20th Century History
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.
Adolf's British Holiday Snaps
Luftwaffe Aerial Reconnaissance Photographs of England, Scotland and Wales
At the beginning of the Second World War, Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to take aerial photographs of Britain in preparation for an invasion. In 1945 British Intelligence discovered 16 tons of pictures in Bavaria, which were sent to Britain and classified top secret; but other Luftwaffe photographs were found and kept by ordinary servicemen. Here, Nigel Clarke presents approximately 200 such photographs, many with bomb runs marked, along with wartime images of the corresponding damage on the ground.
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.
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’.
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.
Bombs, Burnings and Bigotry
By August 1969, the two-year campaign for civil rights in Northern Ireland, under increasing attack from loyalist paramilitaries, exploded into rioting on the streets of Belfast. This book charts three days that changed the course of Northern Irish history and radicalized a generation of Catholic youth. It sets the events in their historical context, includes interviews with individuals from both sides, and with British Army officers, and asks how we can avoid the mistakes of the past.
Secrets From the Cambridge Spies
TRIPLEX was the code name for one of the most sensitive intelligence sources of the Second World War: material extracted illicitly from the diplomatic bags of neutral countries in London. The MI5 officer who oversaw the operation was Anthony Blunt – and the rest is history. Drawing on newly released Soviet intelligence documents, this book reveals for the first time the full extent of the damage done by the Cambridge Five to British intelligence, and its impact on the Cold War.
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.
A Very Dangerous Woman
The Lives, Loves and Lies of Russia's Most Seductive Spy
Adventurer, seductress and spy, the Russian baroness Moura Budberg embarked on a passionate affair in 1918 with Robert Bruce Lockhart, a British agent plotting Lenin’s downfall. Based on previously unexamined letters, diaries and documents, and narrated with the pace of a thriller, this first-ever biography tells the incredible story of a woman whose lovers included Maxim Gorky and HG Wells, and who became embroiled in the web of scandal surrounding the Cambridge Five.
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 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.
The Greatest Theft in History: The Soviet Penetration of the Manhattan Project
After the convictions of Klaus Fuchs and the Rosenbergs, it was assumed that a handful of low-level spies had been responsible for passing details of the atomic bomb to Moscow. Drawing on previously classified documents and obscure cable transmissions, this sensational exposé reveals a complex network of wholesale espionage at every level of the Manhattan Project that enabled Stalin to steal the secrets of the US nuclear programme.
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.
Israel at High Noon
From Stalin's Failed Satellite to the New Crisis in the Middle East
Many Western politicians, from Jimmy Carter to Tony Blair, have expressed the view that world peace depends on a solution to the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict. This meticulously researched, forcefully argued book proposes that the roots of the conflict lie in Soviet ambitions in the Middle East. From Stalin onward, Russia has fostered Israel’s opponents, a policy continued today by Vladimir Putin via his proxies in Syria and Iran.
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.
Siege and Symphony
Brian Moynahan sets Dmitri Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony against the tragic canvas of the siege of Leningrad and the years of repression and terror that preceded it. He describes the purges of the 1930s; the Nazi invasion of 1941 and the terrible deprivations of the siege; and the night of 9 August 1942, when the Symphony was premiered in the city and broadcast to the world.
The Great Explosion
Gunpowder, The Great War, and a Disaster on the Kent Marshes
In April 1916, shortly before the Battle of the Somme, a series of explosions ripped through a munitions works on the Kent marshes, killing 108 people and injuring many more. This remarkable book recreates the events of that day, shedding new light on the home front during the Great War. Brian Dillon offers a chilling natural history of explosives and their effects on bodies, buildings, and the earth; and a deeply personal exploration of one of England’s most bleakly beautiful landscapes.
Between the Wars
Philip Ziegler offers a panoramic overview of the two decades between the wars, describing 'a period of change that, though dramatic, was at times almost imperceptible'. The 21 essays in this lucid and readable history examine the major turning points that led from one war to another and shaped the world as we know it: Home Rule in Ireland, the General Strike, the Wall Street Crash, Gandhi's March to the Sea, Hitler's rise to power, the Japanese invasion of China, and the Spanish Civil War.
The Back Parts of War
The YMCA Memoirs and Letters of Barclay Baron, 1915–1919
Deemed unfit for army service when he tried to enlist in 1914, Barclay Baron (1884–1964) served instead with the Young Men’s Christian Association, or ‘Red Triangle’, in France, Belgium and occupied Germany, from 1915 to 1919. His memoirs and letters give a vivid account of the often overlooked war work of the YMCA in supporting British troops on the Western Front. The memoirs are accompanied by substantial chapters on Baron himself and the wartime YMCA.
The Easter Rising
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.
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.
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 History of America's Undeclared Wars
Alongside ‘hot’ wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, every US administration since 1945 has waged covert, deniable operations against regimes it has regarded as hostile. This wide-ranging, meticulously researched book surveys the history of such operations from Indo-China through Cuba to the ‘War on Terror’, charts the development of their secret infrastructure, explores the personalities and careers of the most noted ‘shadow warriors’, and assesses their successes, failures, collateral damage and geopolitical consequences.
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.
When Paris Went Dark
The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940–1944
On 14 June 1940, German tanks entered a silent and almost deserted Paris and the City of Light went dark. Drawing on a wide array of sources – diaries, letters, journalism, Resistance pamphlets, military archives and new interviews with survivors – this groundbreaking history vividly evokes the reality of everyday life in the captured city: the shortages and curfews, the growing brutality of the German occupiers, the clandestine activities of the Resistance, and the queasy compromises of those who collaborated.
Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death
Reflections on Memory and Imagination
After a lifetime of academic writing on the Holocaust, Otto Dov Kulka turns to his own experiences as a child in Auschwitz in this bleakly poetic memoir. Blending personal recollection and historical research, he vividly recreates the grim absurdity of this ‘metropolis of death’, and reveals why the Nazis set up and then liquidated a model ‘family camp’ there.
Ministers At War
Winston Churchill and His Cabinet
In this study of Winston Churchill and the small group of men – the 'team of rivals' – that he chose to help him guide Britain through the grave crisis it faced in May 1940, Schneer examines Churchill's leadership and the relations between the War Cabinet ministers – among them Eden, Beaverbrook, Bevin, Attlee, Morrison and Stafford Cripps. He also looks beyond the war to the Cabinet's response to public expectations after six years of hardship – domestic issues which demanded a new kind of leadership.
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, Miro, 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. Felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Great Britain, Germany and The Soviet Union
Rapallo and After, 1922–1934
The treaty of Rapallo was concluded by Germany and the Soviet Union in 1922, and was to have significant consequences for Britain, France and newly created small states in east central Europe. This study focuses on the impact of the treaty and ‘the myth of Rapallo’ – the fear of a secret Russo-German alliance – on British foreign policy between 1922 and 1934, the year which signalled the end of the Rapallo relationship as Germany signed a non-aggression pact with Poland.
From Enlightenment to the Present
Few small provincial towns have held such significance in the politics and culture of a nation as Weimar has done in Germany. The home of Goethe and Schiller and the birthplace of the Bauhaus, it also gave its name to the country’s first, short-lived democracy. This richly detailed volume offers the first modern history of this emblematic city, from its role in the 18th-century Enlightenment and the 19th-century Romantic movement, through the Nazi and Soviet eras to the present day.
The Literary Churchill
Author, Reader, Actor
Although he is usually studied as a political figure, Churchill was a prolific author who won the 1953 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Literary Churchill offers detailed analysis of his writings and demonstrates the impact of reading and theatre-going on his political goals and methods. In particular, it reveals how the Prime Minister’s rhetoric and critical decisions during the Second World War were influenced by his appreciation of the power of theatrical metaphors and plot devices.
The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide
The genocide of more than a million Armenians in Turkey during the First World War was one of the great crimes of the 20th century. What is less well known is that it did not go unavenged. Drawing on years of research and newly uncovered evidence, this book tells for the first time the story of how a small group of Armenian professional men hunted down and assassinated six Turkish leaders across the world, before mysteriously disappearing. Slightly off-mint.
Sarajeva 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 Spy Who Changed the World
Despite being German and a former member of the Communist Party, Klaus Fuchs was granted British citizenship at the height of the Second World War and invited to contribute to research on the atomic bomb. The physicist moved to America in 1943 to work on the Manhattan Project, all the time passing vital information to the Russians. This biography assesses Fuchs's value as a scientist and as a spy as he traded the greatest secrets of the age.
The Cause of Hitler's Germany
A Canadian-American philosopher and close associate of Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (b.1933) was a foremost exponent of Rand's Objectivist philosophy; his Ominous Parallels (1982) was an Objectivist analysis of the ideals that led to the Third Reich, and a warning of the threat of totalitarianism in America. The present volume, published in 2013, is about two-thirds of that earlier work, leaving aside the warning in favour of the explanation of the rise of Nazism.
A Nation and Not a Rabble
The Irish Revolution 1913–1923
Between 1913 and 1923 Ireland saw the emergence of the Ulster Volunteer Force resisting Irish home rule and, in response, the Irish Volunteers (later the IRA); then the First World War, the rise of Sinn Féin, intense Ulster Unionism and conflict with Britain culminated in the Irish War of Independence. Drawing on recently released archives, witness statements and the testimony of ordinary people, Ferriter's study reveals the gulf between reality and the rhetoric surrounding the politics and violence of that revolutionary period.
Stalin's Secret Weapon
Formed to mop up Nazi spy rings at the end of the Second World War, SMERSH got its name from a combination of the Russian words for 'Death to Spies'. Successive Communist governments suppressed traces of Stalin's political hit squad; but in this award-winning book, Vadim Birstein reveals the surgical brutality with which SMERSH exerted its influence as part of the paranoid Stalinist regime, both within the Soviet Union and in the wider world.
The Assassination of the Archduke
Sarajevo 1914 and the Murder that Changed the World
On 28 June 1914 a shot rang out that changed the world; four years later, tens of millions were dead and four great empires lay in ruins. This compelling and sympathetic history sets the lives and deaths of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his beloved wife Sophie against the glittering imperial splendour of the Austrian court; it exposes the startling intrigue and incompetence behind their assassination; and follows the lives of their children, doomed to exile and loss.
The Anti-Communist Manifestos
Four Books that Shaped the Cold War
In four substantial essays, Fleming discusses four books that had a significant influence on public opinion on Communism in post-war America and, to a lesser extent, France. The essays cover both the books' arguments and the remarkable – if not always admirable – careers of their authors: they are Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon (1940); Out of the Night (1941) by Richard Krebs aka Jan Valtin; Victor Kravchenko's I Chose Freedom (1946); and Witness (1952) by Whittaker Chambers.
North Korea Caught in Time
Images of War and Reconstruction
Recent events have propelled the secretive Communist state of North Korea into the news, but for six decades it has remained a mystery to outsiders. This interesting book includes 150 rare photos, many of them never seen before in the West, that chart the devastation of the war that gave it birth, and the determined reconstruction that followed. The accompanying essay by Balazs Szalontai recounts the untold story of how ordinary Koreans endured the conflict, and the totalitarian system that emerged from it.
The Atlantic and its Enemies
A Personal History of the Cold War
Assessing the years between 1945 and the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989, Norman Stone shows how, for every success of the Atlantic powers, there seemed to be a dozen triumphs for the USSR and the Communist Bloc. He looks in depth at the confrontation of the Communist and capitalist worlds, investigating how, when even in the late 1970s the initiative still seemed to lie with the Soviets, suddenly, against all the odds, the Atlantic won economically, ideologically and militarily.