Take a trip back in time to the foggy streets of Victorian London, where a madman stalks the night. Investigate the savage murders attributed to Jack the Ripper using all the evidence available, including letters purporting to be from the killer himself. This publication features up-to-date theories on the identity of the Whitechapel murderer, detailing all the major suspects.
Sixteenth-century Russia remains, for most Western audiences, a dark and terrifying space, wrapped in mystery and myth and isolated from states such as England or France, whose heroes are well-known throughout Europe. The traditional dichotomy between East and West is most apparent in the discussion of the remarkable political figures that defined this century.
In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a "Child of Hitler". Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.
Learn how Richard Trevithick's early experiments lit the blue touchpaper of railway development, and how George Stephenson and his son Robert designed and built the world's first trunk railways. Meet Daniel Gooch, the brains behind Brunel's Great Western Railway, and relive the great Race to the North between Francis Webb and Patrick Stirling. Marvel at the designs of Churchward, Collett, Stanier and Bulleid, and be dazzled by the speed, power and beauty of Sir Nigel Gresley's masterpieces.
Landskipping is a ravishing celebration of landscape, its iridescent beauty and its potential to comfort, awe and mesmerise. In spirit as romantic as rational, Anna Pavord explores the different ways in which we have, throughout the ages, responded to the land. In the 18th century, artists first started to paint English scenery, and the lakes, as well as Snowdon, began to attract a new kind of visitor: the landscape tourist.
A biography of Gaius Valerius Catullus, Rome's first great poet, a dandy who fell in love with another man's wife and made it known to the world through his timeless verse. Famed for his lyrical, subversive voice, Catullus was Rome's first and foremost poet. Amid the death of the Roman Republic, his life, as told through his poetry, was beset with love, loss, political conflict and, above all, a desire for escape.
Before Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, there was 1924. This was the year of Hitler's final transformation into the self-proclaimed savior and infallible leader who would interpret and distort Germany's historical traditions to support his vision for the Third Reich. Everything that would come - the rallies and riots, the single-minded deployment of a catastrophically evil idea - all of it crystallized in one defining year.
This book describes Napoleon as an everyman, a friend of the people, and suggests a difference between the "imperial period" and the return of a trustworthy Napoleon who had learned from exile. Because of this transformation, Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo precluded great advances in the timeline of history.
Get a small understanding of the Inquisition; though not comprehensive, it should be reason enough to peak your interest.
From New York Times best-selling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir comes the first biography of Mary Douglas, the beautiful, cunning niece of Henry VIII of England who used her sharp intelligence and covert power to influence the succession after the death of Elizabeth I.
"Big improvement for Alison Weir"
Jan Gross' hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian's disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than 60 years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist's account of these events.
In 1854, a quarter of a million British soldiers headed east to fight in the Crimean War. Together with their French and Turkish allies, the goal was to free the important port city of Sevastopol from the clutches of Russia, thus keeping them from the seizing control of the Red Sea and thence Mediterranean. This they did, but not without considerable hardship, suffering and loss of life - over 21,000 British men fell to enemy fire, accidents and disease.
The Knights Templar existed officially for less than 200 years. Founded to protect pilgrims who were travelling through the Holy Lands, their rise to power was sudden. They became some of the most feared warriors in the region, they had a mandate from God, they controlled perhaps the world's first real banking system, and they waged war against anyone who tried to wrestle Christianity and seize holy grounds from the control of the Catholic Church.
England, late 1547. King Henry VIII is dead. His 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth is living with the king's widow, Catherine Parr, and her new husband, Thomas Seymour. Seymour is the brother of Henry VIII's third wife, the late Jane Seymour, who was the mother to the now-ailing boy king. Ambitious and dangerous, Seymour begins an overt flirtation with Elizabeth that ends with Catherine sending her away. When Catherine dies a year later and Seymour is arrested for treason soon after, a scandal explodes.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany after convincing other members of the Reichstag that the Nazi party was better for the country than their feared rivals, the Communists. Within the year, the president of the German Republic will be dead, and Hitler will declare himself supreme leader of Germany.
By the mid-eighth century, no centralized European authority had yet arisen to take the place of the place of the Roman Empire since its collapse. But in Germany, the Frankish dynasty began to establish itself, and eventually their kingdom covered most of modern-day France as well as other parts of Central and Eastern Europe.
One of the greatest military leaders that ever lived, Napoleon left behind a legacy. His work has lived on, years after his death. His Code Napoleon has formed the foundation for most of the legal and parliamentary systems across Europe and the rest of the world today. Such was the impact that Napoleon had on the world.
This is the classic - and somewhat clichéd - image of the Vikings, and their fearsome reputation was in many respects well deserved, the Norse sagas charting their deeds in all their lurid glory. But over the past century, thanks to a wealth of new archaeological evidence, a much more nuanced picture of the Vikings has emerged, providing profound insights into one of the most astonishing, misunderstood, and adaptable of European civilizations.
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"
Stolen Words is an epic story about the largest collection of Jewish books in the world - tens of millions of books that the Nazis looted from European Jewish families and institutions. Nazi soldiers and civilians emptied Jewish communal libraries, confiscated volumes from government collections, and stole from Jewish individuals, schools, and synagogues. Early in their regime, the Nazis burned some books in spectacular bonfires, but most they saved, stashing the literary loot in castles.
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"
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"
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.
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.
"What a dynamo!"
Eastern Europe has long been thought of as the "Other Europe", a region rife with political upheaval, shifting national borders, an astonishing variety of ethnic diversity, and relative isolation from the centers of power in the West. It has also been, and continues to be, pivotal in the course of world events. A History of Eastern Europe offers a sweeping 1,000-year tour with a particular focus on the region's modern history.
""MODERN" History of Eastern Europe"
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"
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.
"No Need for a Score Card"
A penetrating look at the necessity of constitutional limits upon government and exceptional men to lead those governments, uniquely taken by overlaying the life and writings of Winston Churchill with the American experiment.
"A Masterpiece of Political Philosophy"
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 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."
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"
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.
From the New York Times best-selling author comes the definitive history of one of the greatest battles ever fought - a riveting nonfiction chronicle published to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of Napoleon's last stand.
"Not a close run thing!"
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....
This acclaimed best seller from popular historian Alison Weir is a fascinating look at the Tudor family dynasty and its most infamous ruler. The Six Wives of Henry VIII brings to life England’s oft-married monarch and the six wildly different but equally fascinating women who married him. Gripping from the first sentence to the last and loaded with fascinating details, Weir’s rich history is a perfect blend of scholarship and entertainment.
"The Tudors At Their Best"
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.
For seven decades, our understanding of World War II has been shaped by a standard narrative built on conventional wisdom, propaganda, the dramatic but narrow experiences of soldiers on the ground, and an early generation of historians. For his new history, James Holland has spent over 12 years unearthing new research, recording original testimony, and visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been so accessible.
"Good Book painfully read"
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 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.
"Time well spent for history buffs"
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"
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.
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.
"Superb, well crafted and well narrated."
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. Ian Kershaw's Hitler brings us closer than ever before to the character of the bizarre misfit in his thirty-year ascent from a Viennese shelter for the indigent to uncontested rule over the German nation that had tried and rejected democracy in the crippling aftermath of World War I.
"The heart of evil"
This year Christians worldwide will celebrate the 1700th anniversary of Constantine's conversion and victory at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge. No Roman emperor had a greater impact on the modern world than did Constantine. The reason is not simply that he converted to Christianity but that he did so in a way that brought his subjects along after him. Indeed, this major new biography argues that Constantine's conversion is but one feature of a unique administrative style that enabled him to take control of an empire beset by internal rebellions and external threats by Persians and Goths.
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.
When we think of France we often evoke images of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris, the chic beaches of St Tropez. Yet, as the largest country in Europe, it is a place of huge diversity. The idea of 'Frenchness' emerged from over 2,000 years of history and it is a riveting story from Roman conquest to the present day.
This is the story of a close, loving family splintered by the violent ideologies of Europe between the wars. Jessica was a Communist; Debo became the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy was one of the best-selling novelists of her day; the ethereally beautiful Diana was the most hated woman in England; and Unity Valkyrie, born in Swastika, Alaska, would become obsessed with Adolf Hitler.
"Great story, terrible reader"
This Very Short Intoduction integrates the political, social and cultural history of the Spanish Civil War. It sets out the domestic and international context of the war for a general readership. In addition to tracing the course of war, the book locates the war's origins in the cumulative social and cultural anxieties provoked by a process of rapid, uneven and accelerating modernism taking place all over Europe.
"Very Short Introductions is the best collection!!"
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.
Here is the remarkable story of how medieval Arab scholars made dazzling advances in science and philosophy, and of the itinerant Europeans who brought this knowledge back to the West. For centuries following the fall of Rome, Western Europe was a benighted backwater, a world of subsistence farming, minimal literacy, and violent conflict. Meanwhile, Arab culture was thriving, dazzling those Europeans fortunate enough to catch even a glimpse.
This is the story of Elizabeth I's inner circle and the crucial human relationships which lay at the heart of her personal and political life. Using a wide range of original sources - including private letters, portraits, verse, drama, and state papers - Susan Doran provides a vivid and often dramatic account of political life in Elizabethan England and the queen at its center.
"Very detailed and enjoyable"
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.
"i could fall asleep listening to the narrator"
The Nazi conscience is not an oxymoron. In fact, the perpetrators of genocide had a powerful sense of right and wrong, based on civic values that exalted the moral righteousness of the ethnic community and denounced outsiders. Claudia Koonz's latest work reveals how racial popularizers developed the infrastructure and rationale for genocide during the so-called normal years before World War II.
""Nazi" & "Conscience" May Seem A Contradiction..."