Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.
"A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
Robert Tombs' momentous The English and Their History is both a startlingly fresh and a uniquely inclusive account of the people who have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. The English first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history.
In SPQR, world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty.
"Excellent Reexamination of the History of Rome"
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another....
"I loved it ... and hated it ... simultaneously"
A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of the monstrous evil that was Nazism. After discovering the fire of true faith in a Harlem church, Bonhoeffer returned to Germany and became one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer and was hanged in Flossenbürg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.
This is the intimate story of 20 tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Simon Sebag Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence, and wild extravagance, with a global cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries, and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy and Pushkin.
Andrew Roberts' Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine.
Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of Julius Caesar's life, Adrian Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor's accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realizes the full complexity of Caesar's character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some 2,000 years later.
"I Bought, I Listened, I Finished"
At one time, Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that she had a story to tell. For the first 50 years of her life, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to her. She was a spinster watchmaker living contentedly with her sister and their elderly father in the tiny house over their shop in Haarlem. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another. But with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, everything changed....
Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon - his masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic - with Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors.
"Accessible, enjoyable history"
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire that stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights.
"Excellent Narrative History"
The 15th century saw the longest and bloodiest series of civil wars in British history. The crown of England changed hands five times as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. Now, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors. Some of the greatest heroes and villains in history were thrown together in these turbulent times.
Overlooking the Thames, the Cliveden mansion is flanked by two wings and surrounded by lavish gardens. Throughout its storied history, Cliveden has been a setting for misbehavior, intrigue, and passion - from its salacious, deadly beginnings in the 17th century to the 1960s Profumo affair, the sex scandal that toppled the British government. Now, in this immersive chronicle, the manor's current mistress, Natalie Livingstone, opens the doors to this prominent house and lets the walls do the talking.
Beginning in the heady days just after the First Crusade, this volume - the third in the series that began with The History of the Ancient World and The History of the Medieval World - chronicles the contradictions of a world in transition. Impressively researched and brilliantly told, The History of the Renaissance World offers not just the names, dates, and facts but the memorable characters who illuminate the years between 1100 and 1453 - years that marked a sea change in mankind's perception of the world.
The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to1949, was unprecedented in human history - an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation.
"Very good, well-educated reader/narrator."
When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing "a new kind of literary genre", describing her work as "a history of emotions - a history of the soul". Alexievich's distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation.
"The mind cannot understand Russia"
These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.
"I was happily surprised!"
With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson - the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent - brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience, and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't) to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.
"More satire than history"
In AD 793 Norse warriors struck the English isle of Lindisfarne and laid waste to it. Wave after wave of Norse "sea wolves" followed in search of plunder, land, or a glorious death in battle. Much of the British Isles fell before their swords, and the continental capitals of Paris and Aachen were sacked in turn. Turning east, they swept down the uncharted rivers of central Europe, captured Kiev, and clashed with mighty Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
"A little dry but very interesting"
Many political and cultural events sent shock waves through the Irish world in the 19th and early 20th centuries as Ireland gradually shook off the shackles of British rule. Alongside a long and painful political process arose one of the greatest flourishings of literature in modern times - a spirited discourse among those who sought to shape their nation's future, finding the significance of their bloody present intimately entwined with their legendary past.
In 2003, for the first time since the Second World War, the UK took part in an opposed invasion and full-scale occupation of a sovereign state - Iraq. Cabinet decided on 17th March to join the US-led invasion of Iraq. That decision was ratified by Parliament the next day and implemented the night after that. In June 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown ordered an Inquiry to be conducted to identify lessons that could be learned from the Iraq conflict. This audiobook is an unabridged reading of that report's executive summary.
Based around a Marxist understanding of class struggle, Lefebvre sees the revolution not just as a political crisis, but also as an assault on inherited privilege and the social hierarchy. Ultimately, it succeeded because people at every level of society - from nobles and the elite bourgeois to peasants and the urban masses - found the will to defy the crown. Lefebvre's book was later interpreted by some as simplistic and overly partisan, designed as a rallying call to his fellow countrymen.
First published in Germany in 1980, British historian Ian Kershaw's The "Hitler Myth" is recognized as one of the most important books ever written about Adolf Hitler and the Nazi State. Kershaw wanted to focus on what he called the "history of everyday life", and so investigated the attitude of the German public to Hitler at the time, rather than looking at the dictator from the perspective of those in positions of power. He was intrigued to find out how someone like Hitler could have become such a powerful figure.
London-born, Cambridge-trained historian Tony Judt explains how postwar European history reflects the drawn-out consequences of World War II - beginning with Nazi Germany's surrender in 1945 and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union (1989-91). No historian before had written in such detail about recent European history, using those two events as bookends. Nor had anyone gone to such lengths to argue that Eastern and Western Europe - large nations and small - had a key characteristic in common.
Using his own experiences, log books, and correspondence with other U-boat crewmen, Hans Goebeler offers rich and personal details about what life was like in the German Navy under Hitler. Since his first and last posting was to U-505, Goebeler's perspective of the crew, commanders, and war patrols paints a vivid and complete portrait unlike any other to come out of the Kriegsmarine. He witnessed it all, from deadly sabotage efforts that almost sunk the boat to the tragic suicide of the only U-boat commander who took his life during World War II.
No. 1472 was the third of a class of steam locomotives that was eventually to number 79 engines, and did not originally even carry a name. The Great Northern Railway A1 4-6-2, though, was the biggest express steam engine ever to have been seen in Britain at the time. It was chosen to be displayed at a major exhibition at Wembley in 1924, and for this it was given the name Flying Scotsman.
The history of Spain dates back to the Early Middle Ages. In 1516, Habsburg Spain unified a number of disparate predecessor kingdoms; its modern form of a constitutional monarchy was introduced in 1813, and the current democratic constitution dates to 1978.After the completion of the Reconquista, the kingdoms of Spain were united under Habsburg rule in 1516. At the same time, the Spanish Empire began to expand to the New World across the ocean, marking the beginning of the Golden Age of Spain.
In the early 17th century, a crippled, graying, almost toothless veteran of Spain's wars against the Ottoman Empire published a novel. It was the story of a poor nobleman, his brain addled from studying too many novels of chivalry, who deludes himself that he is a knight errant and sets off on hilarious adventures. That story, Don Quixote, went on to sell more copies than any other book beside the Bible, making its author, Miguel de Cervantes, the single most-read author in human history.
Part of the acclaimed Eminent Lives series, Machiavelli is a superb portrait of the brilliant and revolutionary political philosopher - history's most famous theorist of "warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed" - and the age he embodied. Ross King, the New York Times best-selling author of Brunelleschi's Dome, argues that the author of The Prince was a far more complex and sympathetic character than is often portrayed.
Book three of Mommsen's history covers the 118 years from 264 to 146 BC, the period in which Rome became the undisputed master of the Mediterranean Basin. How did this happen, and why? Carthage was instrumental in this transformation. With the defeat and expulsion of Pyrrhus in 275 BC, Rome had moved to consolidate its hold over the Italian peninsula, a position it had acquired in a century of almost continuous warfare with Italian tribes.
The Nazis and the Occult reveals the true nature of the Third Reich's link with arcane influences and of evil itself, as well as explaining how an ill-educated, psychologically unbalanced nonentity succeeded in mesmerizing an entire nation. Forget what you have read, seen, and heard. This is the real secret history of Nazi Germany and its dark Messiah - Adolf Hitler.
Escape from Sobibor builds the personality and heart of the story it contains by firstly focusing on the personality and story of Shlomo, a Jewish boy sent to the camp who survives as a goldsmith for the Nazis. It tells of how he and his family were impacted by the Nazis before being taken to the camp, and the trials he had to go through before he even gets there. By focusing on a select few, he shows the personalities that listeners can recognize and reflect on, rather than just telling of acts that were committed onto a faceless group.
Most everyone knows something about the horrific events of World War II. In particular, Nazi Germany's role in the war was one of magnified terror with Adolf Hitler at the epicenter. We are familiar with his hatred of the Jewish people and his need for control and power. We are also aware of his manipulative prowess, enabled by his charismatic disposition and Germany's need for a great leader. There was a man, however, who saw through Hitler's facade almost immediately, warning the people of Germany.
Britain's rise to global dominance from the 16th century owed as much to the vision and creativity of traders, industrialists and bankers as it did to wars of conquest fought by military men. Dragons tells the story of British business endeavours through the lives of ten titans of commerce. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who transformed England's economy via trade with the New World, Liam Byrne traces a fascinating and eye-opening entrepreneurial line.
In this, the third volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through the a critical period in Napoleon's life: his leadership of France as first consul. He shows us how the political developments of the time coincided with Napoleon's personal development, the experiences that convinced him that France needed a new leader, and how he came to believe that he himself was that leader. This volume ends with the greatest transition of all, from first consul to emperor.
In June 1952 a woman was murdered by an obsessed colleague in a hotel in the South Kensington district of London. Her name was Christine Granville. That she died young was perhaps unsurprising; that she had survived the Second World War was remarkable. The daughter of a feckless Polish aristocrat and his wealthy Jewish wife, Granville would become one of Britain's most daring and highly decorated special agents.
This new edition of a best-selling history of Germany, originally published in 1976, includes the great watershed of 1989-90 and its aftermath. Germany: A Short History provides a thorough introduction to German history from antiquity to the present.
"Worst reader ever."
Kings and Queens of England is an entertaining account of the larger-than-life characters that have ruled England through the ages. It follows the fascinating history of monarchs from the first Saxon kings to the Windsors of the present day. Author Nigel Cawthorne paints vivid portraits of a mixed bunch of rulers ranging from the drunken and debauched merry monarch Charles II to the idealized domesticity and colonial ambition of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
In the summer of 1966, Peter Chapman was a naive 18-year-old from the Angel in North London. He was just about to enter the world of work, having flunked his A Levels and recently discovered that he would not be fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional footballer at Leyton Orient. As a young man on the brink of adulthood, he found himself in a country also on the brink of huge change - and about to have one of the most significant sporting successes in its history.
Hailed as the most compelling biography of the German dictator yet written, Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the heart of its subject's immense darkness. From his illegitimate birth in a small Austrian village to his fiery death in a bunker under the Reich chancellery in Berlin, Adolf Hitler left a murky trail, strewn with contradictory tales and overgrown with self-created myths. One truth prevails: the sheer scale of the evils that he unleashed on the world has made him a demonic figure without equal in the 20th century.
John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough (1644-1722), was one of the greatest military commanders and statesmen in the history of England. Victorious in the Battles of Blenheim (1704) and Ramillies (1706) and countless other campaigns, Marlborough, whose political intrigues were almost as legendary as his military skill, never fought a battle he didn't win. Marlborough also bequeathed the world another great British military strategist and diplomat, his descendant, Winston S. Churchill.
Remember Us is a look back at the lost world of the shtetl: a wise Zayde offering prophetic and profound words to his grandson, the rich experience of Shabbos, and the treasure of a loving family. All this is torn apart with the arrival of the Holocaust, beginning a crucible fraught with twists and turns so unpredictable and surprising that they defy any attempt to find reason within them. Through the eyes of 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Martin Small, we learn that these priceless memories that are too painful to remember are also too painful to forget.
"A Tragic and Rich Life, With Lessons For All"
The Golden Age of the Spanish Empire would establish five centuries of Western supremacy across the globe and usher in an era of transatlantic exploration that eventually gave rise to the modern world. It was a time of discovery and adventure, of great political and social change - it was a time when Spain learned to rule the world.
"Colorful book but poor performer"
From 1933 to 1945, the Gestapo was Nazi Germany's chief instrument of counter-espionage, political suppression, and terror. Jacques Delarue, a saboteur arrested by the Nazis in occupied France, chronicles how the land of Beethoven elevated sadism to a fine art. The Gestapo: A History of Horror draws upon Delarue's interviews with ex-Gestapo agents to deliver a multi-layered history of the force whose work included killing student resisters, establishing Aryan eugenic unions, and implementing the Final Solution.
"Once read never fogotten!!"
Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: Neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life.
"Most Enjoyable Biography--Win!"
In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. Anna Funder tells extraordinary tales from the underbelly of the former East Germany. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police could become a museum literally overnight, and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their fellow citizens, there are thousands of captivating stories.
In 1683, an Ottoman army that stretched from horizon to horizon set out to seize the "Golden Apple", as Turks referred to Vienna. The ensuing siege pitted battle-hardened Janissaries wielding 17th-century grenades against Habsburg armies, widely feared for their savagery. The walls of Vienna bristled with guns as the besieging Ottoman host launched bombs, fired cannons, and showered the populace with arrows during the battle for Christianity's bulwark.
In The Red Flag, Oxford professor David Priestland tells the epic story of a movement that has taken root in dozens of countries across 200 years, from its birth after the French Revolution to its ideological maturity in 19th-century Germany to its rise to dominance (and subsequent fall) in the 20th century.
"Decent journalism on a large scale"
For centuries the Celts held sway in Europe. Even after their conquest by the Romans, their culture remained vigorous, ensuring that much of it endured to feed an endless fascination with Celtic history and myths, artwork and treasures. A foremost authority on the Celtic peoples and their culture, Peter Berresford Ellis presents an invigoration overview of their world. With his gift for making the scholarly accessible, he discusses the Celts' mysterious origins and early history and investigates their rich and complex society.
"A bit dry, but overall interesting"
Hitler’s rise to power, Germany’s march to the abyss, as seen through the eyes of Americans—diplomats, military, expats, visiting authors, Olympic athletes—who watched horrified and up close. By tapping a rich vein of personal testimonies, Hitlerland offers a gripping narrative full of surprising twists—and a startlingly fresh perspective on this heavily dissected era.
The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by medieval and modern myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and developed a vast trading network. They traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships, not only to raid, but also to explore. Despite their fearsome reputation, the Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets, and even the infamous berserkers were far from invincible.
"Interesting history. Narrator could be better"
In the tradition of John Richardson's Picasso, a commanding new biography of the Italian master's tumultuous life and mysterious death. For four hundred years Caravaggio's (1571-1610) staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory - the murder of Ranuccio Tomasini, the doubt surrounding Caravaggio's sexuality, the chain of events that began with his imprisonment on Malta and ended with his premature death - has long confounded historians.
A captivating true story that chronicles the exploits of Sir Francis Walsingham - the first great English spymaster and the man who saved Elizabeth's regime and the country's independence. Elizabeth I came to the throne at a time of insecurity and unrest. Rivals threatened her reign; England was a Protestant island, isolated in a sea of Catholic countries. Spain plotted an invasion, but Elizabeth's Secretary, Sir Francis Walsingham, was prepared to do whatever it took to protect her. He ran a network of agents in England and Europe who provided him with information about invasions or assassination plots.
"The Power Behind the Throne"
In Exorcising Hitler, Frederick Taylor tells the story of Germany's year zero and what came after. Despite almost total destruction, a combination of conservatism, enterprise and pragmatism in relation to former Nazis enabled the economic miracle of the 1950s. And we see how it was only when the '60s generation (the children of the Nazi era) began to question their parents with increasing violence that Germany began to awake from its sleep cure.
"Into a conquered nation"
In one of the most inventive travel books in years, Ina Caro invites listeners on 25 one-day train trips that depart from Paris and transport us back through 700 years of French history. Whether taking us to Orléans to evoke the visions of Joan of Arc or to the Place de la Concorde to witness the beheading of Marie Antoinette, Caro animates history with her lush descriptions of architectural splendors and tales of court intrigue. "[An] enchanting travelogue" (Publishers Weekly), Paris to the Past has become one of the classic guidebooks of our time.
"Day Trip From Paris?... Look No Further!"
This book is a meticulous reconstruction of a tragic episode in the history of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. The SS. St. Louis left Hamburg in May of 1939 with 937 Jewish refugees on board who thought they had bought visas to enter Cuba. Refused entry in Cuba and the United States the ship eventually had to turn around and return to Europe. The voyage to freedom was in the end nothing more than a roundabout journey to the concentration camps.
In 1528, a mission set out from Spain to colonize Florida. But the expedition went horribly wrong: Delayed by a hurricane, knocked off course by a colossal error of navigation, and ultimately doomed by a disastrous decision to separate the men from their ships, the mission quickly became a desperate journey of survival. Of the 300 men who had embarked on the journey, only four survived - three Spaniards and an African slave.
"Superb telling of a foundational New World story"