The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain’s empire has gone, but popular culture is one area in which it is still a superpower. JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million books, Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country, and James Bond is the longest-running film series in history. This entertaining, thought-provoking book explores the roots, meaning and global success of Britain’s popular culture, and asks what there is in the national imagination that has given birth to such riches.
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.
A Beautiful Question
Finding Nature's Deep Design
In this 'long meditation on a single question', Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wilczek considers how ideas about beauty and art have always been intertwined with our scientific understanding of the cosmos. Taking as his starting-point Pythagoras' credo that 'all things are number', he follows the quest of figures such as Newton and Einstein who contributed to our present-day understanding of the equations and symmetries that reveal the fundamental purity, order and harmony of the entire universe.
The Upright Thinkers
The Human Journey From Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos
Leonard Mlodinow, bestselling author (with Stephen Hawking) of The Grand Design, traces the human 'odyssey of discovery', from starting to walk upright to space travel. Emphasizing the unity of knowledge and the creative impulse, he deals first with the evolution of the human brain and the urge to understand; then describes the development of the hard sciences up to the early 20th century; and finally surveys the exponential progress of science and technology since the discovery of quantum physics.
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 Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-56
The phrase 'Iron Curtain' was coined by Winston Churchill in a speech at Fulton, Missouri in 1946. But was it? This elegant, original and wide-ranging history traces the origins of the metaphor in a device to contain theatre fires, through its use to describe the blockade of the fledgling Soviet Union after the First World War, to its transformation into a brutal reality after the Second, and asks whether the curtain really came down with the Berlin Wall.