The Rises and Falls of Whitaker Wright, the World's Most Shameless Swindler
Whitaker Wright was a Victorian conman who made and lost a fortune by selling stock in companies that ultimately failed to deliver. This account of his exploits reveals the heights of his successes, with excesses including an underwater smoking room and a steam yacht where he entertained aristocrats, and his dramatic downfalls. Having fled from America to England, and then back again, he was finally convicted of financial fraud and committed suicide in the dock.
European Resistance to the Nazis, 1940–1945
First published in 1976, this classic history surveys the entire range of resistance activity across occupied Europe, from France to Yugoslavia, including within Germany itself. It looks at who resisted, what their motives were, and the actions they took, including sabotage and direct attacks on troops. The mechanics of espionage – codes, ciphers and forged papers – are explained, the many resistance groups are profiled, and their impact on the post-war settlement is assessed.
Punch and Judy Politics
An Insiders' Guide to Prime Minister's Questions
First formalized into a regular event in 1961, ‘PMQs’ dominates the lives of senior British politicians and is a source of fascination abroad. This book’s authors prepared Ed Miliband for combat each week; here they revisit the high and low points and survey the history and evolution of the format, with reflections from participants including Vince Cable, Tony Blair and David Cameron. An afterword brings the story up to 2018.
Orders to Kill
The Putin Regime and Political Murder
Amy Knight, an expert on the KGB, describes today’s Russia as ‘a truly criminal regime’. She first traces the long Kremlin tradition of covert violence and the development of the country’s post-war security services. In the remainder of the book she investigates the background to several recent killings – including the Litvinenko poisoning and the 2015 shooting of outspoken Putin critic Boris Nemtsov – and examines the evidence for Russian involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings.
No Tradesmen and No Women
The Origins of the British Civil Service
Drawing on extensive research and 40 years’ experience as a civil servant, Michael Coolican describes how the machinery of government has developed since the time of Thomas Cromwell. His forthright account assesses the successes and failures of Whitehall departments in implementing government policy, and explains how Victorian reforms created an elitist culture of nepotism. He argues that the resulting poor leadership, distrust of modern management practices and preference for generalists over experts affect the service to this day.
The Lockerbie Bombing
The Search for Justice
In 2009 Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, was released from prison. Written by the Justice Secretary who freed him, this account of the Lockerbie investigation describes the collection of evidence and the diplomatic intrigue that led to a Scottish court being convened in the Netherlands. MacAskill then explains his controversial decision and offers a reconstruction of the course of events leading up to the attack.
Emily Wilding Davison
The Martyr Suffragette
Emily Davison’s death beneath the king’s horse at the 1913 Derby has overshadowed the life that led up to it. Drawing on her own words and those of people who knew her, this biography charts the formative experiences of this intelligent, resourceful and determined woman: an education thwarted by lack of money, work as a governess, and involvement in campaigns about the injustices faced by women that resulted in her imprisonment and force-feeding.
In a long career working for the BBC, ITN and Sky News, award-winning journalist Jeremy Thompson travelled the world to report on events including the Tiananmen Square massacre and the release of Nelson Mandela. His autobiography offers a glimpse behind the scenes in the newsroom and shares both poignant and amusing moments during assignments, from the Miners’ Strike to the election of Donald Trump.
The Stories Behind the Headlines at the World's Most Famous Newspaper
As the chief reporter and news editor for the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck was one of Fleet Street's most prominent journalists for over 20 years. In this memoir he recalls the most sensational scoops and scandals, including the Jeffrey Archer perjury case, the David Beckham and Rebecca Loos affair, and a variety of stories involving politicians, celebrities, serial killers and even MI5.
A Life From Print to Panorama
Tom Mangold is known to millions as the long-serving broadcaster of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama. In this frank and often funny memoir, he describes his National Service in Germany, where he moonlighted as a smuggler, and his years in the cut-throat world of Fleet Street tabloid journalism. He reflects on scoops and scandals, chaotic interviews with presidents, and reporting from the world’s deadliest conflict zones.
At the Heart of Power From Heath to Blair
Described as ‘one of the two or three men who actually run the country’, Robin Butler served variously as private secretary to, and cabinet secretary under, five prime ministers. This biography presents Butler as both traditionalist and innovator in a civil service undergoing profound change.
Reporting on Hitler
Rothay Reynolds and the British Press in Nazi Germany
The Daily Mail’s Berlin correspondent Rothay Reynolds was one of the first journalists to interview Hitler and, it was said, the only man capable of holding the Führer’s gaze. As his paper became increasingly vocal in its support for the Nazis, he struggled to report accurately on life in Germany. This account tells the story of Reynolds and other foreign correspondents such as Norman Ebutt and Hugh Carleton Greene who attempted to reveal the truth about the regime, often at great personal risk.
The Best Prime Minister We Never Had?
The Conservative politician Richard Austen ‘Rab’ Butler (1902–82) held three of the great offices of state and came close, on three occasions, to becoming Prime Minister. This biography examines his upbringing, education and political career and draws on his own papers and the testimony of his contemporaries to explore why, despite his formidable intellect and distinguished record as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the premiership ultimately eluded him.
The King Who Had to Go
Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis
Edward VIII’s relationship with the American divorcée Wallis Simpson created a constitutional crisis that ultimately cost him his crown. This behind-the-scenes account reveals how the crisis was kept secret from the public for six months while the police and MI5 tapped the king’s phones and investigated Mrs Simpson’s alleged Nazi sympathies, and how Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin outwitted Winston Churchill and seized the opportunity to conclude his own career with a theatrical flourish.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
The Banker's Sister
Jane Austen’s favourite brother Henry established himself as a banker in 1806, and built up an extensive business before it collapsed in the financial crash of 1816. He also acted as his sister’ agent, dealing with publishers and printers on her behalf. This dual biography explores for the first time the close connection between his financial and her literary career, to reveal how her novels draw on his experiences to highlight the economic speculations and crises of the Regency era.
Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?
Reappraising Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson was one of the longest-serving prime ministers of the 20th century, winning four elections – one more than both Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher – yet his reputation within the Labour Party remains ambiguous. This collection of essays examines his record on economic policy, industrial relations, social liberalization, Europe and Northern Ireland. With contributions from Wilson’s contemporaries and political experts from the left, right and centre, it offers a balanced assessment of his successes and failures.
The Spy Who Knew Everyone
Guy Burgess (1910–1963) was an extraordinarily well-connected Russian spy within the British establishment, who managed to work for the BBC, MI5, MI6, the War Office, the Ministry of Information and Soviet Intelligence over a period of 15 years before going into self-imposed exile in Moscow in 1951. Drawing on newly released official files, the authors describe how Burgess used his contacts in the British political class and how, for a long time, he got away with it.
Born in the Welsh valleys, Joan Ruddock went on to lead the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before becoming an MP and the first Minister for Women in the Blair government. In this memoir, she recalls the hard lives of her parents, which fuelled her passion for social justice, her career as campaigner and politician, the euphoria she felt after the 1997 election, and the frustration and disillusionment that followed.
Fighting with Allies
America and Britain in Peace and War
In this updated edition of his 1996 study, the former British Ambassador to Washington explores the history and nature of the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries since 1940. Drawing on his own experience as well as official documents, diaries and memoirs, Robin Renwick examines the perspectives of each side during moments of crisis and conflict, including the Second World War, Suez, the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. With Britain’s role in the world about to be transformed by Brexit, the book assesses the prospects for Anglo-American co-operation.
The Last Days of Fleet Street: My Part in its Downfall
In this memoir, the award-winning journalist Maurice Chittenden reflects on his forty-year career and describes the hedonism and camaraderie of life as a i>Sunday Times Fleet Street reporter, with anecdotes including a robbery at a Rolling Stones concert and a spell in a Borneo jail.
The Man Who Broke Enigmas
Brilliant classical scholar Alfred Dillwyn Knox was recruited by the Admiralty as a codebreaker in 1915 and by the outbreak of the Second World War was a leading cryptographer for the Government Code and Cypher School, breaking the Abwehr Enigma at Bletchley Park in 1941. This biography of the eccentric genius is written by one of 'Dilly's girls' - his codebreaking assistants at Bletchley - and describes his life and work, including detailed explanations of his decryption methods.
Commander in Chief
FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943
As battle raged in North Africa and Italy, Churchill and Roosevelt disagreed about how to win the war. Drawing on new research, this history – the second volume in a trilogy on FDR’s wartime leadership – overturns 70 years of received wisdom to reveal a strategic difference between the two men, as the president challenged Churchill’s decision to widen the war in the Mediterranean in favour of an invasion of France the following year.
The Inevitable Prime Minister
Attlee has been labelled ‘the accidental Prime Minister’, but, as this biography demonstrates, Labour’s longest-serving leader lacked neither ambition nor ability, and his party’s landslide victory in 1945 was not merely due to a temporary wave of populism. Jago traces Attlee’s rise to power, including his role as Churchill’s wartime deputy, and shows how his relentless quest for a more egalitarian society inspired far-reaching reforms, not least the creation of the NHS.
By Royal Appointment
Tales From the Privy Council – the Unknown Arm of Government
The Privy Council, which formally advises the sovereign, has existed since ‘remote antiquity’, and this history of the institution explores, by means of stories and anecdotes from its chequered past, the council’s waning influence over rival institutions, including the Cabinet and the judiciary.
British Liberal Leaders
Leaders of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats Since 1828
This volume traces the development of British Liberalism through profiles of 25 leaders. Analysing their attributes and achievements, the authors discuss the success with which each man guided his party through revolutionary social and political changes. The book ends with three interviews in which David Steel, Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg give their own reflections on their experiences of leadership.
Breaking The Code
As MP for Chester and a government whip, Gyles Brandreth had a ringside seat at Westminster from the fall of Margaret Thatcher to the election of Tony Blair. His frank and often funny diaries provide an insight into the workings of modern government, profiles of the key players, and the first-ever insider's account of the secret world of the Whips' Office. This updated edition continues the story to the arrival of David Cameron as Tory leader.
Klop Ustinov: Britain's Most Ingenious Spy
Klop ('Bedbug') Ustinov (1892–1962) was an MI5 secret agent tasked, not with killing, but with bemusing and beguiling his enemies into revealing their deepest, darkest secrets. Through the Russian revolution, two World Wars and the Cold War, Klop bluffed and tricked his way into the confidence of everyone from Soviet commissars to a Gestapo Gruppenführer. Journalist Peter Day tells the epic tale of an agent whose missions remained obscured by his socializing and womanizing.
Baggage of Empire
Reporting Politics and Industry in the Shadow of Imperial Decline
The former BBC industrial editor Martin Adeney blends memoir and history as he surveys the ruins of great industries and the rise of Thatcherism to reveal how the long decline of the British Empire has shaped the nation.
Trotsky's Favourite Spy
The Life of George Alexander Hill
As part of a team of British agents charged with keeping Russia engaged in the First World War in 1917, George Hill (1893–1970) worked undercover with Trotsky. In the Second World War he became the link between Churchill’s Special Operations Executive and Stalin’s secret service, the NKVD. Drawing on the memoir by Hill’s daughter, Una Kroll, Peter Day’s book illuminates the shadowy world of early 20th-century espionage through the career of this multilingual merchant adventurer, soldier, diplomat and spy.
Memories of the Falklands
The recollections of leading British politicians, diplomats, military personnel, journalists and Falkland Islanders are included in this retrospect of the 1982 conflict. Among the contributors are Margaret Thatcher, Simon Weston, Cecil Parkinson, David Owen and Max Hastings.
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.
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 Royal Navy.
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.
The Man Who Was George Smiley
The Life of John Bingham
Spymaster, interrogator, investigator – the perfect inspiration for the perfect spy. This is the first full-length biography of the remarkable John Bingham, the heir to an Irish baronetcy who joined MI5 in 1940 and took part in many wartime missions. During the Cold War his skills became legendary and he shared his expertise with many novice spies, including David Cornwell, who found literary fame as John le Carré and who based George Smiley on his mentor.
An Anthology of Famous Last Words
Salvador Dalí's enigmatic parting question, ‘Where is my clock?’; Louis B Meyer’s gloomy conclusion, ‘It wasn’t worth it’; Hegel’s final, impenetrable comment, ‘Only one man ever understood me, and he didn’t understand me’... The last words of 200 famous men and women, together with notes on their deaths, are gathered here in five chapters on Hedonists, Optimists, Pragmatists, Visionaries and those who delivered a Parting Shot.
Lady Constance Lytton
Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr
Raised amid the grandeur of Knebworth House, Lady Constance Lytton was an unlikely radical. Drawing on unpublished family papers, this biography tells her story for the first time: how, witnessing the trial of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, she became convinced that women must win the right to vote; and how, in jail, she discovered that her status afforded her preferential treatment, and on release disguised herself to discover the horrors that other suffragettes were forced to endure.
Double Cross in Cairo
The True Story of the Spy Who Turned the Tide of War in the Middle East
Nigel West tells the true story of Renato Levi, a double agent in the Middle East and North Africa during the Second World War, whose fictitious network, CHEESE, provided the misdirection that helped defeat Rommel.
Under Every Leaf
'Where a leaf moves', according to an old Farsi saying, 'underneath you will find an Englishman'. Between the Crimean and the First World Wars, an anonymous-looking townhouse in Queen Anne's Gate was the headquarters of the shadowy Intelligence Division of the War Office. Drawing on an encyclopedic array of little-known sources, this book tells the dramatic story of its network of intrepid spies who promoted the interests of the British Empire across the globe, by fair means – or foul.
An Intimate Portrait of a Musical Legend
This biography of Dusty Springfield, one of the most celebrated pop stars of the 1960s, not only discusses her musical development and lasting legacy, but also delves beyond the professional persona to explore her somewhat troubled private life. Interviews with friends, lovers, employees and other confidants shed light on Springfield's relationships, addictions and struggles with her sexuality. Through it all, however, is the music that brought so much joy to so many.
Finding the Plot
100 Graves to Visit Before You Die
From the splendour of Nelson's tomb in the crypt of St Paul's to the more commonplace gravestone of Eleanor Rigby in Liverpool, this guide selects the most interesting resting places to visit in Britain, telling the stories of the lives and deaths of the memorialized. Arranged geographically, the selection ranges from the much-visited shrine to Marc Bolan in Barnes to the Leicester car park where Richard III's remains were found.
A Story of Friendship and Betrayal
Ian Innes 'Tim' Milne and Kim Philby had been at school together and when Philby joined MI6 he immediately recruited Milne as his deputy. The treachery of his friend, revealed as the 'Third Man' of the Cambridge spy ring, was a painful blow to Milne, but his frank account of their long association, banned in 1979, is written without rancour and presents an insider's view of one of the most notorious spies of the 20th century.
The Life of Rupert Brooke
Good-looking, charming and gifted, Rupert Brooke is the tragic embodiment of the generation lost between 1914 and 1918. His romantic war poetry stands in striking contrast to the work of more disillusioned contemporaries such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. But as this searching biography makes clear, his private letters reveal a far more troubled and misunderstood man, caught in a tangled web of secret affairs and mental instability.
When Reporters Cross the Line
The Heroes, the Villains, the Hackers and the Spies
The phone-hacking scandal has brought journalism into disrepute, closed a bestselling newspaper and led to the imprisonment of senior media executives. This account of modern reporting examines just how far journalists will go in order to get a story in the heat of war or political conflict. Featuring some of the best-known names in British broadcasting, including John Simpson, Lindsey Hilsum and Charles Wheeler, it interrogates the ethics of the trade, and poses the question: 'When do you cross the line?'
A History: 1883–2006
The Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police was originally formed to combat a campaign of Irish republican terrorism, but soon took on wider responsibility for the monitoring of anarchists, Bolsheviks and suffragettes. This book presents a complete history of the service until its 2006 merger with the Anti-Terrorist Branch. Combining documentary sources with recollections from their own former colleagues in Special Branch, the authors trace its distinguished history and describe many acts of bravery and high-risk intelligence-gathering.
The Secret Agent's Bedside Reader
A Compendium of Spy Writing
An intelligence officer has to be able to tell a good story, so it is hardly surprising that many authors and journalists have joined their ranks, while operatives such as John le Carre have become successful writers. This anthology, compiled by a former intelligence officer and journalist, assembles extracts from espionage fiction by the likes of Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham, alongside instructions for spies and reports from Guy Burgess, Kim Philby and Sidney Reilly.
Hunting Spies in the First World War
As head of Scotland Yard's CID, and working in tandem with MI5, Basil Thomson was in charge of hunting down German spies during the First World War and uncovering communist subversives in the trades unions in the three years following the war. As well as apprehending, he was responsible for interrogating captured agents, among them Mata Hari and Roger Casement. In this book, originally published in 1922 as 'Queer People', he gives an account of his extraordinarily exciting work.