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.
Story of Codebreaking
From Ancient Ciphers to Quantum Cryptography
Julius Caesar is recorded as having routinely used ciphers, and evidence of secret writing and coded messages dates back further to the ancient civilizations of China, India and Greece. This illustrated history explains the development of setting and cracking codes from simple substitution ciphers in use in medieval Europe to the decoding of the incendiary Zimmerman telegram in 1917, Alan Turing’s breakthrough in mechanized analysis at Bletchley Park and modern computer-generated systems of encryption and decryption.
Aspects of Devon History
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.
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.
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.
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 Colln, 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.
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.
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.
The People Behind the Power
Steeped in authoritarianism, secrecy and corruption, Russia continues to baffle and frustrate the West. Why is it the way it is? 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.
Centuries of Change
Which Century Saw the Most Change and Why it Matters to Us
Which century in the past millennium saw the most change? Which development had the most far-reaching effects - the Black Death or votes for women, the Industrial Revolution or the internet? This book from the author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England takes us on a tour of Western history - a trip through invention, discovery, revolution and shifts in perspective - pitting one century against another in a quest to measure the pace of change.
How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World
Why does the world speak English? Why does every country at least pretend to aspire to representative government? In this ambitious and wide-ranging polemic, the Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan argues that the institutions of representative government, personal freedom and the rule of law are the products of a specifically English tradition, which the Founding Fathers embodied in the US constitution. However, these freedoms face an unprecedented threat from regulation, centralization and bureaucracy. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
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.
An Illustrated History
For much of its history the birthplace of democracy has found itself under foreign occupation or military rule. This entertaining survey traces Greece's political, artistic and religious evolution from its Stone Age beginnings, through the glories of its classical civilization, the Byzantine era and the long years of Ottoman rule, to the restoration of democratic government and EU membership.
An Illustrated History
This book succinctly relates the five millennia of Egyptian history from the first dynasties of the pharaohs, through the periods of Roman, Islamic, Ottoman and British rule, and into the 21st century, while providing an insight into the culture of modern Egypt through profiles of key figures such as the singer Umm Kulthum (d.1975) and the writer Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006).
Korea: An Illustrated History
From Ancient Times to 1945
Although Koreans call their country Choson - 'The Land of the Morning Calm' - it has weathered many military and political storms. This volume charts its fortunes from the time of the legendary Tan-Gun in the third millennium BCE to the Cold War and the present division of the country, and discusses its profound cultural and spiritual heritage.
An Illustrated History
Capital of the largest country in the world, Moscow has experienced both glorious and turbulent times. This volume recounts its political, social and artistic history through the rise and fall of Imperial Russia, the Bolshevik revolution, two world wars and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, paying particular attention to changes in the city's size and architecture.
East Asia Before The West
Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute
Challenging Eurocentric theories of international relations, Kang analyses how the East Asian system functioned from the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, a period which saw only two large-scale conflicts between China and its neighbours. After explaining how the 'tribute system' fostered diplomatic and commercial exchange, he ends by considering the contribution of the region's formal hierarchy to the increasing stability and integration of the modern East Asian world.
Harlem: The Four Hundred Year History
from Dutch Village to Capital of Black America
Harlem has enjoyed a rich and varied history. Famously a melting pot of races and religions, here wealth and refinement mixed with poverty and crime, and a 20th-century renaissance changed the arts and culture forever. From 1609, when Henry Hudson first sailed up the River That Flows Both Ways, watched by natives of Mannahatta, to 2006, Jonathan Gill presents the first complete chronicle of the area and examines American history through perhaps the most iconic neighbourhood in the country.
Miniatures of French History
Soon after the First World War, the Anglo-French writer and Catholic activist Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) wrote this history of the land of his birth. In 31 vignettes he charts its fortunes from the Greek foundation of Marseilles in 599 BCE to the Battle of the Marne in 1914. Filled with vivid characters and dramatic set pieces, the book rings with passion for the nation Belloc considered the bulwark of Christian civilization.
A Biography of the World's Greatest River
‘Without doubt the greatest and most influential river system in the world’, the Blue, White and lower Nile together are the subject of Robert Twigger’s idiosyncratic, discursive narrative. A resident of Cairo until recently, he combines personal experience of present-day Egypt with the history, geography and ‘stories red in tooth and claw’ of the river, from its elusive source to Mansoura in the delta, and from shifting tectonic plates in the mists of time to revolution in 2011.
The Story of Coventry
The history of Coventry is often overshadowed by its bombing during the Second World War, but this richly illustrated account explores the city's whole heritage down the centuries, through records, architectural developments and anecdotes. Archive photographs in every chapter provide much to pore over, while the text concludes with comments on the challenges and opportunities that the 21st century will present.
A History 1891-1991
Orlando Figes gives a new perspective on revolutionary Russia, presenting the Revolution in a century-long cycle. Beginning with the 1891 famine and the crisis it provoked, Figes argues for three phases of revolution: the 'Old Bolsheviks', through 1917 and up to the 1920s; Stalin's 'revolution from above', Five Year Plans and collectivization, the latter 'a catastrophe from which the country never recovered'; and finally the years from Khrushchev to 1991, in which the leadership turned its back on Stalin, but not on Leninism.
All The Countries The Americans Have Ever Invaded
Making Friends and Influencing People?
Following on from Laycock's All the Countries We've Ever Invaded, the authors turn their attention to the USA and present an A-Z of articles describing the American invasion, bombing or military involvement (in conflict and peacetime) with a staggering 194 countries. Along with the obvious - Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam - there are some surprising forays, including attacks on 18th-century Canada, the 1856 Watermelon War in Panama, and the ill-fated Polar Bear Expedition into Russia in 1918.
The People Who Made a Civilization
Covering three millennia of Chinese history, this book comprises 96 short biographies of people from as wide a range of regions, ethnicities, eras and achievement as possible. Illustrated with portraits and other artworks, the listing begins with a woman - Fu Hao, a royal consort and female warrior of the 13th century BCE - and includes people from every sphere of political, military, cultural, artistic and scientific life, up to the end of the 20th century.
A History from the Mediterranean Shore to the Sahara
Surrounded by the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Sahara, North Africa has seen wave after wave of invaders, from the Romans to the French in the 20th century. Barnaby Rogerson charts its long and complex history up to the Arab Spring, vividly describing a rich cast of memorable characters that includes Dido, Hannibal and St Augustine. The book includes a chronology, an historical gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text, and 11 historical maps.
A Tommy in the Family
First World War Family History and Research
The First World War touched the life of everyone in Britain in one way or another and many families hold treasured mementos in the form of medals, letters home and war diaries. This book explores 20 different human stories revealed by investigating such keepsakes connected with the author's own extended family, and also provides tips and advice about discovering and analysing ancestral information so that readers can research their own families.
The Making of Wakefield 1801-1900
The 19th century brought prosperity to Wakefield, so that by 1900 the city had become both the centre of a new diocese and the seat of the West Riding County Council, with fine public amenities benefiting from mains water and electricity. Making use of contemporary documents and photographs, Taylor surveys this century of civic development and the growth of Wakefield's places of worship, schools and entertainment venues.
Nick Barratt's Beginner's Guide to Your Ancestors' Lives
As well as giving advice on the practicalities of researching and constructing your family tree, this guide explains how to use a range of sources to look more deeply into the social history of each generation - their houses, streets, communities and ways of life. Barratt also offers helpful suggestions for organizing and shaping your findings and, with the help of the latest technology, creating an archive of your personal heritage.
A History of Britain
Book IV: The Stuarts, Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution
Part of a series first published in 1937 and used in schools for decades, this book tells the dramatic events that affected the British Isles during the 17th century as a chronological narrative in fast-paced prose - from the accession of James I to the reign of William and Mary and the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Edited and updated by David Evans, former Head of History at Eton. No jacket.
From the Gunpowder Plot to the Millennium Bug, all manner of historical mysteries, plots, cover-ups and unexplained phenomena are explored in this colourful survey. The ring-bound file contains not only chapters on assassinations, UFOs and aliens, spies, hoaxes, disputed identities and mysteries surrounding the Titanic and the Bermuda Triangle, but facsimiles of memorabilia including postcards and newspaper front pages.
The Story of England
The story of one community and its progress through fifteen centuries of English history, this book focuses on the Leicestershire village of Kibworth, at the very centre of the country. Drawing on a uniquely rich documentary archive, Michael Wood traces the history of the village since the Roman occupation and shows the effects of conquerors,religious and political conflicts, the Industrial Revolution and two world wars on the lives of the people of Kibworth.
Bringing Them Up Royal
How the Royals Raised Their Children from 1066 to the Present
'With some exceptions', writes David Cohen, 'the royals have not distinguished themselves as parents over the last 1,000 years'. From William the Conqueror's daughter Adela and her favoured son, Stephen, through the young Victoria's strictly controlled childhood under the 'Kensington System', and ending with how Princess Diana filled the role of royal mother, Cohen intertwines history with child psychology as he tells a story of violence, betrayal and cruelty - with the occasional gem of kindness and wisdom.
Postcards of Lost Royals
Beginning with a photograph of the future Edward VIII posing with his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, this intriguing collection of postcards tells the stories of royals who lost their thrones - and sometimes, like Tsar Nicholas II and Maximilian I of Mexico, their lives - through revolution, war, the abolition of monarchies or abdication during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of a series surveying 20th century history, political iconography and propaganda through contemporary images, these 50 postcards are reproduced, with short commentaries, from originals in the John Fraser Collection at the Bodleian Library.
A History 1066-2013
Babies are born every day, but rarely does a child arrive who will inherit the throne. This book tells the story of 25 royal babies, some born in times of peace, others delivered during episodes of civil warfare. From the birth of Matilda, granddaughter of William the Conqueror, in 1102 to Prince George Windsor, the latest addition to the royal family, these stories describe the births of some of the greatest British monarchs in history, as well as many long-forgotten babies.
Solving Genealogy Problems
How to Break Down 'Brick Walls' and Build Your Family Tree
The genealogical researcher often comes up against difficult areas and dead ends, but this book provides advice, information and extra techniques to take the family tree back past apparently insurmountable difficulties. Drawing on his own long experience of research in the British Isles, Davis suggests new ways of looking at problems, offers advice on finding new and unusual records and gives additional ideas on using the census and census substitutes.
People and Places
In a memoir as unconventional as his career, Asa Briggs seeks 'to trace those personal relationships which have most shaped my work as an historian and, indeed, my whole life'. Acknowledging the influence of friends as various as PD James, Jim Callaghan and John Reith, he documents five decades of his pioneering work in universities at home and abroad, reminisces about his early life in Yorkshire and explains his special interest in the Victorians.
Among the Cannibals
Adventures on the Trail of Man's Darkest Ritual
Travel writer Paul Raffaele has journeyed to remote corners of the earth in search of native peoples and sects who practised or are still practising 'this deep and terrible perversity of human nature': cannibalism. This account of his adventures records encounters with man-eaters including the Korowai tribe in New Guinea; holy men of a Hindu sect in Benares; and the warriors of Tonga, who until recently ate their slain enemies. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Pirates of the Seven Seas
Treasure and Treachery on the High Seas in Maps, Pictures and Yarns
The Caribbean raiders of the 18th century, glamorized in literature and film, have given us a popular pirate archetype; but seaborne villains had been around long before Blackbeard or Captain Kidd. This illustrated history, which includes many excellent maps, tells the less romantic stories of real pirates through the ages, from the first sea raiders of the ancient world to the pirates of today preying on shipping off the coasts of Africa and elsewhere.
The History of the World
From the Dawn of Humanity to the Modern Age
Beginning with the emergence of Homo erectus nearly 1.5 million years ago, this narrative history surveys human growth, survival and achievement across the planet. As well as covering great political and military events and cultural upheavals, from the earliest civilizations to the Industrial Revolution and the War on Terror, it provides insight into the changes in ordinary people's lives brought about by evolving social attitudes and new technologies such as printing and radio.