Shadows of Revolution
Reflections on France, Past and Present
Over the past two centuries, France has experimented with virtually every form of government. This collection of essays and reviews by one of America’s foremost observers of France reflects on the Enlightenment and the Revolution, Robespierre and Napoleon, the Vichy regime and the situation of French Jews, the Arab Spring and the terrorist attacks of 2015. Lively, informed, wide-ranging and highly readable, the book offers a unique insight into ‘the most intense political laboratory the world has ever known’.
In Darkest England, and the Way Out (1890)
A runaway bestseller when it was published in Britain in 1890, this book by William Booth (1829–1912), the founder of The Salvation Army, deals with the serious social problems of late 19th-century Britain: unemployment, poverty, vice, crime and drunkenness. Booth shows how existing social agencies had failed and he sets out a solution, his own ‘scheme for salvation’. Reprinted in 1974 with a new foreword and introduction. No jacket.
Books on Fire
The Destruction of Libraries throughout History
Whatever the size of our libraries, we feel bound to enrich them and preserve them against the threats of fire and water, worms, war and earthquake. Polastron examines the world's libraries, from the Hebrew, Nordic and Islamic myths of a vast library which existed before the world's creation, to the catastrophic losses of the libraries of Alexandria, the Qing Dynasty and modern Iraq. He also asks whether the digitization of books threatens the very existence of the physical library.
The Curious Map Book
The creation of maps is often a serious business in which accuracy takes precedence over the imagination. This delightful book offers 100 unusual maps, from the British Library collection, in which the equation is reversed and fantasy comes to the fore. Here are nations portrayed as humans or animals: the British bulldog, the ‘Lion of the Low Countries’, the Russian bear. Many satirize the politics of their time; some depict fictional countries; while others are board games or jigsaw puzzles.
Memories and the City
Against a backdrop of shattered monuments, neglected villas and ghostly backstreets, a daydreaming boy seeks refuge from family discord in the imagination. In this highly original memoir, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk interweaves his own life, and the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents, with that of his home city. The result is a blend of family reminiscence, history, philosophy, literature, art criticism and urban myth. This edition contains a new introduction and more than 200 additional photographs.
The South China Sea
The Struggle for Power in Asia
‘A fulcrum of world trade and a crucible of conflict’, the South China Sea, its shipping lanes and the ownership of its many island groups are matters of global concern. Bill Hayton, a journalist with long experience in Asia, gives a detailed account of the region’s complex history, from the earliest human migrations to the depletion of fish stocks today and problems of sovereignty and territory, which remain insoluble while China refuses to deal with these issues on a multilateral basis.
Royalty's Strangest Tales
Extraordinary but True Stories from Over 2,000 Years of Mad Monarchs and Raving Rulers
Isolated from reality, weakened by inbreeding or corrupted by power, many monarchs have demonstrated cruelty and eccentricity – from Caligula of Rome to Mobutu of Zaire. This collection of royal stories ranges from Charles VI of France, who thought he was made of glass, to the miraculous Kim Jong-il of North Korea, who, according to local sources, scored 38 under par the first time he played golf.
Portrait of a City Through the Centuries
‘No other place has been so twisted and torn across five centuries of conflict, from religious wars to Cold War, at the hub of Europe’s ideological struggle’: Rory MacLean traces the history of Berlin through 23 people who were inspired by the city or simply belonged there: from Konrad von Cölln, a poor 15th-century poet, through Frederick the Great, Christopher Isherwood and Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, Goebbels, John F Kennedy and David Bowie, to a returning Holocaust survivor in 2013.
Treasures from the Royal Archives
Since 1914, the Round Tower at Windsor Castle has housed the Royal Archives, a vast collection of royal correspondence and memorabilia ranging from Elizabeth I’s household accounts to the present queen’s 100th birthday message to the Queen Mother. Published to mark the Archive’s 100th year at Windsor, this volume presents reproductions and transcripts of handwritten letters, journal entries and other documents, including Victoria’s letter to Florence Nightingale in Crimea and Winston Churchill’s letter to George VI, written in January 1941.
The Golden Age of Maritime Maps
When Europe Discovered the World
Portolan charts – from the Italian portolano, meaning 'relating to ports' – were used by sailors from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Painted on vellum, they show every coastal feature, with the seas criss-crossed by rhumb lines. This book reproduces 142 of these maps in superb detail, while experts trace their origins among the Jewish cartographers of Majorca, the influence of Islamic and Indian mapmakers, and the maps' dissemination as Europeans began to explore the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain
Britain’s wealth and power was built not by kings and queens, soldiers and politicians, but by its entrepreneurs. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who created the first companies, this history charts the rise of British business through the careers of men such as Thomas Pitt, the saviour of the East India Company, the financier Nathan Rothschild, the Quaker-capitalist George Cadbury, the imperial buccaneer Cecil Rhodes, and William Lever, the philanthropist and creator of Britain’s first multinational.
City of Peace, City of Blood
When US troops entered Baghdad in 2003, they became the latest participants in a drama stretching back 13 centuries. The 'City of Peace', seat of a glittering Islamic civilization and home to astronomers, mathematicians, poets and musicians, has often been one of the most violent places on Earth. This compelling new history – the first in English for almost a century – examines Baghdad's changing fortunes, from its foundation by the caliph al-Mansur to Saddam Hussein.
Britain: A Genetic Journey
Population genetics and the study of ancestral DNA are beginning to reveal the historical information hidden inside our own bodies. Moffat has produced a revolutionary new history of Britain, eschewing the deeds of monarchs and politicians in favour of the remarkable stories that genetics can tell about the origins of our lineages and the travels of our forebears around the world. (Previously sold in Postscript as a hardback edition titled The British: A Genetic Journey.)
In the course of its long existence, Iraq has been both the cradle of civilizations and a crucible of war. This history charts the fortunes of the land and its peoples from the ancient empires of Babylon and Assyria, through the cultural and scientific achievements of medieval Islam, to the colonial era, the discovery of oil, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the US-led invasion of 2003. The narrative concludes with an assessment of the country’s prospects.
France and the French
A Modern History
This history offers a broad overview of the upheavals that shaped France in the 20th century: two world wars and the German occupation, the debacles in Vietnam and Algeria, membership of the European Community, and the student and workers’ uprisings of 1968. The book also focuses on the experience of everyday French life, which it explores through the politics of the workplace, the changing role of women, and the issues of immigration, national identity and social exclusion.
This modern history concentrates on the century and a half since the incorporation of Venice into Italy, examining political, social and economic developments through the belle époque, two world wars and the fascist regime. Richard Bosworth discusses the themes of consumerism and culture, cosmopolitanism and nationalism, and religious disputes; explores the threats posed by mass tourism and global warming; and argues that today’s visitors are an intrinsic part of the city’s evolving contemporary identity.
The University of London, 1858-1900
The Politics of Senate and Convocation
FMG Willson analyses issues surrounding the consolidation of the 'external' system in 1858 and the newly established Convocation, and covers many related topics including women's degrees and the University's parliamentary seat.
The Military History of China
This history of China’s military conflicts spans from Genghis Khan’s rule to today’s presidency of Xi Jinping, and includes the Sino-French war, the Boxer Rebellion, the occupation of Tibet and the Korean War. Descriptions of each conflict are written as concise short stories.
A Short History of India
From the Earliest Civilisations and Myriad Kingdoms, to Today's Economic Powerhouse
Diverse cultures have coexisted in India since the earliest times; empires have risen and fallen; and three major religions were founded there. This short history charts the many influences that combined to create today’s successful and vibrant nation.
Their Natural and Unnatural Histories
Janet Lembke's celebration of the chicken in its every aspect has chapters on classical, medieval, Renaissance and modern chickens, literary and scientific chickens, eggs and urban chicken-keeping. It is also a very practical book, drawing on the author's own experience of building coops, keeping poultry - and eating it. She includes a survey of chicken cuisine and a selection of recipes.
The Unauthorized Story of the Daily Mail, the Paper that Divided and Conquered Britain
The Daily Mail is Britain’s second-bestselling newspaper, and arguably one of its most divisive. This unofficial history explores the secrets of its longevity, from its creation in 1896 to today, examines a variety of controversies, and profiles the flamboyant figures who have shaped its unique brand of journalism.
A History of the Written Word
‘There is a favoured metaphor for writing’s tangled skein of overlapping figurations: the palimpsest.’ In this history, Matthew Battles reflects on the reasons for writing, its origins and how it is shaped by human peculiarities; and he attempts to untangle the threads of its history, from primitive marks, through cuneiform, Chinese characters, Holy writ and movable type to digital display.
A History of Britain From Above
Founded in 1919, Aerofilms Ltd married the art of photography to the new technology of powered flight to capture Britain as it had never been seen before: from the air. This volume showcases hundreds of the pioneering firm's aerial photographs, many of them rare or previously unseen, and tells how it survived the Great Depression, helped the war effort at the direct request of Winston Churchill, and charted the reconstruction projects of the 1940s and 1950s.
Irreplaceable: A History of England in 100 Places
Bletchley Park and Blenheim Palace, Lindisfarne Priory, the Martyrs’ tree in Tolpuddle, and a water pump in Broadwick Street, Soho, are a few of the historically meaningful places that were nominated by the public and selected by Historic England’s experts for the Irreplaceable project. Arranged by ten themes, from science and discovery to protest, the book offers a richly illustrated, multi-faceted history of the country, explored through the landscapes and built environments around us today.
The People Behind the Power
Steeped in authoritarianism, secrecy and corruption, Russia continues to baffle and frustrate the West. Traversing this vast country from the violent Caucasus to Arctic Siberia, journalist Gregory Feifer interviews hundreds of people, from oligarchs to beggars on Moscow's streets, about everything from sex and vodka to Russia's relations with the world. What emerges is a picture of a society bursting with vitality under a tradition-bound leadership often on the verge of collapse. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
'A severed head can be many things: a loved one, a trophy, scientific data, criminal evidence, an educational prop, a religious relic, an artistic muse, a practical joke.' Larson surveys all these fates of human heads in a strange and often gruesome history that ranges from primitive tribes' shrunken heads to bizarre experiments in bringing guillotined heads back to life, and discusses issues such as the spectacle of public execution, the human face and the act of decapitation.
A Short History
Described by the Financial Times as ‘an excellent antidote to prejudice’, this concise account of Muslim history emphasizes the importance of rethinking the Western mistrust of Islam which dates back to the time of the Crusades. As well as challenging stereotypes and highlighting how the faith has inspired scholars, mystics and poets, it reveals how Islam’s ‘sacralization of history’ means that the religion, its past history and current events are woven together especially closely.
The Romanov Sisters
The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
With access to previously unseen or unpublished diary entries, letters, photographs and archival material, Rappaport brings the four daughters of Russia’s last tsar back to life, incorporating some of their own words. Among the most photographed royals of their day, outwardly the sisters seemed to live charmed lives; inwardly, the family was loving, deeply religious and often claustrophobic. Intelligent and sensitive, the girls were not completely unaware of the fate that might await them as the Russian Revolution approached.
The Struggle for Power, From the Dark Ages to the Jacobites
Beginning with the era of warring Celtic tribes and legendary heroes such as Cúchulainn, Queen Maeve of Connaught and Finn McCool, this study traces Ireland's early history of conflict and invasion. It shows how invading Vikings, Anglo-Normans, English and Scots shaped Irish social, political and military history in the centuries of struggle that culminated in the decisive defeat of the Jacobite armies by William of Orange at the battles of the Boyne and Aughrim.
Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Social agitation is as essential a part of public life today as it has ever been. Eric Hobsbawm’s classic study, reissued with a new introduction by Owen Jones, explores the origins of contemporary rebellion in Robin Hood, Nonconformist dissenters, secret societies, Mafiosi, Spanish anarchists and labour movements. This concise guide provides an insightful analysis of the revolutions that shaped Western civilization, while a selection of historical texts presents the radicals’ perspectives in their own words.
City of Sin
London and Its Vices
'If you do not want to dwell with evil-doers', wrote Richard of Devizes in 1180, 'do not live in London'. In her third exploration of the city's history, Catharine Arnold focuses on the sex trade, from slave girls brought to service Roman troops in first-century Londinium, through medieval stews, 18th century sex clubs and Victorian male brothels to infamous '60s call girls and the internet blogger 'Belle de Jour'. Off-mint.
The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Rulers and Their World
In the modern West, the Ottoman Empire is associated with just a few significant events, such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453, but the dynasty of the sultans exercised its wide influence for longer than the British, French or Mughal Empires. This account of Ottoman history sets out the full 600-year process of growth and decline, focusing on the lives and achievements of the sultans themselves and giving the background to the power struggles in today’s Islamic world.
Jerusalem Stone and Spirit
3000 Years of History and Art
As the spiritual centre of the world's three monotheistic religions, Jerusalem has for 3,000 years been a crossroads of art, architecture and history. This volume tells its story from a new point of view, blending a richly detailed historical account of the city from the time of King David to the early 20th century, with art and artefacts from across the world that illustrate Jerusalem's cultural and spiritual significance far beyond the earthly city.
Kings & Queens of Great Britain
Every Question Answered
David Soud chronicles Britain’s evolving institutions and customs through a series of short chapters covering the life and reign of every monarch, from the Anglo-Saxon kings of Wessex to the House of Windsor. The book is richly illustrated with paintings and photographs, and ends with the texts of more than 40 royal documents, such as Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, the powerful Tilbury speech of Elizabeth I and letters from Victoria to her prime ministers. Off-mint.
At Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Chiefs of Britain's Intelligence Service, MI6
The first 'C' of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, began by recruiting retired military men who lived abroad. By the time Stewart Menzies took up the position in 1939, operations were greatly expanded; he oversaw the code-breaking at Bletchley Park and also presided over infiltration by the Cambridge spies. This book profiles the 15 men who have held the post, up to 2014, outlining the activities of the department during their tenure.
Trivial Events and Trifling Decisions that Changed British History
In 1831 26-year-old Captain Robert FitzRoy advertised for a companion to accompany him on a voyage to South America. The ship was the HMS Beagle; the successful applicant the young Charles Darwin; the result of the voyage the theory of natural selection. This entertaining compendium of 40 historical anecdotes, whose topics include science, politics, food and literature, illustrates how seemingly insignificant events can alter the course of history.
The Chronicles of a Courtier
A History of Stanton Court, Wiltshire
What do PG Wodehouse, a descendant of Horatio Nelson, the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and members of the royal family have in common? All, as this fascinating history makes clear, are connected to Stanton Court in Wiltshire. Written by the Georgian rectory’s current inhabitant, the book interweaves local history with the pursuits and fortunes of a host of colourful characters. Period photographs vividly evoke the look and atmosphere of the house and its gardens.
Aspects of Devon History (Off-Mint)
People, Places and Landscapes
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Devon History Society, this volume brings together 30 essays on a wide range of topics: places such as the medieval landscape of Branscombe and the parish of Parkham in 1841; miscellaneous subjects including fishing, farming, water supply and the coming of electricity; and people from the Saxon thane Ordulf in Tavistock to Dame Georgiana Buller, the only child of Sir Redvers Buller, and her work for disabled people in 20th-century Devon. Off-mint.
An Outline History
Syria has seldom been out of the news since the civil war began in 2011, but its history is not so widely known. Combining narrative sweep with telling detail, this account outlines the achievements of ancient Syria, birthplace of agriculture and writing, before charting the succession of invaders – Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, French and British – who attempted to dominate the region. Finally, it locates the roots of the present conflict in the treaties that followed the First World War.
The Course of History
Ten Meals That Changed the World
World-changing decisions have been made over dinner, from the post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna to Nixon’s historic meeting with Zhou Enlai. This enlightening book not only reveals the importance of dining to diplomacy, it enlists the acclaimed restaurateur Tony Singh to recreate the menus, from the Capon Stuffed with Virginia Ham eaten by Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson as they discussed the new US capital to the Poached Salmon Trout with Caviar consumed by Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Tehran.
South Asia from Partition to the Present Day
Dispersed across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, midnight's descendants – the generations born since the midnight partition of British India in 1947 – are the world's fastest-growing population. This first comprehensive history of this complex and inter-connected region charts its uneven and often fraught path to modernization; the volatile relationship between India and Pakistan; the rise of religious fundamentalism; the bitter wars in Kashmir and Sri Lanka; and the area's increasing influence on global economics and geopolitics.
Losing the Peace
Failed Settlements and the Road to War
Why did the ‘war to end all wars’ initiate a century of conflict? This searching re-examination shows how the wars of the 20th century originated in unsuccessful peace agreements: how French hostility to the 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt paved the way for the First World War; how German resentment of the Treaty of Versailles brought Hitler to power; and how the post-1945 conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East arose from peace treaties that failed to last.
A Concise History of the Arabs
From Libya to Syria, the Arab world commands Western headlines even as its politics elude the grasp of readers and commentators. This lucid survey argues that the key to understanding the region lies in its past. The book charts the political, social and intellectual history of the Arab world from the Roman Empire, through the mission of the Prophet Muhammad to the rise of modern Islamism, and concludes with an assessment of the region’s prospects after the Arab Spring.
The Undiscovered Country
Journeys Among the Dead
From John Baret’s effigy of his own corpse in St Mary’s Church, in 15th-century Bury St Edmunds, to the incident that prompted the idea of bringing an anonymous body – ‘An Unknown Soldier’ – back from the First World War trenches, Watkins’ history of the macabre delves into Britain’s past in search of ancient customs, local characters and compelling tales that illuminate the ways in which people have come to terms with death.
The Story of the World
A much-travelled historian, WB Bartlett is firm in his conviction that 'history matters' and that nations across the globe are shaped, and sometimes haunted, by their history. Following the grand sweep of events – yet noting in passing such landmarks as the first Sherlock Holmes story – Bartlett eschews the Eurocentric approach and introduces many forgotten cultures, movements and events in this lively and thoughtful introduction to world history.
London's Lord Mayors
800 Years of Shaping the City
The Lord Mayorship of London is one of the oldest and most successful elected offices in the modern world, and for 800 years its incumbents have shaped, served and supported the City and its inhabitants. Against the pomp and ceremony of the Lord Mayor's Show, this history sheds light on the personalities, decisions, successes and failures of the drapers, goldsmiths, fishmongers and spectacle-makers who have risen to perform this crucial role through plague, fire, rebellion and war.