A Modern History: 1945–2015
Starting with the growing nationalist demands for independence that followed the Second World War, Guy Arnold’s magisterial history describes the momentous changes that transformed Africa from a collection of European colonies to fifty independent nations. After an introduction to the post-war continent, the book examines how the hopes of the 1960s were followed by the realities of foreign interference, internal tyrannies and corruption. This 2017 edition ends with the growing influence of China, the Arab Spring and the refugee crisis.
An Urban Tree Guide
‘A tree guide filtered through cities as well as a city book filtered through trees’, Sylvan Cities introduces some of the species that grow in urban parks and gardens, and along canals, cycle paths and city streets. As well as helping to identify trees in British cities, the book visits species in foreign countries, including Alders in Venice and Wild Cherries in Hiroshima, and tells the stories of urban wooded places and the ‘wild things’ that live in them.
White Boy Running
Having been raised in an Irish family in South Africa, the poet-novelist Christopher Hope grew up with a deep insight into apartheid. He returned to the country, after twelve years’ absence, during the 1987 whites-only election. Recalling a childhood road trip (as a white boy running through the landscape) he gives an objective account of the historic grievances of both Afrikaners and the black townships.
A Tokyo Romance
Writer, historian and journalist Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo as a film student in 1975, aged 23. There he discovered a surreal mix of traditional and modern culture: temples and shrines alongside neon signs, Japanese pop, murky old bars and cabarets. He recalls his exploits in the world of avant-garde theatre, encounters with carnival acts and fashion photographers, and moments on set with Akira Kurosawa.
The Power and the Story
The Global Battle for News and Information
From Trump’s United States to Erdogan’s Turkey, the press is under attack as never before. Can it survive the post-truth age of fake news? In this wide-ranging, documented survey, John Lloyd assesses the state of journalism around the world, and the commercial and political threats it faces, arguing that a free world is only possible with a free press.
The Murdoch Method
Notes on Running a Media Empire
Rupert Murdoch has had a huge impact on the modern media landscape and Irwin Stelzer was an adviser to him for 35 years. He describes Murdoch’s predilection for risk-taking, mistrust of the establishment and unconventional management style, while analysing turning points in his career, from his purchase of British newspapers (the News of the World, followed by the Sun) and News Corp’s takeover of Twentieth Century Fox to Myspace’s decline and the tabloid phone-hacking scandal.
It's All a Game
A Short History of Board Games
Board games have existed for millennia and, despite the allure of smartphones, remain hugely popular, even giving birth to the recent phenomenon of board-game cafés. From the ancient Egyptian Senet (‘a playable guide to the afterlife’), via such classics as Monopoly (which originally used a circular board), this book explores why they captivate us and traces their development up to the latest innovative ‘Eurogames’.
The Café de Move-on Blues
In Search of the New South Africa
A quarter of a century after the end of apartheid, Christopher Hope embarks on a road trip through his homeland from Cape Town to the Zimbabwean border, meeting exploited black miners and embittered white nationalists. In the face of persisting economic inequality and interracial bitterness, he concludes that Nelson Mandela’s dream of a ‘rainbow nation’ is fading, and it might be the turn of the whites to hear what anti-apartheid politician Oliver Tambo called ‘the Move-on Blues’.
The Unfortunate Englishman
A Joe Wilderness Novel
After being arrested for attempted murder, rejoining British Intelligence was the only way out of a German jail for Joe Wilderness in 1963. His new assignment is arranging an MI6/KGB spy swap in Cold War Berlin, but can Joe resist the lucrative opportunities?
The Age of the Horse
An Equine Journey Through Human History
Susanna Forrest’s ‘equine journey’ comprises several different itineraries, guiding the reader through the various ways in which humankind has used the horse. In each chapter she sets out from a site visited quite recently – among them a Mongolian steppe, a manège in Versailles, an American sale barn, a polo field outside Beijing and a Portuguese bullring – to explore how the horse has been ridden, harnessed, eaten, kept as a pet, raced for sport or sent to war.
Histories of the Unexpected
How Everything has a History
‘History is like a maze’, write the authors as they embark on this journey through 30 topics, inspired by their podcast series that promotes non-linear historical thinking. They reveal how our everyday world connects with the past in surprising, thought-provoking ways, including the use of paper clips as an anti-Nazi symbol, cats’ significance for the French Revolution and the links between letters, marriage, the Royal Navy and eggs.
And How You Can Make it Happen
As Minister for Women and Equalities in the coalition government, Jo Swinson learned the hard way that gender imbalance was ‘the most intractable and biggest of problems to address’ – and not only for government. In this book, she explains how inequality permeates our lives and institutions and, focusing on how power is conferred in favour of men, her ‘call to arms’ offers ways for the individual to make a difference.
What the Romans Can Tell us About Old Age & Death
How did the Romans confront mortality in a world where only eight per cent of the population lived past 60 and medicine offered little defence against disease? This surprisingly entertaining discussion of the subject uses the philosophical reflections of elite authors and the evidence from ordinary Romans’ epitaphs to explore their attitudes to youth and ageing, and their beliefs about fate, death and the afterlife.
A Miscarriage of Justice and the Fight to End the Death Penalty
The case of Oklahoma death-row inmate Richard Glossip has caused an international outcry, since even those who prosecuted him for murder admit he killed no one. The British reporter who became his close friend tells the story of Glossip’s campaign against three scheduled executions. Slightly off-mint.
The Untold Story of Britain's Highest Award for Bravery
The Victoria Cross is the most prestigious British military accolade and is rarely awarded. This investigation into the origins and bestowal of the medal reveals the political issues that have directed the selection of recipients since its inception. Gary Mead reviews the origins of the decoration; tells some of the heroic stories of qualifying candidates; and asks why some other acts of bravery have been inexplicably overlooked and why no women have ever been awarded the VC.
Veni Vidi Vici
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Romans but Were Afraid to Ask
From ‘a small collection of hilltop huts in Latium’ to the Empire’s conversion to Christianity, Peter Jones provides sharp, focused and stimulating information on 1,200 years of Roman history. Each of the twelve chapters begins with a broad summary of the period it covers, followed by short ‘nuggets’ on topics relevant to the era, including important individuals, places, politics and war, architecture, literature and everyday life.
The Zoomable Universe
A Step-by-Step Tour Through Cosmic Scale, from the Infinite to the Infinitesimal
From the gargantuan distance of 1026 metres, the radius of the observable universe, down to the unimaginably small Planck scale of 10-35 metres, used for measurements inside a proton, this illustrated guide to the cosmos zooms in on matter one order of magnitude (power of ten) at a time, depicting and explaining a curated selection of entities, including galaxies, planets, the solar system, Earth, flora and fauna, cells, viruses, atoms and subatomic particles.
The Union Jack
The Story of the British Flag
‘The ebb and flow of the dream of union washes around the British shores like the seas that surround it.’ Telling the story of the Union Jack, which was inspired by the banners of the ancient Britons and heraldry, Nick Groom explores the long and turbulent history of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and asks what the flag symbolizes in today’s fractious times.
A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
The city of Hu? was of major strategic importance to the US Army in Vietnam, but the January 1968 offensive against the city by the North Vietnamese Army led, as the Black Hawk Down author Mark Bowden shows, to the war’s costliest campaign. Slightly off-mint.
What Every Woman Should Know
Lifestyle Lessons From the 1950s
Using photographs and facsimile pages from the Daily Mail archives, this richly illustrated volume reveals how women’s attitudes were shaped in the Baby Boom era. Divided into sections on Fashion, Health and Beauty, and A Woman’s Work, the selection includes advice on finding an affordable fur stole, what a working girl should eat and how to apply fake tan, as well as problem letters from unhappy housewives and advertisements for labour-saving devices that could prove their salvation.
Life and Culture in the West, 1918–1938
Europe emerged from the First World War broken and traumatized, its beliefs shattered by four years of carnage. This wide-ranging history charts the social, political and intellectual climate of the age, as citizens of the West turned their energies towards the hedonism of the Jazz Age while artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live without certainties, and sinister new ideologies emerged from the wreckage of the old order.
The Cooler King
The True Story of William Ash: Spitfire Pilot, POW and WWII's Greatest Escaper
Long before the USA entered the Second World War, William Ash (1918–2014) had left Texas, joined up in Britain and was flying Spitfires with 411 squadron. In 1942 he was shot down over France, captured and incarcerated in Stalag III; he spent the rest of the war trying to escape from various Nazi PoW camps, including Oflag XXIB in Poland. In this book, Bishop explores the PoW experience while telling the exciting and inspirational story of Ash’s determined efforts to break free.
Lady Fanshawe's Receipt Book
An Englishwoman's Life During the Civil War
In the mid 17th century, England was riven by bloody civil war. For Ann Fanshawe, married to a Royalist diplomat, it was a time of insecurity and danger. Throughout the turmoil, she kept a leather-bound book full of ink-stained receipts (recipes) for everything from life-saving remedies to hot chocolate. That volume forms the basis for this account of her attempts to keep a household together in the face of adversity, and her passionate devotion to the Stuart cause.
The Waters of Eternal Youth
Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal, almost drowned and suffered brain damage. Her rescuer was a passing alcoholic who claimed he saw her pushed into the water; yet next day he could remember nothing. Brunetti re-opens this old case – but is there a case to investigate?
The Telomerase Revolution
The Enzyme That Holds the Key to Human Aging... and Will Soon Lead to Longer, Healthier Lives
Why does growing old lead to so many forms of illness? Recent advances in the study of human cells have revealed that the key to answering this question lies in the telomeres – the tips of chromosomes – which shorten every time a cell reproduces. As he explains these insights, Fossel highlights the ability of the enzyme telomerase to re-lengthen the telomeres and discusses its potential as a means of treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Stars in Battledress
A Light-Hearted Look at Service Entertainment in the Second World War
Many of the stars of post-war British entertainment cut their teeth in Army entertainment; established artistes as part of ENSA and, braving the front lines, Stars in Battledress using talent drawn from the serving ranks. This book recounts the stories of such members as Charlie Chester and Spike Milligan as well as tales of the post-war Combined Service Entertainment in which Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter learned their trade.
Featuring more than 500 mostly unpublished photographs from the London County Council archive, this richly evocative book opens a window on a vanished past. Spanning 75 years, from 1870 to 1945, it charts the transition from a Dickensian world of coaching inns to the devastation of the Blitz, revealing the architectural beauty that London has lost, explaining why some buildings have survived while others have perished, and sounding a clarion call to save what remains.
Panoramas of Lost London
Work, Wealth, Poverty and Change 1870–1945
Following on from the bestselling Lost London 1870–1945, this book presents some 280 photographs originally commissioned by the London County Council to record streets and neighbourhoods on the threshold of redevelopment. Enlarged and cropped, the photographs reveal the built environment and life within it in great detail. They are, as Dan Cruickshank writes in his foreword, 'photographs which record not just the appearance of the building but also, in some uncanny way, its atmosphere, its grand but crumbling soul'.
First used in medieval Venice and prized for its manoeuvrability, the gondola evolved over the centuries into today's sleek, asymmetrical black boat. Illustrated with reproductions of views of Venice, Donna Leon's little book offers 'a new way to enter into the life of the city' through the stories of the gondola, its history, its makers and its songs. A CD of gondoliers' barcarole accompanies the book, recorded by Il Pomo d'Oro, with a special track by Cecilia Bartoli.
Arranged by region from North West to South West, this selection of over 1,300 photographs from the Historic England collection presents a visual narrative of the built environment and people's lives within it, from the age of horse-drawn trams to that of trolley buses. Introduced and captioned by Philip Davies, the images show a vast range of English life in town and country – from the commercial grandeur of Liverpool's 'Three Graces' to a blacksmith at work in a Cornish village.
Victoria Cross Heroes of World War One
628 Extraordinary Stories of Valour
Between the first Victoria Cross awarded in 1857 and the outbreak of war in 1914, 500 medals were conferred. Over the next four years that figure more than doubled with trench warfare seemingly affording endless opportunities for courage in the face of the enemy. Comprehensively illustrated with photographs, newspaper cuttings and maps, this impressive book profiles the 628 acts of conspicuous bravery, on land, at sea and in the air, that were rewarded with a VC during the Great War.
A History of the Caribbean From Columbus to the Present Day
In this compelling history Carrie Gibson unfolds the complex story of the Caribbean from Columbus' first landing on the island he named San Salvador to today's islands – largely independent, but often still in thrall to Europe and America's insatiable desire for tropical luxuries. For Gibson, the heart of that story is 'the genius of adaptation' – to diaspora, disease, slavery, racism, earthquake, poverty and tourism – that enabled the West Indies to survive a clash of worlds. Off-mint.
Letters and News from the Trenches and the Home Front
During the First World War the Daily Mail published letters from soldiers and civilians as well as reports from the front line and comment by literary figures such as John Galsworthy, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy. This volume mixes these elements from the paper's archive with private diaries, correspondence and photographs from the battle and home fronts to give a valuable contemporary perspective on the war.
Helped, hidden and protected by their fellow citizens during 14 harrowing days in 1943, 95 per cent of Denmark's Jewish population – 7,742 people – were smuggled out all along the coast on ships,schooners and fishing boats to neutral Sweden. Drawing on contemporary sources, including eye witness accounts, Bo Lidegaard tells the full story of how the people of Nazi-occupied Denmark anticipated the Nazis' round-up of Danish Jews and decided to resist the might of the Third Reich.
A History of 1945
After the most devastating war in human history, how did the world emerge from the wreckage? Drawing on hundreds of eye-witness accounts and personal stories, this study focuses on the immediate aftermath of the Second World War: the months following the surrender of the Axis powers. It begins with the liberation of the camps and surveys the problems of repatriation, hunger, revenge, war crimes tribunals and military occupation, but also the restoration of democracy and the start of the UN.
What Every Woman Should Know
Lifestyle Lessons from the 1930s
In the 1930s women had the vote, they had independence and increasingly they had money to spend. The Daily Mail was one of the first newspapers to recognize this and it led the way in women's lifestyle features. This selection of facsimile pages from 1930s editions of the Mail, with their beauty and fashion advice, cookery tips and household hints, gives a revealing and entertaining insight into the preoccupations of the new consumer age.
London Hidden Interiors
Philip Davies's selection of 180 London interiors, all beautifully photographed by Derek Kendall, reveals the architectural riches – and eccentricities – hidden behind inscrutable London facades or tucked away in sidestreets: houses such as 11 Bedford Row, with its magnificent Georgian painted staircase; hidden gems such as the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in Malet Street; and the complete 18th-century dining room by Robert Adam, removed from Bowood House in Wiltshire and reconstructed on the ninth floor of the Lloyd's Building.
We'll Meet Again
Britain at War
With advances in camera technology, photojournalists were able to record everyday life during the Second World War with much more flexibility than ever before and the home front provided them with unforgettable visual material. From bomb destruction and ration queues to evacuees and women working in heavy industry, this collection of 350 photographs from the Daily Mail archive contains many arresting images and portrays a remarkable sense of cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
The Second World War
A Military History
Former Army officer Gordon Corrigan focuses on the operational military history of the Second World War in this one-volume account. He examines the wider agendas of the warring nations as well as the personalities of key political leaders and assesses how these factors affected the military decision-making in all theatres of the war. Advancing fresh interpretations and strident views, the book questions many commonly held perceptions of the events of 1939–1945.