatorship seen as an era of silence and suppression. This compelling investigation dispels this myth, demonstrating how the memory of these events was kept alive in novels, films, paintings and sculpture. Interviewing the descendants of those killed by the regime, it examines how, in recent years, the country has begun to come to terms with its past.
The Church of England and the Home Front 1914–1918
Civilians, Soldiers and Religion in Wartime Colchester
An historian and parish priest, Dr Robert Beaken gives a detailed account of the impact of the First World War on life in the ancient garrison town of Colchester, focusing on the parish churches and their response to the challenges of wartime.
A Documentary History of Communism in Russia
From Lenin to Gorbachev
In 1993, Daniels wrote in the preface to this updated edition of his documentary history, ‘the Post-Communist world can only be understood as Communism left it and as the end-product of a complex evolution, where verbal professions of reality, recorded in these documents, squared less and less with the actual course of affairs’. Set in context by Daniels, the texts begin with Lenin arguing against the Populists in 1894, and end with Gorbachev’s speech of resignation in December 1991.
Farewell the Trumpets
An Imperial Retreat
Volume three of Morris’s Pax Britannica trilogy, but complete within itself, Farewell the Trumpets charts the decline and dissolution of the British Empire. Beginning with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and detecting the first signs of decay in the Boer Wars, the book follows the diminishing empire through world wars, the loss of India and the death of Winston Churchill in 1955 to ‘a somewhat tattered conclusion’ in the 1960s. Slightly off-mint.
The Darkest Days
The Truth Behind Britain's Rush to War, 1914
Contrary to recent historical consensus, which argues that Britain’s entry into the First World War was unavoidable, this well-researched, forensic examination of political events in Britain during the 13 days leading up to outbreak, reveals that key politicians and organizations, including cabinet members, Kier Hardy and Liberal Party ‘Radicals’, offered a path to neutrality, and proposes that political blunders and misguided allegiances to France and Russia resulted in a catastrophic conflict that was far from inevitable.
The Windsors, the Nazis and the Cover-Up
Edward Windsor, the former king, and Wallis Simpson were already an embarrassment to the establishment, and their connections to leading Nazis during the 1930s were too damaging to the crown to be allowed to surface after the war. This investigative report reveals their links to Nazi sympathizers and examines Hitler's plan to install Edward as a puppet king. The title refers to flowers apparently sent by German diplomat von Ribbentrop to Simpson commemorating their love affair.
To Hell and Back
How did a continent at the summit of its prosperity and security plunge itself not once, but twice in a generation, into wars of unprecedented savagery and destructive power? In this eighth volume in the Penguin History of Europe series, one of Britain’s most acclaimed historians provides a narrative of events and profiles the key decision-makers, offering a clear analysis of the underlying forces that drove them. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The World at the Brink
Never in the Cold War – not even during the Cuban Missile Crisis – did the world come nearer the brink than in 1983. That was the year of Reagan’s ‘Evil Empire’ speech and his Star Wars programme, when the Soviets shot down the Korean flight KAL 007, and a NATO exercise spooked a nervous Andropov into believing war had started for real. Drawing on hundreds of recently discovered documents, this book reveals how close we came to nuclear catastrophe.
The 20th Century in Bite-Sized Chunks
Between 1900 and 2000 our world changed beyond recognition. In chronological order, this handbook takes the reader through two world wars, political and social revolution, economic globalization, and unprecedented technological and medical advances, and identifies key figures and pivotal moments. From the Wright Brothers to the web, and from the age of empires to climate change, it explains the forces that shaped the way we live now.
The History Thieves
Secrets, Lies and the Shaping of a Modern Nation
From the Second World War to the ‘War on Terror’, Britain’s secret state has undertaken covert operations and amassed a vast amount of information on its citizens. Drawing on rigorous research and previously unseen material, this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism reveals how the security services have fought unreported wars abroad, forged links with terrorists in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, and used a cloak of secrecy to conceal illegal activities, hide official embarrassment and distort the historical record. Slightly off-mint.
A Portrait of its People at War
The American experience of the Vietnam War is widely known, but the Vietnamese people's own story of that brutal and drawn-out conflict is rarely told. This classic work of oral history, first published in 1986, brings together the accounts of ordinary people from both North and South Vietnam - soldiers, guerrillas, monks, opposition leaders, propaganda chiefs and village secretaries - to reveal the profound trauma and remarkable resilience of a nation in the grip of war and revolution.
Blood and Sand
Suez, Hungary and the Crisis that Shook the World
This hour-by-hour account of 16 days in late 1956 juxtaposes the Hungarian Uprising and the Suez Crisis (or Second Arab-Israeli War) which, though thousands of miles apart, were both driven by Cold War tensions and threatened the precarious stability between the USA and USSR. Alex Von Tunzelmann’s tense narrative, which switches rapidly between locations (London, Tel Aviv, Washington, Budapest, etc.), describes the powerplay between protagonists, including Ben-Gurion, Eden, Eisenhower, Nasser and Nagy, which resulted in conspiracy, assassination and bloodshed.
Our view of the Holocaust is shaped by the industrialized death camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka, but the reality was more complex. Drawing on survivors’ testimonies, this revelatory study moves the focus from the forests of Eastern Europe to the transient networks of the Reich’s railways, to reveal how the location and the methods of genocide altered in the course of the war – and how our perceptions of it have shifted over subsequent decades.
Enemy to Lifelong Friend
In many ways Winston Churchill and South African statesman Jan Smuts were opposites: one a privileged Englishman with expensive tastes, the other a temperate philosopher of far humbler origins. Yet in matters of state their politics, military judgment and vision of Empire intersected, making possible a friendship which not only endured for almost half a century, but which influenced the outcome of two world wars and the transition from Empire to Commonwealth, as this account of their relationship attests.
The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews
During the 1920s and 1930s, Frank Foley worked as Chief Passport Control Officer for the British Embassy in Berlin, a cover for his role as MI6 Head of Station there. As the Nazi administration increased its stranglehold over the country, Foley used his position to issue visas to countless Jews, allowing them to escape to Britain ‘legally’. This biography also recounts many of the escapes that Foley enabled.
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.
Sarajevo 1914–Versailles 1919: The War and Peace that Made the Modern World
Approaching the First World War from a global perspective, this collection of 28 essays seeks to explain how each of the participating countries that signed the first Versailles peace treaty on 28 June 1919 came to be there, or, in the case of Russia and China, why they were absent. Starting with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, chapters describe how the major states reacted to events in Sarajevo and how countries such as Greece, Portugal and Brazil entered the war.
The Year that Made Hitler
Following the failure of the Munich Beer Hall putsch in early November 1923, Adolf Hitler spent the rest of that year and most of 1924 in Landsberg Prison. During that time, he transformed himself from disgraced rabble-rouser to self-assured politician, on a trajectory to the chancellery. Beginning with the Bavarian political scene in 1923 and the putsch itself, this book focuses on Hitler’s trial for treason and his year in prison, writing Mein Kampf and hardening his Nazi ideology.
Hitler Was My Friend
As official 'court' photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann played a critical role in cultivating the Führer's public image; he was also a close personal friend of Hitler, with intimate access to his inner circle from 1923 to April 1945. First published in 1955, Hoffmann's memoirs, illustrated here with a selection of his informal photographs, offer a remarkable behind-the-scenes account of Hitler and the rise and fall of the Third Reich. With a new introduction by Roger Moorhouse. Translated by RH Stevens.
A Secret Well Kept
The Untold Story of Sir Vernon Kell, Founder of MI5
Constance Kell was married to Britain’s first spymaster for over 40 years, and after his death in 1941 she wrote this heartfelt account of her husband’s life and work. Drawing on Kell’s diaries, the book covers his postings abroad to Russian, Japan and China, and his time as head of MI5 during which, as stories here attest, the service successfully outwitted scores of foreign intelligence agents.
Memoirs of Naval Secret Service
In the years before the First World War, British journalist Hector Bywater used his role as naval correspondent for the New York Herald to bluff his way into dockyards and naval installations across Germany. He would memorize important details then report his findings back to MI6 in London. First published in 1931, these remarkable memoirs recount Bywater’s years as an active secret service agent for the British Navy.
A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories
Written with unprecedented access to high-level sources and secret memos, Cursed Victory chronicles the long and troubled aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War, in which Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. It focuses on critical moments in the military occupation and peace process, showing how early opportunities to conclude a deal were missed and how decisions about the fate of the territories have affected the daily lives of millions.
The Mantle of Command
FDR At War 1941–1942
The first part of a trilogy, this reappraisal of Franklin D Roosevelt’s role as US Commander in Chief during the Second World War begins with his meeting with Churchill in Placentia Bay on 9 August 1941, and ends with the landing of US troops in North Africa in late 1942. In between are 14 military and political challenges, including an attempted ‘mutiny’ by US officials (which Roosevelt overcame) demonstrating not only his moral leadership, but also his talent for military strategy.
Witnessing the Robbing of the Jews
A Photographic Album, Paris, 1940–1944
When the Germans occupied Paris in 1940, it was not only the city’s art treasures that aroused their greed, but the belongings of ordinary people, especially Jews. A photograph album discovered in German archives systematically recorded the pillage. Reproduced here with an informative commentary, it offers a chilling insight into the relation between greed and mass destruction, as furniture, toys, saucepans and bedlinen are loaded into crates and trucks by Nazi officers, French collaborators and prisoners from the camps.
Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936
The Spanish Civil War is largely known through the accounts of outsiders such as Orwell and Hemingway, with the long years of Franco's dictatorship seen as an era of silence and suppression. This compelling investigation dispels that myth, demonstrating how the memory of these events was kept alive in novels, films, paintings and sculpture. Interviewing the descendants of those killed by the regime, Jeremy Treglown examines how, in recent years, the country has begun to come to terms with its past.
The Five Giants
A Biography of the Welfare State
Five giants loomed over the reconstruction of postwar Britain: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. The battle against them was fought by five great programmes at the core of the Welfare State: social security, health, education, housing and full employment. Meticulously researched and vividly written, this award-winning history charts the epic struggle to forge a fair and decent society from the ashes of war, and chronicles the highs and lows of the decades that followed.
The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country – and Why They Can't Make Peace
Since its foundation in 1948, Israel has been torn between its ambition to be ‘a light unto nations’ and its desire to expand its borders. Drawing on declassified documents, personal archives and interviews, this epic history demonstrates how military service binds Israelis to lifelong loyalty and secrecy, making democracy a hostage to the armed forces. A compelling study of character, rivalry, conflict and the competing impulses for war and peace in the Middle East.
‘It is not necessary to wait until all conditions for making revolution exist; the insurrection can create them.’ Che Guevara’s classic manual on the principles of guerrilla warfare, which explains tactics, logistics and the social responsibility of the guerrilla fighter, reads not only as a call to arms for the oppressed, but as a justification of the Cuban Revolution itself. Off-mint.
The Making of the Modern World
For the Hungarian historian and journalist Victor Sebestyen, 1946 was the year that shaped the modern world: ideologies and an Iron Curtain divided East and West, India was moving towards independence, European empires were dying, the Chinese communists were nearing victory, and the decision was taken to create a Jewish homeland. Sebestyen’s authoritative study evokes the beginning of the Cold War in the devastated aftermath of the Second World War and shows how decisions made in 1946 continue to affect our world.
The Colonel Who Would Not Repent
The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy
Muslim and Bengali-speaking Bangladesh was once East Pakistan, created when India achieved independence in 1947. The country gained its own independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a war in which many hundreds of thousands died. More conflict was to follow, exacerbated by natural disaster, famine and corruption. Salil Tripathi, an Indian journalist and Bengali-speaker, presents the first in-depth account of Bangladesh’s struggle for independence and the troubled aftermath.
Spy of the Century
Alfred Redl and the Betrayal of Austro-Hungary
When, in 1907, Alfred Redl became head of the Austro-Hungarian Intelligence Bureau, he also began working as a secret agent for the Russian Imperial Army. This biography, the first in English, examines possible motivations behind Redl’s treachery, which is often blamed for Austria’s defeat in the First World War and the break-up of its empire. Was Redl an evil, reckless man or the tragic victim of Russian blackmail that threatened to expose his homosexuality?
Setting the East Ablaze
Lenin's Dream of an Empire in Asia
‘Let us turn our faces towards Asia,’ said Lenin when revolution failed to materialize in Europe. With the narrative pace of a thriller, this compulsive history tells how the Bolshevik attempt to foment revolt in British India sparked a shadowy, undeclared war. Its rich cast of characters includes British spies, Marxist radicals, Muslim visionaries, Chinese warlords and a White Russian baron who roasted his Communist captives alive.
The Rise of Germany 1939–1941
The War in the West: Volume One
It is generally accepted that Germany enjoyed military superiority over Britain and France in 1939, and that only when America joined the war and Hitler overstretched himself in Russia did the tide turn. But in this new analysis James Holland points out that France had more men in uniform than Germany, Britain still had the most powerful navy and the invasions of Poland and France were incredible gambles for a country short on resources, tanks and trained soldiers.
The Race to Stop Hitler's Atomic Bomb
When a Cambridge professor found wiring beneath the floor of his house, he had little idea of the building’s astonishing past. In April 1945, Farm Hall was used to house ten of Germany’s top nuclear scientists captured during the collapse of the Reich. This gripping narrative probes a murky world of espionage to tell how their conversations, bugged by MI6, revealed the extent of the Nazis’ nuclear ambitions, and investigates whether they were kidnapped to thwart not Hitler, but Stalin.
Spain in Our Hearts
Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939
Many Americans fought in the Spanish Civil War – on both sides. This book tells the stories not only of famous names like Hemingway, but also of a 19-year-old Kentucky woman, a Pennsylvania student, and the Texas oilman who fuelled Franco’s army.
The Secret War Between the Wars
MI5 in the 1920s and 1930s
Tradecraft, or the recruiting and running of agents in the field to gather clandestine information and disrupt the enemy, is rightly associated with secret rendezvous and invisible ink. This intelligent study in British security examines the development of MI5 tradecraft during the interwar period, vital in combatting both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and considers the success of the intelligence service’s most effective sources, including Walter Krivitsky and Maxwell Knight.
St George and the Chinese Dragon
Written by Colonel Vaughan of the 7th Rajputs, this is a colourful account of the expedition to relieve the International Legations – 900 soldiers, marines and citizens of eleven foreign powers, including Britain – besieged in Peking for 55 days during the Boxer Uprising. The book covers Vaughan’s perilous march from the coast to Peking, the capture of the Legations Quarter and the subsequent occupation of Peking. An extensive foreword is complemented by maps, photographs and watercolours by the author.
Just Send Me Word
A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag
This book tells the story of two Muscovites, Lev and Svetlana, whose love survived the war of 1941–45 and, afterwards, Lev's incarceration in one of Stalin's most notorious labour camps. For 14 years they exchanged letters – Lev's beautifully written, uncensored and smuggled from the Gulag; Svetlana's a testament to constancy and hope from a grim post-war Moscow. Using their correspondence – the largest cache of Gulag letters ever found – Figes has reconstructed a story of love's triumph over adversity.
The Paris Game
Charles de Gaulle, the Liberation of Paris, and the Gamble that Won France
In 1940, with the German army in Paris and a collaborationist government installed in Vichy, an obscure French general broadcast from London: ‘Is defeat final? No!… The flame of French Resistance is not extinguished.’ This dramatic account charts de Gaulle’s struggle to retain the loyalty of Winston Churchill, overcome the hostility of Roosevelt, thwart the machinations of the Vichy regime, and ultimately restore the honour of France and its place in the world.
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 led 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 absorbing 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.
The Spies of Winter
The GCHQ Codebreakers Who Fought the Cold War
At the end of the Second World War, many of the Bletchley Park codebreakers were moved on to the newly formed GCHQ to keep tabs on Britain's new foe, the Soviet Union. This book explores their work in the early period of the Cold War as Western and Eastern blocs were established and cryptanalysts attempted to uncover the secrets behind flashpoints such as the Berlin Blockade, the Cambridge spy ring and the revolution in China.
The Last Days of the Spanish Republic
On 5 March 1939, Colonel Segismundo Casado launched a coup against Juan Negrin's Republican government, which he falsely accused of being a puppet of the Communists. Although the defeat of the Republic was already in sight, Casado's decision destroyed any chance of a negotiated peace ending the Spanish Civil War, and it was to cause a massive loss of life. Here a leading historian of 20th-century Spain gives the first detailed account in English of this shocking – and avoidable – tragedy.
The Pope and Mussolini
The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe
Rome, 1922: two men assume power in their respective spheres, the sacred and the secular. Superficially, Pope Pius XI and Benito Mussolini could not have been less alike, yet they shared a social conservatism and hatred of democracy. Combining meticulous research in the Vatican archives with narrative drive, this groundbreaking history reveals the controversial truth of their unholy alliance, and how, as Il Duce grew closer to Hitler, the ailing pontiff began to sense that something had gone terribly wrong… American-cut pages.
The Jews of San Nicandro
In the late 1920s, in a remote and impoverished region of southern Italy, a crippled shoemaker had a vision that persuaded him and his fellow villagers to convert to the Jewish faith. Drawing on the converts’ own accounts and a wide range of previously unpublished sources, this book tells the remarkable story of how they survived persecution by the Catholic Church and Italy’s fascist government, won acceptance from the rabbinical authorities, and ultimately emigrated to Israel.
The Man with the Poison Gun
A Cold War Spy Story
In August 1961, on the day before his baby son’s funeral, KGB agent Bohdan Stashynsky boarded an S-Bahn train into West Berlin. By nightfall he had defected into the hands of the American military, confessing to murdering two Ukrainian dissidents using a cyanide-loaded poison gun. Drawing on recently declassified material from CIA and KGB archives, Plokhy’s thrilling story charts Stashynsky’s rise as a willing assassin, his nail-biting escape and its impact on Cold War politics.
The Man Behind the Rosenbergs
By the KGB Spymaster Who Was the Case Officer of Julius Rosenberg, Klaus Fuchs, and Helped Resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis
On 19 June 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were electrocuted in Sing Sing prison, New York, for passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. Now, for the first time, their spymaster Alexander Feliksov reveals his role in the case, and that of Klaus Fuchs. In this candid and startling memoir, he claims that the Rosenbergs were wrongfully executed, and recounts his subsequent role as a secret messenger between Khrushchev and Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis.