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Biography
Herzl: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State

Herzl: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State

Shlomo Avineri

$22.99

Drawing extensively on his diaries as well as his published works, this intellectual biographical follows Herzl's transformation from a private person into the founder and leader of a political movement which made the quest for a Jewish state into a player in international politics. Contrary to the conventional view which saw the Dreyfus affair as the trigger for Herzl's loss of belief in the promise of Jewish emancipation, Avineri shows how it was the political crisis of the Austro-Hungarian Habsburg Empire, torn apart by contending national movements, which convinced Herzl of the need for a Jewish polity. In response to the wide resonance for his 1896 THE JEWISH STATE, Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, which established the World Zionist Organization with its representative and elected institutions; this in turn became the foundation for Israel's democratic political system. In his efforts to gain international support for a Jewish state, Herzl met with the Ottoman Sultan, the German Emperor Wilhelm II, Pope Pius X, British, Russian and German ministers, as well as an enormous number of other government and public opinion leaders of most European countries. By the time of his early death in 1904 at the age of 44, Herzl succeeded in putting Zionism on the map of world politics, no longer an esoteric idea held by a small group of Jewish intellectuals in Eastern Europe.
Epilogue: A Memoir

Epilogue: A Memoir

Will Boast

$27.99

When Will Boast's father dies he is alone in the world: an American with distant English roots, orphaned, and derailed by grief. Everything he thought he knew about his parents unravels when he discovers he has two half-brothers living in England. In exquisite prose Will Boast sets about piecing together a new sense of himself, attempting as he does to understand, forgive and heal the mistakes of his father's past.
Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life

Lucky Dog: How Being a Veterinarian Saved My Life

Sarah Boston

$29.99

What happens when a veterinary cancer surgeon thinks she has cancer herself? Enter Sarah Boston: a vet who suspects a suspicious growth in her neck is thyroid cancer. From the moment she uses her husband's portable ultrasound machine to investigate her lump - he's a vet, too - it's clear this will not be your typical crisis-and- recovery memoir. Sarah takes us on a funny and thought-provoking journey through the human health care system from the perspective of an animal doctor. Weaving funny and poignant stories of dogs she's treated along the way, this is an insightful memoir about what the human medical world can learn from the way we treat our canine counterparts. Lucky Dog teaches us to trust our instincts, be our own advocates, and most of all to laugh while we're doing it.
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Story of Huguette Clark and the Loss of One of the World's Greatest Fortunes

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Story of Huguette Clark and the Loss of One of the World's Greatest Fortunes

Paul Clark Newell Jr ,  Bill Dedman

$22.99

Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of nineteenth-century America with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? 

Huguette Clark was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else.

Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette's copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.
A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison Diary

A Stranger in My Own Country: The 1944 Prison Diary

Hans Fallada

$41.95

'I lived the same life as everyone else, the life of ordinary people, the masses.'

Sitting in a prison cell in the autumn of 1944, Hans Fallada sums up his life under the National Socialist dictatorship, the time of 'inward emigration'. Under conditions of close confinement, in constant fear of discovery, he writes himself free from the nightmare of the Nazi years. His frank and sometimes provocative memoirs were thought for many years to have been lost. They are published here in English for the first time. The confessional mode did not come naturally to Fallada the writer of fiction, but in the mental and emotional distress of 1944, self-reflection became a survival strategy. In the 'house of the dead' he exacts his political revenge on paper. 'I know that I am crazy. I'm risking not only my own life, I'm also risking ...the lives of many of the people I am writing about', he notes, driven by the compulsion to write. And write he does - about spying and denunciation, about the threat to his livelihood and his literary work, about the fate of many friends and contemporaries such as Ernst Rowohlt and Emil Jannings. 

To conceal his intentions and to save paper, he uses abbreviations. His notes, constantly exposed to the gaze of the prison warders, become a kind of secret code. He finally succeeds in smuggling the manuscript out of the prison, although it remained unpublished for half a century. These revealing memoirs by one of the best-known German writers of the 20th century will be of great interest to all readers of modern literature.
My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

My History: A Memoir of Growing Up

Antonia Fraser

$32.99

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Antonia Fraser's memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and 1940s but its real concern is with her growing love of History. The fascination began as a child - and developed into an enduring passion; as she writes, 'for me, the study of History has always been an essential part of the enjoyment of life'.

Born Antonia Pakenham, the eldest of the eight children of the future Lord and Lady Longford (then Pakenham), her childhood was spent in Oxford, where her father was a don at Christ Church. Evacuation at the beginning of the war to a romantic Elizabethan manor house near Oxford was an inspiration for historical imaginings. There were adventures in Anglo-Ireland at Dunsany Castle and Pakenham Hall, each offering her treasured links to the past which became private obsessions. North Oxford wartime life included four years as one of the few girls then admitted to the Dragon School for boys, followed by time at a Catholic convent school after her family's conversion to Catholicism. Her father joined the Labour Government in 1945 as a Minister, which provided an odd background for exploits such as working in a Bond Street hat shop and a season as a self- made debutante.  A job in publishing, by a fortunate coincidence, followed Oxford University and the book ends with the dramatic leap forward with the publishing of Mary Queen of Scots which became a worldwide bestseller to general amazement (including the author's).

This magical memoir, told with inimitable humour and style, will take many readers back to their own discovery of History. It is an unforgettable account of one person's journey towards becoming a writer - and a historian.
Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth

Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth

Nigel Jones

$54.99

Paragon of youthful beauty, romantic symbol of a lost England, and precociously gifted poet, Rupert Chawner Brooke died in a hospital ship off the Aegean island of Skyros in April 1915, aged just 27. All England mourned his passing. But behind the glow of myth lies a darker reality. At the height of his promise a disappointment in love triggered a mental and physical collapse that brought his inner complexities to the surface. Letters reveal a man who was sexually ambivalent, misogynistic, anti-Semitic - and sometimes alarmingly unstable. This revised edition of Nigel Jones's admired biography, including an account of a previously unknown affair of Brooke's, reveals a more conflicted and troubled individual than the gilded Adonis of English literary myth.
I'm Not Here to Give a Speech

I'm Not Here to Give a Speech

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

$24.99

For the first time, the speeches of prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez are translated into English and published together in a collected edition. The pieces span Marquez's entire life: from his earliest days, speaking as a teenager graduating high school, to his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize. Taken as a whole, this collection offers a unique and fascinating insight into Marquez's long career, highlighting his concerns and beliefs both as a writer and as a man. Marquez was beloved throughout his life and celebrated posthumously as a true literary genius. This collection of previously unseen material, written in his distinctively rich and expressive style, will appeal to any Marquez fan.
Vidal vs. Mailer

Vidal vs. Mailer

Gore Vidal ,  Norman Mailer

$27.95  $24.60

The most outrageous literary feud of the century, captured through rare interviews, transcripts, and correspondence.

Commencing at about the point where they'd become the two most famous writers in the world, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal engaged in a vicious and oh-so-public feud that went on for decades. Their 1971 confrontation on the Dick Cavett show is probably the most famous literary encounter ever captured by television. The on-air badinage between the two was shockingly nasty, but some reports say it was even worse backstage, where Mailer reportedly  headbutted  Vidal in Cavett's greenroom.

The feud, from a time when writers really mattered in American public life, is the stuff of literary legend, and  Vidal vs. Mailer  collects the exchanges, transcripts and interviews that document the historic rivalry. As we learn, it was a feud from the very start. Mailer recounts in a joint Esquire interview - published here in full here for the first time - that during their first meeting Vidal promised a rivalry to the death and swore that he'd surely out-live Mailer.

Mailer preferred more combative and physical exchanges. At the climax of the feud in the late 1970s, Mailer encountered Vidal at a party thrown by Lally Weymouth and promptly flattened him with a punch. At which point Vidal, still on the floor, uttered what is perhaps the most immortally apt literary criticism ever: Once again, words have failed Norman Mailer.
I am a Bacha Posh: My Life as a Woman Living as a Man in Afghanistan

I am a Bacha Posh: My Life as a Woman Living as a Man in Afghanistan

Ukmina Manoori

$32.99

You will be a son, my daughter. With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy. 

In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally  girls dressed as boys.  This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work - and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom. Ukmina decided to confront social and family pressure and keep her menswear. This brave choice paved the way for an extraordinary destiny: she wages war against the Soviets, assists the mujaheddin and ultimately commands the respect of all whom she encounters.  She eventually becomes one of the elected council members of her province. 

But freedom always has a price. For  Ukmina warrior  that price was her life as a woman. This is a stunning and brave memoir about a little known practice that will challenge your perceptions about gender and the courage it takes to live your life to the fullest.
Drink Time! In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor

Drink Time! In the Company of Patrick Leigh Fermor

Dolores Payas ,  Amanda Hopkinson

$19.99

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Dolores Payas has written a delightful and moving account of colourful adventurer, Patrick Leigh Fermor, a snapshot account of his final years surrounded by his drinks, his guests, and above all, his books.

This short book conveys a portrait of a man who  became indomitable, proud and charming in old age, while retaining his other attributes . An original and witty study in nostalgia, mixed with personal fortitude, right up until the end.
Between Gods

Between Gods

Alison Pick

$29.99

Alison Pick was born in the 1970s and raised in a loving, supportive family, but as a teenager she made a discovery that changed her understanding of who she was for ever. She learned that her Pick grandparents, who had escaped from Czechoslovakia during WWII, were Jewish, and that most of this side of the family had died in concentration camps. At this stage she realised that her own father had kept this a secret from Alison and her sister. Engaged to be married to her longterm boyfriend but in the grip of a crippling depression, Alison began to uncover her Jewish heritage, a quest which challenged all her assumptions about her faith, her future, and what it meant to raise a family. An unusual and gripping story, told with all the nuance and drama of a novel, this is a memoir illuminated with heartbreaking insight into the very real lives of the dead, and hard-won hope for all those who carry on after.
Confessions of a Millionaire's Mistress: the True Story of a Young Woman, an Illicit Affair and a World of Wealth and Glamour

Confessions of a Millionaire's Mistress: the True Story of a Young Woman, an Illicit Affair and a World of Wealth and Glamour

Ava Reilly

$29.99

'The morning after meeting Hugh, I was heading out the door when I saw I had a new message. I opened it cautiously and saw six words that made my heart skip a beat. I need to see you again.' Ava Reilly was just starting her career in PR when she was sent to meet one of the industry's major players. She was naive to the ways of the entertainment business, but was determined to make a good impression. What she wasn't prepared for was the electricity she would feel between them from the moment of their first meeting. Soon they had embarked on a stormy, seductive love affair, with liaisons in opulent hotels across Australia and around the world. The thrill of their encounters was tainted by constant pressure to keep their relationship out of the public eye, as the danger of being discovered could put not only their personal lives but their professional lives at risk. Ava also felt the weight of her conscience - she had never, ever imagined herself as the other woman. However, it had been a long time since she'd been able to truly trust a man, and Hugh seemed to be only one who could come close to breaking down the protective walls Ava had built around her heart. Working day to day in an industry where secrets are currency, Ava's lips were tightly sealed about what was happening between her and Hugh - until she began to make her confessions. Confessions of a Millionaire's Mistress is the true story of an innocent young woman who found herself swept into a passionate, irresistible romance with a charismatic, wealthy, powerful man who is used to getting what he wants - whatever the cost.
The Holy Fox: The Life of Lord Halifax

The Holy Fox: The Life of Lord Halifax

Andrew Roberts

$19.99

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Bestselling historian Andrew Roberts's much-admired reappraisal of one of the most influential - and controversial - British politicians of the 1930s.

A fox-hunting Anglo-Catholic aristocrat, nicknamed 'The Holy Fox' by Churchill for his political guile, Halifax was one of the most prominent Tory politicians of the interwar period. As Viceroy of India, he struck a deal with Gandhi that ended the Civil Disobedience campaign. His meeting with Hitler in 1937 was a milestone in appeasement, yet just days before the infamous Munich agreement, he demanded 'the destruction of Nazism'. By May 1940, for many it was Halifax, not Churchill, who was the natural choice for Britain's war leader.

Andrew Roberts' acclaimed biography draws on private documents to offer a nuanced reappraisal of an enigmatic, influential and much-maligned politician.
Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: Life Inside One of America's Largest Hospitals for the Criminally Insane, Treating the Real Hannibal Lecters of This World

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: Life Inside One of America's Largest Hospitals for the Criminally Insane, Treating the Real Hannibal Lecters of This World

Stephen Seager

$29.99

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Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California's Gorman State hospital, known locally as 'Gomorrah', but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire.

Gorman State is one of the nation's largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the 'bad actors', the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world.

Against a backdrop of surreal beauty - a campus-like setting where peacocks strolled the well-kept lawns - is a place of remarkable violence, a place where a small staff of clinicians are expected to manage a volatile population of prison-hardened ex-cons, where lone therapists lead sharing circles with psychopaths, where homemade weapons and contraband circulate freely, and where patients and physicians often measure their lives according to how fast they can run. Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access.

Honest, reflective, and at times darkly funny, Seager's gripping account of his experiences at Gorman State hospital give us an extraordinary insight into a unique and terrifying world, inhabited by figures from our nightmares.
Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography

Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography

Meryle Secrest

$45.00

This is a comprehensive, compelling biography following the life and style of the inimitable Elsa Schiaparelli by renowned biographer Meryle Secrest. One of the most extraordinary fashion designers of the twentieth century, Elsa Schiaparelli was an integral figure in the artistic movement of the times. Her collaborations with artists such as Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and Alberto Giacometti elevated the field of women's clothing design into the realm of art. Her story is one of pluck, determination and talent with scandal as spice. As the daughter of minor Italian nobility whose disastrous first marriage to a Theosophist caused near penury, she transformed herself into a designer of great imagination and, along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she was one of the few female figures in the field at that time.
Confessions of a Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath

M. E. Thomas

$19.99

M. E. Thomas is a high-functioning non-criminal sociopath. She is charismatic, ambitious and successful. You would be charmed by her if you met her, might even be seduced by her. You would not realise that she is studying you to find your flaws, that she is ruthlessly manipulative, has no empathy and does not feel guilt or remorse. But she does like people - she likes to touch them, mould them and ruin them. She could be your friend or your boss. She could be you...

Now she writes with breathtaking honesty about her life. She also draws on the latest research to explain why at least one in twenty-five of us are sociopaths - and shows why that's not a bad thing. By turns fascinating, shocking and funny, Confessions of a Sociopath is a gripping insight into the mind of a self-confessed predator.
           
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