ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2014 ----- Descent into Hell is a scrupulously researched and groundbreaking account of one of the most traumatic calamities in Australian history - the Malayan Campaign, the fall of Singapore and the subsequent horrors of the Thai-Burma Railway.
Unpicking the myths and legends of the war, Peter Brune goes to the heart of the Australian experience. He describes the shambolic planning by the British in Singapore and the failures and incompetence of some of the Australian command. He debunks the claims about Australian deserters in Singapore, and we learn of the black market in Changi and the beatings, torture and murder on the Thai-Burma Railway.
Here too are stories of the war's many heroes and villains: of officers who looked after their men and optimised their chances of survival, and others who looked after themselves at their men's expense; the heroes of battle who became ineffectual and lost in the camps and on the Railway, and the least liked and least respected battlefield officers who came to be great leaders. And then there are countless acts of kindness and decency performed by one POW for another in the most cruel of circumstances.
ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2014 ----- Ten Cities that Made an Empire presents a new approach to Britain's imperial past through the cities that epitomised it. The final embers of the British Empire are dying, but its legacy remains in the lives and structures of the cities which it shaped.
Here Tristram Hunt examines the stories and defining ideas of ten of the most important: Boston, Bridgetown, Dublin, Cape Town, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Bombay, Melbourne, New Delhi, and twentieth-century Liverpool. Rejecting binary views of the British Empire as 'very good' or 'very bad', Hunt uses an exceptional array of primary accounts and personal reflection to chart the processes of exchange and adaptation that collectively shaped the colonial experience - and, in turn, transformed the culture, economy and identity of the British Isles.
In 1187, nearly a century after the victorious First Crusade, Saladin captured Jerusalem. The Templars, headquartered on the Temple Mount, were driven from the city along with the Frankish population.The fall of Jerusalem was a turning point, the start of a narrative of desperate struggle and relentless loss. In little more than a century Acre would be destroyed, the Franks driven from Outremer, and the Templars themselves, reviled and disgraced, would face their final immolation. Michael Haag's new book explores the rise and fall of the Templars against the backdrop of the Crusader ideal and their settlement venture in Outremer. Haag argues that the Crusader States were a rare period when the population of Palestine had something approaching local rule, representing local interests - and the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin was a disaster. He contends that the Templars, as defenders of the Crusader States, were made scapegoats for a Europe whose newfound nationalism caused it to withdraw support for the Crusader venture. Throughout, he charts the Templars' rise and fall in gripping narrative, with their beliefs and actions set in the context of their time.
On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III's army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death - only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne. It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But this is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England - a story that began 60 years earlier with Owen Tudor's affair with Henry V's widow, Katherine of Valois. Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world in an epic saga of treachery and ruthlessness, death and deception and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.
The war on heresy obsessed medieval Europe in the centuries after the first millennium. R. I. Moore's vivid narrative focuses on the motives and anxieties of those who declared and conducted the war: what were the beliefs and practices they saw as heretical? How might such beliefs have arisen? And why were they such a threat? In western Europe at AD 1000 heresy had barely been heard of. Yet within a few generations accusations had become commonplace and institutions were being set up to identify and suppress beliefs and practices seen as departures from true religion. Popular accounts of events, most notably of the Albigensian Crusade led by Europe against itself, have assumed the threats posed by the heretical movements were only too real. Some scholars by contrast have tried to show that reports of heresy were exaggerated or even fabricated: but if they are correct why was the war on heresy launched at all? And why was it conducted with such pitiless ferocity? To find the answers to these and other questions R. I. Moore returns to the evidence of the time. His investigation forms the basis for an account as profound as it is startlingly original.
More infoIn The Whitlam Mob, Mungo gives a sharp, witty and very personal account of the main characters of the Whitlam years - from Gough and Margaret to Lionel Murphy, Bill Hayden and Jim Cairns.
Due attention is also given to 'the other mob' in opposition - Malcolm Fraser, Billy McMahon, John Gorton and more. Replete with anecdote, analysis and gossip, The Whitlam Mob addresses some crucial questions: What was the night of the long prawns? Who was parliament's leading pants man? And who was 'the toe-cutter'? Accompanied by a selection of cartoons and photos, this is Mungo at his best: vivid and barbed, nostalgic but always clear-eyed.
More infoMost histories of Australia's Great War rush their readers into the trenches.
This history is very different. For the first time, it examines events closely, even hour-by-hour, in both Britain and Australia during the last days of peace in July-August 1914.
London's choice for war was a very close-run thing. At the height of the diplomatic crisis leading to war, it looked very much like Britain would choose neutrality. Only very late in the evening of Tuesday, 4 August did a small clique in the British cabinet finally engineer a declaration of war against Germany. Meanwhile, Australia's political leaders, deep in the throes of a federal election campaign, competed with each other in a love-of-empire auction. They leapt ahead of events in London.
At the height of the diplomatic crisis, they offered to transfer the brand-new Royal Australian Navy to the British Admiralty. Most importantly, on Monday, 3 August, an inner group of the Australian cabinet, egged on by the governor-general, offered an expeditionary force of 20,000 men, to anywhere, for any objective, under British command, and with the whole cost to be borne by Australia - some forty hours before the British cabinet made up its mind. Australia's leaders thereby lost the chance to set limits, to weigh objectives, or to insist upon consultation. They needlessly exposed Australian soldiers and their families to the full horror of the mechanised slaughter that was to come.
They were hell-bent - and they got there.
More infoIn February 1942 the Indonesian island of Ambon fell to the might of the advancing Japanese war machine.
Among the captured Allied forces was a unit of 1150 Australian soldiers known as Gull Force, who had been sent to defend the island - a strategy doomed from the very beginning. Several hundred Australians were massacred in cold blood soon after the Japanese invasion. But that was only the start of a catalogue of horrors for the men who survived: incarcerated, beaten and often tortured by their captors, the brutality they endured lasted for the next three and a half years. And in this hellhole of despair and evil, officers and men turned against each other as discipline and morale broke down.
Yet the epic struggle also produced heroic acts of kindness and bravery. Just over 300 of these gallant men lived to tell of those grim days behind the barbed wire. In Ambon, survivors speak of not just the horrors, but of the courage, endurance and mateship that helped them survive.
The story of Ambon is one of depravity and of memories long buried - but also the triumph of the human spirit. It has not been widely told - until now.
Our Friend the Enemy is the first detailed history of the Gallipoli campaign at Anzac since Charles Beans Official History. Viewed from both sides of the wire and described in first-hand accounts. Australian Captain Herbert Layh recounted that as they approached the beach on 25 April that, once we were behind cover the Turks turned their "[fire] on us, and gave us a lively 10 minutes. A poor chap next to me was hit three times. He begged me to shoot him, but luckily for him a fourth bullet got him and put him out of his pain. Later that day, Sergeant Charles Saunders, a New Zealand engineer, described his first taste of battle, The Turks were entrenched some 50-100 yards from the edge of the face of the gully and their machine guns swept the edges. Line after line of our men went up, some lines didnt take two paces over the crest when down they went to a man and on came another line. Gunner Recep Trudal of the Turkish 27th Regiment wrote of the fierce Turkish counter-attack on 19 May designed to push the Anzacs back into the sea, It started at morning prayer call time, and then it went on and on, never stopped. You know there was no break for eating or anything Attack was our command. That was what the Pasha said. Once he says Attack, you attack, and you either die or you survive."
The Second World War was an entirely different proposition for Australia from the First World War. The disastrous toll of the 1914-1918 conflict, the shattering of the idealistic schemes for international order that followed it and the presence of a hostile and feared Asian empire close to the north meant that Australians regarded the declaration of war as a grim necessity, not a cause for celebration as in 1914. This beautifully illustrated book is a moving pictorial record of the Second World War as experienced by the Australian men and women who contributed so much. More than 500 rarely seen photographs, historic maps, letters and diaries from the Australian War Memorial archives bring the Second World War to life and create an intimate portrayal of the very human side of battle. Australians fought in North Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe and across the Pacific. In these theatres of war, despite the hardships, the horrors and the loss of life suffered, the inextinguishable bravery, dignity and spirit shown by the Australians make the Second World War one of their greatest endeavours as a nation.
When Cyclone Tracy swept down on Darwin at Christmas 1974, the weather became not just a living thing but a killer. Tracy destroyed an entire city, left seventy-one people dead and ripped the heart out of Australia's season of goodwill. For the fortieth anniversary of the nation's most iconic natural disaster, Sophie Cunningham has gone back to the eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the devastation - and those who faced the heartbreaking clean-up and the back-breaking rebuilding. From the quiet stirring of the service-station bunting that heralded the catastrophe to the wholesale slaughter of the dogs that followed it, Cunningham brings to the tale a novelist's eye for detail and an exhilarating narrative drive. And a sober appraisal of what Tracy means to us now, as we face more extreme weather with every year that passes. Compulsively readable and undeniably moving, Warning is the essential non-fiction book of 2014.
In 1899, on the eve of the Boer War, Captain Charles Cox from Parramatta took 100 Australian cavalrymen to train with the British army in England. These military apprentices became British soldiers as well as Australian ones. But everything went wrong. Publicity got in the way of cavalry drill which, in any case, the Australians were allowed to shirk. The debacle ended with Cox volunteering his little command for the Boer War, with the British making him get the consent of his government and his men, and finally with a murder on a lonely farm in South Africa. There was no more talk of Australian fighting men morphing into colonial members of the British army. Still, the newspapers said the venture was a brilliant success, that Australians had proved themselves natural warriors, that the British Empire was stronger for what happened-all of which Australians rejoiced to hear. It was, in the end, a kind of victory.
Victoria's World War I soldiers, nurses and their families are commemorated in stories from the home front and battlefront. Victoria at War records the achievements of these Victorians - including the Whitelaws from Gippsland with six sons enlisting, 'Bert' Jacka, the first Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross in World War I, and commander Sir John Monash. Bestselling historian Michael McKernan tells the stories that highlight the generosity, devotion, sacrifice and spirit of a community pushed towards breaking point.
More infoElizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman.
The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at seventeen she was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive, but the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York, and in 1486, Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor, married her, thus uniting the red and white roses of Lancaster and York.
Elizabeth is an enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably killed her brothers, and it is likely that she then intrigued to put Henry Tudor on the throne. Yet after marriage, a picture emerges of a model consort, mild, pious, generous and fruitful. It has been said that Elizabeth was distrusted and kept in subjection by Henry VII and her formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, but contemporary evidence shows that Elizabeth was, in fact, influential, and may have been involved at the highest level in one of the most controversial mysteries of the age.
Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and revealing the woman behind the myth, showing that differing historical perceptions of Elizabeth can be reconciled.
This is the colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden - the creative heart of Georgian London - from Wolfson Prize-winning author Vic Gatrell. It is shortlisted for the hessell tiltman prize 2014. In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden something extraordinary evolved in the eighteenth century. It was the world's first creative 'Bohemia'. The nation's most significant artists, actors, poets, novelists, and dramatists lived here. From Soho and Leicester Square across Covent Garden's Piazza to Drury Lane, and down from Long Acre to the Strand, they rubbed shoulders with rakes, prostitutes, market people, craftsmen, and shopkeepers. It was an often brutal world full of criminality, poverty and feuds, but also of high spirits, and an intimacy that was as culturally creative as any other in history. Virtually everything that we associate with Georgian culture was produced here.
The official inside story of the life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch. On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard's body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was lost - its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar - and Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare's compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard's death. Now - in an incredible find - Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King's Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch - one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.
The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) marked a golden age in English history. There was a musical and literary renaissance, most famously and enduringly in the form of the plays of Shakespeare (2014 marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth), and it was a period of international expansion and naval triumph over the Spanish. It was also a period of internal peace following the violent upheaval of the Protestant reformation.
Wilson skilfully interweaves the personal histories of a representative selection of twenty or so figures - including Nicholas Bacon, the Statesman; Bess of Hardwick, the Landowner; Thomas Gresham, 'the Financier'; John Caius, 'the Doctor'; John Norreys, 'the Soldier'; and Nicholas Jennings, 'the Professional Criminal' - with the major themes of the period to create a vivid and compelling account of life in England in the late sixteenth century. This is emphatically not yet another book about what everyday life was like during the Elizabethan Age. There are already plenty of studies about what the Elizabethans wore, what they ate, what houses they lived in, and so on. This is a book about Elizabethan society - people, rather than things.
How did the subjects of Queen Elizabeth I cope with the world in which they had been placed? What did they believe? What did they think? What did they feel? How did they react towards one another? What, indeed, did they understand by the word 'society'? What did they expect from it? What were they prepared to contribute towards it? Some were intent on preserving it as it was; others were eager to change it. For the majority, life was a daily struggle for survival against poverty, hunger, disease and injustice. Patronage was the glue that held a strictly hierarchical society together. Parliament represented only the interests of the landed class and the urban rich, which was why the government's greatest fear was a popular rebellion. Laws were harsh, largely to deter people getting together to discuss their grievances. Laws kept people in one place, and enforced attendance in parish churches.
In getting to grips with this strange world - simultaneously drab and colourful, static and expansive, traditionalist and 'modern' - Wilson explores the lives of individual men and women from all levels of sixteenth-century life to give us a vivid feel for what Elizabethan society really was.
More infoIn The Assassination of the Archduke, Greg King and Sue Woolmans offer readers a vivid account of the lives - and cruel deaths - of Franz Ferdinand and his beloved Sophie.
Combining royal biography, romance, and political assassination, the story unfolds against a backdrop of glittering privilege and an Imperial Court consumed with hatred, taking readers from Bohemian castles to the horrors of Nazi concentration camps in a compelling, fascinating human drama. As moving as the fabled romance of Nicholas and Alexandra, as dramatic as Mayerling, Sarajevo resonates with love and loss, triumph and tragedy in a vibrant and powerful narrative. It lays bare the lethal circumstances surrounding that fateful Sunday morning in 1914, examining not only the Serbian conspiracy that killed Franz and Sophie and sparked the First World War but also insinuations about the hidden powers in Vienna that may well have sent them to their deaths.
With a Foreword from the Archduke's great-granddaughter, Princess Sophie von Hohenberg, and drawing on a wide variety of unpublished sources and with unique access to previously restricted Hungarian and Czech archives, including Sophie's diaries and family papers, King and Woolmans have written the most comprehensive account of this momentous event available in English. In doing so, they offer readers an intriguing and startlingly revisionist look at this most famous of Archdukes, his family, and their momentous collision with destiny in 1914.
More infoDifferent countries give different opening dates for the period of the Second World War, but perhaps the most compelling is 1937, when the 'Marco Polo Bridge Incident' plunged China and Japan into a conflict of extraordinary duration and ferocity - a war which would result in many millions of deaths and completely reshape East Asia in ways which we continue to confront today.
With great vividness and narrative drive Rana Mitter's book draws on a huge range of new sources to recreate this terrible conflict. He writes both about the major leaders (Chiang Kaishek, Mao Zedong and Wang Jingwei) and about the ordinary people swept up by terrible times. Mitter puts at the heart of our understanding of the Second World War that it was Japan's failure to defeat China which was the key dynamic for what happened in Asia.
On 5 September 1785, a trial began in Paris that would divide the country, captivate Europe and send the French monarchy tumbling down the slope towards the Revolution. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, scion of one of the most ancient and distinguished families in France, stood accused of forging Marie Antoinette's signature to fraudulently obtain the most expensive piece of jewellery in Europe - a 2,400-carat necklace worth 1.6 million francs. Where were the diamonds now? Was Rohan entirely innocent? Was, for that matter, the queen? What was the role of the charismatic magus, the comte de Cagliostro, who was rumoured to be two-thousand-years old and capable of transforming metal into gold? This is a tale of political machinations and extravagance on an enormous scale; of kidnappings, prison breaks and assassination attempts; of hapless French police disguised as colliers, reams of lesbian pornography and a duel fought with poisoned pigs. It is a detective story, a courtroom drama, a tragicomic farce, and a study of credulity and self-deception in the Age of Enlightenment.
This is shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award. A gripping thriller, an unspeakable crime, an essential history . (John Le Carre). Hanns Alexander was the son of a prosperous German family who fled Berlin for London in the 1930s. Rudolf Hoss was a farmer and soldier who became the Kommandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp and oversaw the deaths of over a million men, women and children. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen. Lieutenant Hanns Alexander is one of the lead investigators, Rudolf Hoss his most elusive target. In this book Thomas Harding reveals for the very first time the full account of Hoss' capture. Moving from the Middle-Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s, to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, Hanns and Rudolf tells the story of two German men whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.
More infoIn a move that would forever alter the map of the Middle East, Israel captured the West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula in 1967's brief but pivotal Six Day War.
Cursed victory is the first complete history of the war's troubled aftermath - a military occupation of the Palestinian territories that is now well into its fifth decade. Drawing on unprecedented access high-level sources, top-secret memos and never-before-published letters, the book provides a gripping and unvarnished chronicle of how what Israel promised would be an 'enlightened occupation' quickly turned sour, and the anguished diplomatic attempts to bring it to an end.
Bregman sheds fresh light on critical moments in the peace process, taking us behind the scenes as decisions about the fate of the territories were made, and more often, as crucial opportunities to resolve the conflict were missed. As the narrative moves from Jerusalem to New York, Oslo to Beirut, and from the late 1960s to the present day, Cursed victory provides vivid portraits of the key players in this unfolding drama, including Moshe Dayan, King Hussein of Jordan, Bill Clinton and Yasser Arafat.
Yet Bregman always reminds us how diplomatic and back-room negotiations affected the daily lives of millions of Arabs, and how the Palestinian resistance, especially during the first and second intifadas, in turn shaped political developments. As Bregman concludes, the occupation has become a dark stain on Israel's history, and an era when international opinion of the country shifted decisively. Cursed victory is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of the ongoing conflict in the region.
Over thirteen centuries, Baghdad has enjoyed both cultural and commercial pre-eminence, boasting artistic and intellectual sophistication and an economy once the envy of the world. It was here, in the time of the Caliphs, that the Thousand and One Nights were set. Yet it has also been a city of great hardships, beset by epidemics, famines, floods, and numerous foreign invasions which have brought terrible bloodshed. This is the history of its storytellers and its tyrants, of its philosophers and conquerors. Here, in the first new history of Baghdad in nearly 80 years, Justin Marozzi brings to life the whole tumultuous history of what was once the greatest capital on earth.
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK
----- James Cook - the greatest maritime navigator, explorer and cartographer of all time - began life as a Yorkshire farm boy. He didn’t even go to sea (in the merchant marine) until he was 18. How he achieved fame in his chosen career, and the many and varied circumstances of his life and work, are described in this vivid book. As with Mundle's previous books on Bligh
, this is full of nautical detail, well-researched and very readable. Lindy
Captain James Cook is one of the greatest maritime explorers of all time. Only the acclaimed 15th-century explorers Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama can stand with him.
Bestselling author of FATAL STORM
, Rob Mundle explores the life and travels of James Cook in a major new biography for lovers of adventure and the romance of sail.
Over three remarkable voyages of discovery into the Pacific in the latter part of the 18th century, Cook unravelled the centuries-old mystery surrounding the existence of the Great South Land, Terra Australis Incognita. He became the first explorer to circumnavigate New Zealand and prove it comprised two main islands, he discovered the Hawaiian Islands, and much more.
Cook was a man who pursued a teenager's dream that evolved from a chance encounter in a small seafront village on the east coast of England. It was a dream that became a reality and transported him to legendary status among all who mapped the world - on land and sea.
Through the combination of hard-won skills as a seafarer, the talents of a self-taught navigator and surveyor, and an exceptional ability to lead and care for his men, Cook contributed to changing the shape of the world map more than anyone else.
On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Deluge is a powerful explanation of why the war's legacy continues to shape our world - from Adam Tooze, the Wolfson Prize-winning author of The Wages of Destruction.
In the depths of the Great War, with millions of dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. As the cataclysmic battles continued, a new global order was being born. Adam Tooze's panoramic new book tells a radical, new story of the struggle for global mastery from the battles of the Western Front in 1916 to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The war shook the foundations of political and economic order across Eurasia. Empires that had lasted since the Middle Ages collapsed into ruins. New nations sprang up. Strikes, street-fighting and revolution convulsed much of the world. And beneath the surface turmoil, the war set in motion a deeper and more lasting shift, a transformation that continues to shape the present day: 1916 was the year when world affairs began to revolve around the United States.
America was both a uniquely powerful global force: a force that was forward-looking, the focus of hope, money and ideas, and at the same time elusive, unpredictable and in fundamental respects unwilling to confront these unwished for responsibilities. Tooze shows how the fate of effectively the whole of civilisation - the British Empire, the future of peace in Europe, the survival of the Weimar Republic, both the Russian and Chinese revolutions and stability in the Pacific - now came to revolve around this new power's fraught relationship with a shockingly changed world. The Deluge is both a brilliantly illuminating exploration of the past and an essential history for the present.
More infoFew years can justly be said to have transformed the earth: 1914 did.
In July that year, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Britain and France were poised to plunge the world into a war that would kill or wound 37 million people, tear down the fabric of society, uproot ancient political systems and set the course for the bloodiest century in human history. In the longer run, the events of 1914 set the world on the path toward the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the rise of Nazism and the Cold War.
In 1914: The Year the World Ended, award-winning historian Paul Ham tells the story of the outbreak of the Great War from German, British, French, Austria-Hungarian, Russian and Serbian perspectives. Along the way, he debunks several stubborn myths.
European leaders, for example, did not stumble or 'sleepwalk' into war, as many suppose. They fully understood that a small conflict in the Balkans - the tinderbox at the heart of the continent - could spark a European war. They well knew what their weapons could do. Yet they carried on. They accepted - and, in some cases, even seemed to relish - what they saw as an inevitable clash of arms. They planned and mapped every station on the path to oblivion. These pied pipers of the apocalypse chose war in the full knowledge that millions would follow, and die, on their orders.
1914: The Year the World Ended seeks to answer the most vexing question of the 20th century: Why did European governments decide to condemn the best part of a generation of young men to the trenches and four years of slaughter, during which 8.5 million would die?
More infoThis is the ultimate history of the Blitz and bombing in the Second World War, from Wolfson Prize-winning historian and author Richard Overy.
The use of massive fleets of bombers to kill and terrorize civilians was an aspect of the Second World War which continues to challenge the idea that Allies specifically fought a 'moral' war. For Britain, bombing became perhaps its principal contribution to the fighting as, night after night, exceptionally brave men flew over occupied Europe destroying its cities.
The Bombing War radically overhauls our understanding of the War. It is the first book to examine seriously not just the most well-known parts of the campaign, but the significance of bombing on many other fronts - the German use of bombers on the Eastern Front for example (as well as much newly discovered material on the more familiar 'Blitz' on Britain), or the Allied campaigns against Italian cities.
The result is the author's masterpiece - a rich, gripping, picture of the Second World War and the terrible military, technological and ethical issues that relentlessly drove all its participants into an abyss.
More infoIn February 1944, the French Resistance in the Amiens area was in turmoil.
Its strength had been decimated by German aggression and the work of a number of traitors in their midst, and hundreds of its members languished in the city's formidable jail, awaiting an almost certain death at the hands of their captors. When two Allied intelligence officers were incarcerated alongside them it became clear that immediate action was imperative.
What followed was a precision air attack on the prison, of hitherto unrivalled daring, carried out by the RAF's elite 2nd Tactical Air Force. These pilots' bravery and skill created a breach in the prison's walls that allowed the Nazi's captives to break free. Whilst many were recaptured, and controversy over the true reasons for the raid's authorisation rages to this day, Operation Jericho remains one of the most audacious and innovative missions ever flown.
A witty yet moving narrative worked up from sketched biographical fragments, 1913 is an intimate vision of a world that is about to change forever. The stuffy conventions of the nineteenth century are receding into the past, and 1913 heralds a new age of unlimited possibility. Kafka falls in love; Louis Armstrong learns to play the trumpet; a young seamstress called Coco Chanel opens her first boutique; Charlie Chaplin signs his first movie contract; and new drugs like cocaine usher in an age of decadence. Yet everywhere there is the premonition of ruin - the number 13 is omnipresent, and in London, Paris and Vienna, artists take the omen and act as if there were no tomorrow. In a Munich hotel lobby, Rilke and Freud discuss beauty and transience; Proust sets out in search of lost time; and while Stravinsky celebrates the Rite of Spring with industrial cacophony, an Austrian postcard painter by the name of Adolf Hitler sells his conventional cityscapes.
For nearly three hundred years, from the end of the eighth century AD until approximately 1100, the Vikings set out from Scandinavia across the northern world a dramatic time that would change Europe forever. This book explores the Viking conquest and settlement across Britain and Ireland, covering the core period of Viking activity from the first Viking raids to the raids of Magnus Barelegs, king of Norway. This lively history looks at the impact of the Viking forces, the development of societies within their settlements, their trades and beliefs, language and their interactions with native peoples. Drawing on the superb collection of the British Museum, together with other finds, sites and monuments, The Vikings in Britain and Ireland is a richly-illustrated introduction to the culture, daily life and times of the Vikings and their legacy which is still visible today.
Marauders or explorers? Raiders or Traders? We think we know who the Vikings were, but do we really? A thousand years after their demise, traces of Viking civilisation can be found as far apart as North America and the Middle East. They traded walruses with Inuits and sold slaves in Constantinople. They discovered America, settled in Newfoundland and fought battles in Central Asia. Arranged thematically, Vikings is a comprehensive history of Norse life, from religion to raiding, from exploration to settlement and legacy. Illustrated with more than 200 colour and black and white photographs and maps, Vikings is an exciting history of a people who have long held a place in the popular imagination.
Through its beautifully designed display of carefully selected masterpieces found in the area of ancient Thebes, the Luxor Museum of Ancient Art illuminates the golden age of pharaonic Egypt. The Nubia Museum in Aswan houses artifacts illustrating the rich heritage and history of Nubia, from the prehistoric era to modern times. Richly illustrated with spectacular color photographs, this book informs the reader about the cultures that created the objects on display, with detailed descriptions of selected pieces. Featured in the tour of the Luxor Museum are statuary from the Luxor Cachette and objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. The section on the Nubia Museum reveals the history of this fascinating region through sculpture, jewelry, and artifacts of daily life such as pottery and textiles. Also included are brief overviews of two other museums in the south of Egypt, the Mummification Museum in Luxor and the Crocodile Museum in Kom Ombo.
Alexander the Great became king of Macedon in 336 BC, when he was only 20 years old, and died at the age of 32, twelve years later.
During his reign he conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire, the largest empire that had ever existed, leading his army from Greece to Pakistan, and from the Libyan desert to the steppes of Central Asia. His meteoric career, as leader of an alliance of Greek cities, Pharaoh of Egypt, and King of Persia, had a profound effect on the world he moved through. Even in his lifetime his achievements became legendary and in the centuries that following his story was told and retold throughout Europe and the East. Greek became the language of power in the Eastern Mediterranean and much of the Near East, as powerful Macedonian dynasts carved up Alexander's empire into kingdoms of their own, underlaying the flourishing Hellenistic civilisation that emerged after his death.
But what do we really know about Alexander? In this Very Short Introduction, Hugh Bowden goes behind the usual historical accounts of Alexander's life and career. Instead, he focuses on the evidence from Alexander's own time - letters from officials in Afghanistan, Babylonian diaries, records from Egyptian temples - to try and understand how Alexander appeared to those who encountered him. In doing so he also demonstrates the profound influence the legends of his life have had on our historical understanding and the controversy they continue to generate worldwide.
Alexander the Great, arguably the most exciting figure from antiquity, waged war as a Homeric hero and lived as one, conquering native peoples and territories on a superhuman scale. From the time he invaded Asia in 334 to his death in 323, he expanded the Macedonian empire from Greece in the west to Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Central Asia and India (Pakistan and Kashmir) in the east. Although many other kings and generals forged empires, Alexander produced one that was without parallel, even if it was short-lived.
And yet, Alexander could not have achieved what he did without the accomplishments of his father, Philip II (r. 359-336). It was Philip who truly changed the course of Macedonian history, transforming a weak, disunited, and economically backward kingdom into a military powerhouse. A warrior king par excellence Philip left Alexander with the greatest army in the Greek world, a centralised monarchy, economic prosperity, and a plan to invade Asia.
For the first time, By the Spear offers an exhilarating military narrative of the reigns of these two larger-than-life figures in one volume. Ian Worthington gives full breadth to the careers of father and son, showing how Philip was the architect of the Macedonian empire, which reached its zenith under Alexander, only to disintegrate upon his death. By the Spear also explores the impact of Greek culture in the East, as Macedonian armies became avatars of social and cultural change in lands far removed from the traditional sphere of Greek influence. In addition, the book discusses the problems Alexander faced in dealing with a diverse subject population and the strategies he took to what might be called nation building, all of which shed light on contemporary events in culturally dissimilar regions of the world. The result is a gripping and unparalleled account of the role these kings played in creating a vast empire and the enduring legacy they left behind.
The overwhelming victory of Henry V's English army at Agincourt in October 1415 has passed into myth - as one of the defining events of the Hundred Years War against France, as a feat of arms outshining the previous famous English victories at Crecy and Poitiers, and as a milestone in English medieval history. This epic story of how an exhausted, outnumbered army, commanded by an inspirational leader, crushed a huge French force on French soil has given rise to legends and misconceptions that make it difficult for us to reach a clear understanding of what really happened on the battlefield 600 years ago. But that is what Stephen Cooper attempts in this thoroughgoing, perceptive and fascinating reconstruction and reassessment of the battle and its history. In graphic detail he describes the battle itself and the military expedition that led to it. He examines the causes of the conflict and the controversies associated with it, and traces how the story of the battle has been told over the centuries, by eyewitnesses and chroniclers and by the historians of the present day.
Talhoffer's professional fencing manual of 1467 illustrates the intricacies of the medieval art of fighting, covering both the 'judicial duel' (an officially sanctioned fight to resolve a legal dispute) and personal combat. Combatants in the Middle Ages used footwork, avoidance, and the ability to judge and manipulate timing and distance to exploit and enhance the sword's inherent cutting and thrusting capabilities. These skills were supplemented with techniques for grappling, wrestling, kicking and throwing the opponent, as well as disarming him by seizing his weapon. Every attack contained a defence and every defence a counter-attack. Talhoffer reveals the techniques for wrestling, unarmoured fighting with the long sword, pole-axe, dagger, sword and buckler, and mounted combat. This unparalleled guide to medieval combat, illustrated with 268 contemporary images, provides a glimpse of real people fighting with skill, sophistication and ruthlessness. This is one of the most popular and influential manuals of its kind.
Horace lived at a pivotal moment. Rome was facing a profound crisis: though it ruled the world, the values which had made it great were disintegrating. As efficiency and pragmatism became watchwords, Horace championed the 'supremely useless' endeavour of poetry, and glorified friendship and wine. Horace and Me charts Harry Eyres' evolving relationship with the Latin poet to show how, in an era of affluence and excess which seems to be hurtling out of control, Horace can help us navigate our way in uncertain times.
This is the second volume in an ambitious series giving the reader a comprehensive narrative of late Roman military history from AD 284-641. Each volume (5 are planned) gives a detailed account of the changes in organization, equipment, strategy and tactics among both the Roman forces and her enemies in the relevant period, while also giving a detailed but accessible account of the campaigns and battles. This volume covers the tumultuous period from the death of Constantius II in AD 361 to the death of Theodosius. Among the many campaigns covered, it therefore includes the Emperor Julian's fatal campaign against the Sassanian Persians and the disastrous defeat and death of Valens at Adrianople in 378. Such calamities illustrate the level of external threat Rome's armies faced on many fronts in this difficult period.
The civil wars that brought down the Roman Republic were fought on more than battlefields. Armed gangs infested the Italian countryside, in the city of Rome mansions were besieged, and bounty-hunters searched the streets for public enemies.
Among the astonishing stories to survive from these years is that of a young woman whose parents were killed, on the eve of her wedding, in the violence engulfing Italy. While her future husband fought overseas, she staved off a run on her father's estate. Despite an acute currency shortage, she raised money to help her fiance in exile. And when several years later, her husband, back in Rome, was declared an outlaw, she successfully hid him, worked for his pardon, and joined other Roman women in staging a public protest.
The wife's tale is known only because her husband had inscribed on large slabs of marble the elaborate eulogy he gave at her funeral. Though no name is given on the inscriptions, starting as early as the seventeenth century, scholars saw saw similarities between the contents of the inscription and the story, preserved in literary sources, of one Turia, the wife of Quintus Lucretius.
Although the identification remains uncertain, and in spite of the other substantial gaps in the text of the speech, the Funeral Speech for Turia (Laudatio Turiae), as it is still conventionally called, offers an extraordinary window into the life of a high-ranking woman at a critical moment of Roman history. In this book Josiah Osgood reconstructs the wife's life more fully than it has been before by bringing in alongside the eulogy stories of other Roman women who also contributed to their families' survival while working to end civil war.
He shows too how Turia's story sheds rare light on the more hidden problems of everyday life for Romans, including a high number of childless marriages. Written with a general audience in mind, Turia: A Roman Woman's Civil War will appeal to those interested in Roman history as well as war, and the ways that war upsets society's power structures. Not only does the study come to terms with the distinctive experience of a larger group of Roman women, including the prudence they had to show to succeed , but also introduces readers to an extraordinary tribute to married love which, though from another world, speaks to us today.
The Wentworth Lectures are a reflection of the changing values in Australia's society and the evolution of ethical research in Australia. They are a fitting symbol of Australia's maturing nationhood and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of the land. As well as their resilience and journey to reclaim and preserve their identity, their histories, their cultural heritage - their stories. There have been eighteen Wentworth lecturers, all of whom have been given full rein as to the topic and content. A veritable who's who of Australian Indigenous studies, all deal to some extent with wider political, social and economic, and in some cases, religious, factors prevalent at the time of their writing.
Within its busy urban presence, Melbourne has a rich and complex Aboriginal heritage. Amongst the city landscape lie layers of a turbulent history and an ongoing vibrant culture. But you need to know where to look. Melbourne Dreaming allows you to take guided tours, or to plan your own self-guided walk, from 30 minutes to a whole day. The first edition of Melbourne Dreaming established itself as an informative and culturally appropriate guidebook. This new edition has been updated with new sites and illustrations. While its an authoritative guidebook with clear maps, travelling instructions and stories and images of significant people and events, its also an alternative social history, told through precincts of significance to the citys Aboriginal people. The precincts include both physical and cultural sites. With their accompanying stories and photographs, they evoke an ancient past and a continuing present.
What can a collection of drawings reveal about their makers? Crayon drawings collected by anthropologists provide an illuminating prism through which to explore how the Warlpiri people of Central Australia have seen their place in the world and have been seen by others. In a lucid style Remembering the Future tracks the return to communities of an important collection, six decades after they were made. Discussions with many people, journeys to places and archival research build a compelling account of the colonial and contemporary circumstances of Warlpiri lives.
Ancient Australia Unearthed draws on archaeology to map 50,000 years of Australia's ancient past. It traces the evidence that is etched into the skin of this country to unearth the rich and complex history of this unique island continent. This text collates and presents existing research and available resources in a way that will assist teachers and students with the Australian Curriculum depth study unit 'Ancient Australia'. It may also have a broader appeal for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of Australian Indigenous archaeology.
‘Aboriginal art awakens Australia and the world to new ways of thinking about a timeless way of being.’ Nici Cumpston, author
Highlights: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection is a brief introduction to the extraordinary diversity and breadth of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Starting in Central Australia and radiating outwards, towards and along the coast, to include artists from desert, saltwater, rainforest, islander and urban environments across the continent, the Collection is as dynamic in its development as in its nature.
‘The Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art began in 1939 with the acquisition of Albert Namatjira’s watercolour painting, Illum-Baura (Haasts Bluff), Central Australia.
Significantly, it was the first acquisition by a state gallery of a work of art by an Aboriginal artist. Bark paintings also have an important place in the collection, as do a substantial collection of paintings in ochre and synthetic polymer on board made in the early 1970s, at the dawn of the ground-shifting desert painting movement’, said Nick Mitzevich, Director, Art Gallery of South Australia.
‘With over 1,500 indigenous works of art in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection, this publication showcases 85 works from across Australia and provides a fantastic introduction to some of Australia’s most celebrated artists,’ said David Knox, Santos’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
‘As the Partner of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia, we recognise the diversity and importance of these works and are delighted to support this publication,’ Mr Knox said.
Illustrating the strong holdings of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the Art Gallery of South Australia’s collection, Highlights is essential reading for those seeking an introduction to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Everyone has heard of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But what about close encounters of the fatal kind? The field of UFOs is rife with unsettling examples of suspicious deaths. Accounts of accidents that might not have been accidents after all, abound. Researchers and witnesses have vanished, never to be seen again. Conveniently timed heart attacks are reported. Out-of-the-blue suicides that, upon investigation, bear the distinct hallmarks of murder, are all too common. And grisly deaths at the hands of both extraterrestrials and government agents have occurred. Highlights of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE FATAL KIND include: * The strange saga of the incredible melting man. * The UFO-related death of the first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal. * The mysterious disappearances of military pilots and their connection to UFOs. * The connections between national security and the sudden deaths of UFO investigators. Getting too close to the cosmic truth about alien abductions, Roswell and what the government really knows about UFOs can-clearly-be a deadly business. The government's latest admission of the existence of Area 51 is barely the tip of a very big iceberg.
A History of Southeast Asia narrates the history of the region from earliest recorded times until today, covering present-day Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor. Its scope is the whole of Southeast Asia and not just the mainland, which has in the past received undue emphasis possibly because of the Vietnam War. Water is the geographical cause of its unity and diversity, for even landlocked Laos has the Mekong as a means of communication. Part 1 - Early Southeast Asia (the earliest civilisations) Part 2 - Medieval Southeast (the colonial period) Part 3 - Modern Southeast (the present-day era, following the Pacific dimension of the Second World)
Distinguished American professor Sheila Miyoshi Jager interweaves international events and previously unknown personal accounts to give a brilliant new history of the war, its aftermath and its global impact told from American, Korean, Soviet and Chinese sides. This is the first account to examine not only the military, but the social and political aspects of the war across the whole region - and it takes the story up to the present day. Drawing on newly accessible diplomatic archives and reports from South Korea's Truth and Reconciliation Comission, Jager not only analyses top-level military strategy but also depicts on-the-ground atrocities committed by both side that have never been revealed. The most accessible, up-to-date and balanced account yet written, rich with maps and illustrations, Brothers at War is the thrilling and highly original debut of a historian comparable to Max Hastings or Antony Beevor. It will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle's origins, aftermath, and global impact.
From the world's most repressive state comes rare good news: the escape to freedom of a small number of its people. It is a crime to leave North Korea. Yet increasing numbers of North Koreans dare to flee. They go first to neighboring China, which rejects them as criminals, then on to Southeast Asia or Mongolia, and finally to South Korea, the United States, and other free countries. They travel along a secret route known as the new underground railroad. With a journalist's grasp of events and a novelist's ear for narrative, Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the story of the North Koreans' quest for liberty. Travelers on the new underground railroad include women bound to Chinese men who purchased them as brides, defectors carrying state secrets, and POWs from the Korean War held captive in the North for more than half a century. Their conductors are brokers who are in it for the money as well as Christians who are in it to serve God. The Christians see their mission as the liberation of North Korea one person at a time. Just as escaped slaves from the American South educated Americans about the evils of slavery, the North Korean fugitives are informing the world about the secretive country they fled. Escape from North Korea describes how they also are sowing the seeds for change within North Korea itself. Once they reach sanctuary, the escapees channel news back to those they left behind. In doing so, they are helping to open their information-starved homeland, exposing their countrymen to liberal ideas, and laying the intellectual groundwork for the transformation of the totalitarian regime that keeps their fellow citizens in chains.
The nations of Asia now make up more than half of the world's population. With increasingly affluent, educated middle classes and vigorous, innovative industries, they are more populous and powerful than ever before, and their influence on the rest of the world is only growing. Colin Mason provides a clear, readable introduction to their history and traditions, from the Stone Age right up to the present day. This thoroughly revised, updated and expanded third edition contains new chapters on Mongolia, Nepal and Bhutan, separate expanded chapters on the South Asian nations, and revised chapters on all the modern states. A new introduction explores the nature and implications of the new politics of 'guided democracy' and the current clash between industrialisation and the consequences of climate change. Enriched with detailed maps and a guide to further reading, this book is the essential guide to the history of a fascinating continent and its peoples.
It was a blustery day on the 25th January 1920 at Palm Beach to the north of Sydney and the surf was wild. Two attempts had already been made to save a young woman caught in an undertow and dragged out when a young man; skinny, gangly and frail and known to be a poor swimmer, threw off his coat and shoes and raced into the surf.
As his fiancee and young nephew watched, the sea closed over him and he disappeared. His body was never recovered. This was the sad and tragic fate of a gallant, highly decorated and promising young man named Douglas Gray Marks. And it was a great loss to a nation whose manhood had been decimated and where the pain of the war remained evident and raw. Douglas Marks was born in 1895 and educated at Fort Street High School. He had, like so many enthusiastic and patriotic young men, basic military training when he turned up at the drill hall in Rozelle two days after the declaration of war. Before embarking in November 1914, he had received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the AIF. After a period of training in Egypt, he embarked for the Gallipoli peninsula and landed on the second day.
Spending a great deal of time in the dangerous frontline trenches at Quinn's Post where he was wounded, he remained on Gallipoli until the evacuation in December of that year. Just twenty years old, he was seen as an inspirational young officer, promoted to captain and given acting command of his battalion. Marks then travelled back to Egypt, saw the re-organisation of his beloved 13th battalion and the raising of its sister battalion, the 45th. Sailing from Alexandria, he crossed the Mediterranean to Marseilles and took the train to the north of France and the nursery areas around Armentieres and Bois Grenier. From here, Douglas Marks found himself in the worst battles that the AIF were to fight in: Pozieres and Moquet Farm, Flers, Gueudecourt, Stormy Trench and Bullecourt on the Somme. He then travelled north and was part of the horrendous battles around Ypres in Flanders in 1917: Messines, Polygon Wood, Hollebeke and Passchendaele. Back on the Somme in early 1918, he fought at Villers Bretonneux, Le Hamel, the Battle of Amiens from the 8th August and in the fighting through to the withdrawal of his battalion in September 1918.
By this time he had been wounded a number of times, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, was the commander of his battalion and had been decorated with a Military Cross, a Distinguished Service Order, the Serbian Order of the White Eagle and had been mentioned in despatches. He returned to Australia and to civilian life in late 1918. In 1919 he became engaged to Queenie and in January 1920, took that fateful journey to Palm Beach. Though we do not know what happened to Queenie , his distraught mother never came out of her house again.
The charge of the Light Horse Brigade is the stuff of legend, but there are other desert campaigns in Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean and North Africa that are often overlooked. The Desert ANZACs brings to the fore the tales of the ANZACs who fought in the heat and desert sands - from their first-ever overseas deployment to the Sudan in 1885, through the campaigns in the Great War, and finally the Siege of Tobruk in 1941. The ANZACs have always been recognised for their bravery, and tales of derring-do abound: the Dunsterforce, who set off through Iran not knowing their destination; the Turks and Australians who joined forces in Ziza to deter thousands of marauding Bedouin; the Imperial Camel Corps, who rode their camels into battle; the Light Car Patrol, comprising Model T Fords with machine guns welded to their bonnets; and the ongoing siege at Tobruk that stymied the German advance across North Africa in World War II and proved the ANZACs' relentless, never-give-up attitude.
Australia's War in Afghanistan is an extraordinary visual record which recognizes and celebrates the significant contribution that Australian troops have made to the conflict in Afghanistan over the past ten years. Featuring the stunning images of award-winning photographer Gary Ramage, and the words of best-selling defence writer Ian McPhedran, this book is a stunning, moving and comprehensive record of the war. Over the course of the last ten years, Gary Ramage has travelled extensively with both the United States and the Australian Army in Afghanistan as a civilian and news photographer. Living alongside the soldiers, he has captured images of the battles, the men, and the landscape. His photographs are stunning - powerful, moving, gut-wrenching. They speak of the dirt, blood and the grit of war, of comrades-in-arms, the power of mateship. They also show many unexpected moments of tenderness: a malnourished baby in the arms of a soldier; a child's hand pressed to a window as soldiers march by; a soldier and his dog sleeping together on the ground for warmth. These are the juxtapositions which make his photographs so memorable. He photographs the whole war - not only the battles and their bloody aftermath, but the landscape, the towns, the people, the patrols, the barracks, and the bases. This is Australia's war in Afghanistan.
Even in our digital age, speeches remain the principal currency of public life. There is no better way to argue a case or sway an audience.
In Men and Women of Australia!, speechmaker and former prime ministerial adviser Michael Fullilove has gathered the finest Australian speeches delivered since Federation - speeches that have inspired us and defined us as a nation. Each one is a time capsule, a window onto a debate or controversy from our history.
Fully revised and updated, with perceptive introductions to each speech and a foreword by Graham Freudenberg, this edition includes Kevin Rudd's Apology to the Stolen Generations and Julia Gillard's Misogyny speech - two speeches that captured the country's imagination. Among others are Noel Pearson's Hope Vale speech, Les Carlyon on Fromelles, Geoffrey Rush on acting the goat, Tim Winton on our oceans, Tony Abbott's speech on closing the gap, and Malcolm Turnbull's tribute to Robert Hughes.
Also included are speeches by notable visitors to Australia - leading figures of the twentieth century such as Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi. Drawn from politics, history, sport and culture, Men and Women of Australia! is the definitive collection of Australian speeches.
Richard Simpkin is an Australian photographer, artist and author. Since the age of fifteen Richard has been meeting and photographing celebrities for his project; Richard & Famous. The exhibition has been shown in Australia, Lithuania, the UK, Spain. Richard has featured in numerous publications such as; The Guardian (UK), Marie Clare (Sth Africa) Lens Magazine (China) Autograph Magazine (USA) & The Daily Telegraph (Australia). He is also the author of two best selling books & was a finalist in the Australian Photographic Portrait Prize (2004). He is currently working on a documentary about Celebrities & Fans.
100 precious relics from Australia's past. Contains extraordinary collection of objects which has had a significant part in the making of the Australian consciousness.
This guide book features more than 130 paddle-boats found in various parts of Australia. It includes paddleboats presently operating public excursions and cruises on rivers, lakes and harbours around Australia, as well as privately owned boats, and vintage boats that have been restored for static public display. The majority of paddleboats are to be found on the Murray River but can also be found in several other locations around the country, including Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Ballarat and Longreach. This is the first time all these boats have been brought together in a single book. Each boat is fully illustrated, the majority of the photographs having been taken in the past two years.
Working as a housekeeper was one of the most prestigious jobs a 19th and early 20th century woman could want - and also one of the toughest. A far cry from the Downton Abbey fiction, the real life Mrs Hughes was up against capricious mistresses, low pay, no job security and gruelling physical labour. Until now, her story has never been told. The Housekeeper's Tale reveals the personal sacrifices, bitter disputes and driving ambition that shaped these women's careers. Delving into secret diaries, unpublished letters and the neglected service archives of our stately homes, Tessa Boase tells the extraordinary stories of five working women who ran some of Britain's most prominent households. There is Dorothy Doar, Regency housekeeper for the obscenely wealthy 1st Duke and Duchess of Sutherland at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire. There is Sarah Wells, a deaf and elderly Victorian in charge of Uppark, West Sussex. Ellen Penketh is Edwardian cook-housekeeper at the sociable but impecunious Erddig Hall in the Welsh borders. Hannah Mackenzie runs Wrest Park in Bedfordshire - Britain's first country-house war hospital, bankrolled by playwright J. M. Barrie. And there is Grace Higgens, cook-housekeeper to the Bloomsbury set at Charleston farmhouse in East Sussex for half a century - an era defined by the Second World War. Revelatory, gripping and unexpectedly poignant, The Housekeeper's Tale champions the invisible women who ran the English country house.
The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time . (Sir Edward Grey, British foreign secretary, 3 August 1914). When the Lamps Went Out presents a surprising, immediate, sometimes humbling, sometimes uplifting insight into what British society was reading about, and thinking, during the Great War. Journalism catches the moment, at the moment, and these stories drawn from the Guardian archive stretch across the century as signals from a lost world. We see Boy Scouts patrolling the British coasts, David Lloyd George addressing women war workers, Charlie Chaplin impersonators on the Euston Road and Vesta Tilley at the Ardwick Empire. We see suffragist nurses on the Western Front and Bolsheviks in Glasgow, Pathan soldiers in Flanders and Anglo-Japanese armies in China. We read of new technologies -from picture houses to gas weapons, as well as John Buchan's best-sellers. We see small countries saved - and aliens persecuted. The bloody battles, defeats, and victories are all here but When the Lamps Went Out focuses on the women, men and children who lived, loved, defied, perished, and survived in the war to end all wars.
A king beheaded. A monarchy abolished. And a commoner leading a republic by military rule set in their place. The wars that tore through the country in the mid-seventeenth century - splitting government, communities and families alike - were a true watershed in English history. But how, with Queen Elizabeth I's Golden Age still in living memory, did such a situation arise? Exploring the period's political disputes, religious conflicts and military battles, Patrick Little scrutinizes the nature and practicalities of conducting a civil war on English soil, as well as the experiences and motivations of key factions and combatants. By assessing how the realities of life in England shaped the conflict -and were torn apart by it - this wonderfully readable Beginner's Guide gets to the very heart of how a people came to kill their king.
Life in Britain during the First World War was far stranger than many of us realise. In a country awash with mad rumour, frenzied patriotism and intense personal anguish, it became illegal to light a bonfire, fly a kite or buy a round of drinks. And yet the immense upheaval of the war led to many things we take for granted today: the vote, passports, vegetable allotments and British Summer Time among them. In this immensely captivating account, Jeremy Paxman tells the entire story of the war through the experience of those who lived it - nurses, soldiers, politicians, factory-workers, journalists and children - explaining why we fought it so willingly, how we endured it so long, and how it transformed us all.
England's views are remarkable for their beauty and variety. With his usual insight and authority, bestselling author Simon Jenkins picks 100 of the very best from the white cliffs of Dover to Hadrian's Wall - and explains the fascinating stories behind each. Jenkins' entertaining and erudite entries provide the rich historical, geographical, botanical and architectural background to breathtaking sights - all beautifully illustrated - both iconic and undiscovered. From Gold Hill, the Dorset village street so famously picturesque it was used in a Hovis advert, to the view of the City of London famously depicted by Canaletto and the wilds of the Yorkshire moors. This book will inspire you to discover the treasures of England's sea, city and landscapes for yourself. Filled with roman roads, cliff-tops, follies, mountains, ancient castles, rolling forests and heart-stopping moments, you'll soon wonder how you chose walks, mini-breaks or spontaneous diversions without it. The perfect guide to Britain's landscape - now available in paperback.
Requisitioned analyses twenty houses around Britain, who endured a number of varying wartime roles - whether they be hospitals, storage areas, troops billets, headquarters for senior staff, or seats of foreign governments in exile. Supported with a wealth of wartime imagery, as well as personal collections from those that resided in the houses, this is a welcome tribute to the country houses that were requisitioned by Churchill's government to serve their country. We all know of Bletchley Park's role in the war - a Victorian mansion and its grounds leased by the Ministry of Defence in the late 1930s and turned into the world-famous codebreaking centre.
But Bletchley Park was the rule, rather than the exception - countless stately homes were requisitioned, acquired by, or lent to the war effort for all sorts of purposes: military command centres, barracks, hospitals, to house the nation's art collections out of range of the German bombers, listening and monitoring centres (Hanslope Park, Chicksands Priory and Beaumanor Hall all feature in The Secret Listeners), as HQ for MI5, evacuated schools, or even, as in the case of Badminton House, an unwilling refuge for Queen Mary, who arrived with vast retinue unannounced one day and stayed for the duration of the war. Requisitioned, will tell the stories of many famous, and some obscure country houses before, during and after World War Two. In quite a few cases the war did for the house altogether: at Egginton Hall in Derbyshire departing troops left all the taps on and the resultant flooding rought the ceilings down and rotted the woodwork forcing its demolition. Both Shillinglee in Sussex and Appeldurcombe on the Isle of Wight were burnt out by the Canadian or Australian troops billeted there (the latter remains a shell preserved by English Heritage).
In other cases like Chicksands or Southwick in Hampshire the house was lost to the military for good, the former saw its estate disfigured by Nissen huts and transmitter masts. For many country houses the pre-war heyday was not matched by the post-war era - Wentworth Woodhouse saw its estate grounds opencast-mined; Mentmore saw its contents sold off to pay death duties. Bletchley Park, however - a thoroughly undistinguished mansion architecturally - has found belated celebrity thanks to its wartime role, though its estate is gone for good as a consequence to the military huts built in the grounds. Certainly in many cases, after the war the house was never the same again.
Since 2008's financial crisis, we have heard much about the failures of bankers, regulators and politicians. David Marquand sees a wider issue: the fall of the public realm. The crisis, he argues, is one of our moral economy as much as of our political economy. Already, we are well advanced towards a near-Hobbesian state of genteel barbarism - and greed is all-pervasive. Setting out a framework for a new public philosophy founded on civic conscience and cooperation, Marquand seeks to spring the trap into which our culture has stumbled. The message is plain: we cannot continue on our present path.
David Marquand is one of the leading left of centre political philosophers in the UK. He is a former Labour Member of Parliament and Chief Advisor in the Secretariat General of the European Commission, and from 1996 to 2002 was Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford. His many books include Ramsay MacDonald, The Unprincipled Society: New Demands and Old Politics, The Progressive Dilemma: From Lloyd George to Blair, Decline of the Public: The Hollowing-out of Citizenship, Britain Since 1918: The Strange Career of British Democracy and The End of the West: The Once and Future Europe. He is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Learned Society of Wales. In 2001 he received the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for a lifetime contribution to Political Studies.
At the conclusion of 'the war to end war', the victorious powers set about redesigning the world map at the Paris Peace Conference. For China, Versailles presented an opportunity to regain territory lost to Japan at the start of the war. Yet, despite early encouragement from the world's superpowers, the country was to be severely disappointed, an outcome whose consequences can still be felt today.
As the young men of Europe were fighting in the trenches, a little known contingent of Chinese labourers crossed the world to provide support vital to the Allied war effort. Largely illiterate farmers from northern China, these men were simply attempting to make a better life for themselves, ignorant of the war and its causes. Under brutal conditions many died for their efforts, and their involvement wasn't recognised for decades – it is still not widely known. In this fascinating First World War China Special, journalist Mark O'Neill brings their story to light, describing in detail the labourers' recruitment, their daily experiences in a foreign land and the horrific work they carrier out – including the clearing of remains from battlefields.
After 1914, between tiffin and a day at the race track, the British in Shanghai enjoyed a life far removed from the horrors of the Great War. Shanghai's status as a treaty port – with its foreign concessions home to expatriates from every corner of the globe – made it the most cosmopolitan city in Asia. The city's inhabitants on either side of the conflict continued to mix socially to mix socially after the outbreak of war, the bond amongst foreign nationals being almost as strong as that between countrymen. But as news of the slaughter spread of the Far East, and in particular the sinking of the Lusitania, their ambivalence turned to antipathy.
At the time of the First World War, the Chinese republic was in its infancy. It had joined a number of international organisations and ratified the Hague Conventions, but found its diplomatic efforts hampered by its young, inexperienced leadership, its factional and regional divisions and the foreign-held treaty ports and concessions held over from the imperial period. The foreign powers treaded a fine diplomatic tightrope, caught between carrying out their patriotic duty to support war efforts and making sure their 'hosts', the Chinese, did not take advantage of the turbulence to gain the upper hand against the imperialists. For the Americans, British, French, German and Japanese, the legation quarters became a microcosm of the intrigues and conflicts back home.
In 1914, Europe was not the only continent coming to terms with a new form of conflict. Through a mix of complex alliances and global ambition, the war had spread to northern China, where the German-held port of Tsingtao became a key battleground. To strike a blow at Kaiser Wilhelm's naval forces, Britain and its ally Japan lay siege to the port during October and November. In The Siege of Tsingtao, the first of the Penguin China Specials on the First World War, celebrated historian Jonathan Fenby examines the causes of the battle, the ulterior motives for it, and the path it helped set East Asia on for decades to come.
In 1949 Mao Zedong hoisted the red flag over Beijing's Forbidden City. Instead of liberating the country, the communists destroyed the old order and replaced it with a repressive system that would dominate every aspect of Chinese life. In an epic of revolution and violence which draws on newly opened party archives, interviews and memoirs, Frank Dikotter interweaves the stories of millions of ordinary people with the brutal politics of Mao's court. A gripping account of how people from all walks of life were caught up in a tragedy that sent at least five million civilians to their deaths.
Napoleon: The End of Glory tells the story of the dramatic two years that led to Napoleon's abdication in April 1814. Though crucial to European history, they remain strangely neglected, lying between the two much better-known landmarks of the retreat from Moscow and the battle of Waterloo. Yet this short period saw both Napoleon's loss of his European empire, and of his control over France itself. In 1813 the massive battle of Leipzig - the bloodiest in modern history before the first day of the Somme - forced his armies back to the Rhine. The next year, after a brilliant campaign against overwhelming odds, Napoleon was forced to abdicate and exiled to Elba. He regained his throne the following year, for just a hundred days, in a doomed adventure whose defeat at Waterloo was predictable. The most fascinating - and least-known - aspect of these years is that at several key points Napoleon's enemies offered him peace terms that would have allowed him to keep his throne, if not his empire, a policy inspired by the brilliant and devious Austrian foreign minister Metternich. Napoleon: The End of Glory sheds fascinating new light on Napoleon, Metternich, and many other key figures and events in this dramatic period of European history, drawing on previously unused archives in France, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Through these it seeks to answer the most important question of all - why, instead of accepting a compromise, Napoleon chose to gamble on total victory at the risk of utter defeat?
This is the incredible rise and unbelievable fall of a woman whose energy and ambition is often overshadowed by Napoleon's military might. In this triumphant biography, Kate Williams tells Josephine's searing story, of sexual obsession, politics and surviving as a woman in a man's world. Abandoned in Paris by her aristocratic husband, Josephine's future did not look promising. But while her friends and contemporaries were sent to the guillotine during the Terror that followed the Revolution, she survived prison and emerged as the doyenne of a wildly debauched party scene, surprising everybody when she encouraged the advances of a short, marginalised Corsican soldier, six years her junior. Josephine, the fabulous hostess and skilled diplomat, was the perfect consort to the ambitious but obnoxious Napoleon. With her by his side, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor; and she amassed a jewellery box with more diamonds than Marie Antoinette's. But as his fame grew, Napoleon became increasingly obsessed with his need for an heir and irritated with Josephine's extravagant spending. The woman who had enchanted France became desperate and jealous. Until, a divorcee aged forty-seven, she was forced to watch from the sidelines as Napoleon and his young bride produced a child.
During the Great War Adolf Hitler served in the ranks of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment from 1914 to 1918, and was awarded the Iron Cross. In later years, under the masterful control of Doctor Goebbels, Hitler was successfully portrayed by the Nazis as a valiant front-line soldier who, for four long years, had fought many hard battles in the front-line of trenches. The world has long accepted the Nazi version, and Hitler is often referred to as a Corporal, but a series of clues remained which pointed to an alternative version of the truth. Even at the zenith of his power, Hitler was always mindful that there were those who maintained that, far from being a brave front-line fighter, he was actually a fraud; a draft-dodger and rear area malingerer who in four years of war had only ever fought in one action. Hitler knew the uncomfortable truth. The Nazi machine acted ruthlessly and former colleagues such as Hans Mend, who didn't toe the party line, soon ended up in concentration camps. Now, almost a century later, as a result of a series of painstaking investigations, the producers of the ground-breaking documentary Private Hitler's War have resolved the century long controversy over Hitler's service in the Great War. This powerful documentary tie-in book finally turns the Nazi myth on its head and reveals the full unvarnished truth concerning Adolf Hitler's actions in the Great War.
This is a gripping narrative of the most critical years in modern Ireland's history - from Charles Townshend, author of Easter 1916. The protracted, terrible fight for independence pitted the Irish against the British and the Irish against other Irish. It was both a physical battle of shocking violence against a regime increasingly seen as alien and unacceptable and an intellectual battle for a new sort of country. The damage done, the betrayals and grim compromises put the new nation into a state of trauma for at least a generation, but at a nearly unacceptable cost the struggle ended: a new republic was born. Charles Townshend's Easter 1916 opened up the astonishing events around the Rising for a new generation and in The Republic he deals, with the same unflinchingly wish to get to the truth behind the legend, with the most critical years in Ireland's history. There has been a great temptation to view these years through the prisms of martyrology and good-and-evil. The picture painted by Townshend is far more nuanced and sceptical - but also never loses sight of the ordinary forms of heroism performed by Irish men and women trapped in extraordinary times. 'The author has devoted his life to the study of Irish history and this huge work is the pinnacle of his labours' John Banville on Easter 1916.
This Handbook is a current, comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization. The authors, all leaders in their fields, emphasize the large-scale continuities of Iranian history while also describing the important patterns of transformation that have characterized Iran's past. Each of the chapters focuses on a specific epoch of Iranian history and surveys the general political, social, cultural, and economic issues of that era. The ancient period begins with chapters considering the anthropological evidence of the prehistoric era, through to the early settled civilizations of the Iranian plateau, and continuing to the rise of the ancient Persian empires. The medieval section first considers the Arab-Muslim conquest of the seventh century, and then moves on to discuss the growing Turkish influence filtering in from Central Asia beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The last third of the book covers Iran in the modern era by considering the rise of the Safavid state and its accompanying policy of centralization, the introduction of Shi'ism, the problems of reform and modernization in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, and the revolution of 1978-79 and its aftermath. The book is a collaborative exercise among scholars specializing in a variety of sub-fields, and across a number of disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics, and linguistics. Here, readers can find a reliable and accessible narrative that can serve as an authoritative guide to the field of Iranian studies.
The defeat of Napoleon's French army by the combined forces of Wellington and Blucher at Waterloo on 18 June 1815 was a turning point in world history. This was the climax of the Napoleonic Wars, and the outcome had a major influence on the shape of Europe for the next century and beyond. The battle was a milestone, and it cannot be properly understood without a detailed, on-the-ground study of the landscape in which it was fought - and that is the purpose of David Buttery's new battlefield guide. In vivid detail, using eyewitness accounts and an intimate knowledge of the terrain, he reconstructs Waterloo and he takes the reader - and the visitor - across the battleground as it is today. He focuses on the pivotal episodes in the fighting - the day-long struggle for the chateau at Hougoumont, the massive French infantry assaults, repeated cavalry charges, the fall of La Haye Sainte, the violent clashes in the village of Plancenoit, the repulse of the Imperial Guard and rout of the French army. This thoroughgoing, lucid, easy-to-follow guide will be a fascinating introduction for anyone who seeks to understand what happened on that momentous day, and it will be an essential companion for anyone who explores the battlefield in Belgium. The best guide, by far, is David Buttery's Waterloo, Battlefield Guide, an essential companion for anyone visiting the battlefield. -Bernard Cornwell
According to most versions of history, America's founders were united in their moderate political philosophy. But in fact the Revolution was nearly derailed by extremists who wanted to transform the entire society. If not for a small circle of conservatives who kept radicalism in check and promoted capitalism, a strong military, and the preservation of tradition, our country would be vastly different today. In the first book to chronicle the critical role these men played in securing our freedom, David Lefer provides an insightful and gripping account of the birth of American conservatism and its effect on the earliest days of our nation.
In January of 1973 Richard Nixon announced the end of the Vietnam War and prepared for a triumphant second term-until televised Watergate hearings revealed his White House as little better than a mafia den. The next president declared upon Nixon's resignation our long national nightmare is over -but then congressional investigators exposed the CIA for assassinating foreign leaders. The collapse of the South Vietnamese government rendered moot the sacrifice of some 58,000 American lives. The economy was in tatters. And as Americans began thinking about their nation in a new way-as one more nation among nations, no more providential than any other-the pundits declared that from now on successful politicians would be the ones who honoured this chastened new national mood. Ronald Reagan never got the message. Which was why, when he announced his intention to challenge President Ford for the 1976 Republican nomination, those same pundits dismissed him-until, amazingly, it started to look like he just might win. He was inventing the new conservative political culture we know now, in which a vision of patriotism rooted in a sense of American limits was derailed in America's Bicentennial year by the rise of the smiling politician from Hollywood. Against a backdrop of melodramas from the Arab oil embargo to Patty Hearst to the near-bankruptcy of America's greatest city, The Invisible Bridge asks the question: what does it mean to believe in America? To wave a flag-or to reject the glibness of the flag wavers?
Few people today realize that the United States s sovereignty was not assured until 1814, when England acknowledged it with the Treaty of Ghent. In fact, earlier that same year, the prospects for America couldn t have looked bleaker: a ruined economy, a feeble army, and serious talk of secession by the New England states all threatened its existence. By years end, however, the young nation was at peace, poised for expansion to the west, never to go to war against Britain again. How did this remarkable transformation happen? Drawing from rarely used source material, award-winning historian Willard Sterne Randall brilliantly re-creates the dramatic chain of events that prevented the nation from falling into British hands. From Dolley Madison with a telescope on the roof of the White House to Francis Scott Key penning the national anthem on an envelope, Randall s work firmly establishes 1814 as a seminal year that should be celebrated alongside 1776 in our history.
The loss of America in 1781 has traditionally been blamed on incompetent British military commanders and political leaders whose arrogant confidence and out-dated tactics were no match for the innovative and determined Americans. But this is far from the truth. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent characters, including King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, General Burgoyne, and the Earl of Sandwich, Andrew O'Shaughnessy demolishes the myths, emerging with a very different and much richer account of the conflict - one driven by able and even brilliant leadership.
City of Ambition is a brilliant history of the New Deal and its role in the making of modern New York City. The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. But together, as leaders of America s two largest governments in the depths of the Great Depression, they fashioned a route to recovery for the nation and the master plan for a great city. Roosevelt and his Brain Trust shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America s cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector. The two leaders worked closely together. La Guardia had a direct line of communication with FDR and his staff, often visiting Washington carrying piles of blueprints. Roosevelt relied on the mayor as his link to the nation s cities and their needs. The combination was potent. La Guardia s Gotham became a laboratory for New Deal reform. Roosevelt s New Deal transformed city initiatives into major programs such as the Works Progress Administration, which changed the physical face of the United States. Together they built parks, bridges, and schools; put the unemployed to work; and strengthened the Progressive vision of government as serving the public purpose. Today everyone knows the FDR Drive as a main route to La Guardia Airport. The intersection of steel and concrete speaks to a pair of dynamic leaders whose collaboration lifted a city and a nation. Here is their story.
James Ciment, in his enthralling history Another America, shows that the settlers struggled to balance their high ideals with their prejudices. On the steamy shores of West Africa, they re-created the only social order they knew, that of an antebellum Dixie, with themselves as the master caste, ruling over a native population that outnumbered them twenty to one. They built plantations, held elegant dances, and worked to protect their fragile independence from the predations of foreign powers. Meanwhile, they fought, abused, and even helped to enslave the native Liberians. The persecuted became the persecutors - until a lowly native sergeant murdered their president in 1980, ending 133 years of Americo-Liberian rule and inaugurating a quarter century of civil war. Riven by caste, committed to commerce, practicing democratic and Christian ideals haphazardly, the Americo-Liberians created a history that is, to a surprising degree, the mirror image of our own.
From one of the foremost authorities on education in the United States, former U.S. assistant secretary of education, an incisive, comprehensive look at today's American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools. In a chapter-by-chapter breakdown she puts forth a plan for what can be done to preserve and improve our public schools. She makes clear what is right about U.S. education, how policy makers are failing to address the root causes of educational failure, and how we can fix it.
On Christmas Day 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union. By the next day the USSR was officially no more and the USA had emerged as the world's sole superpower. Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy presents a page-turning account of the preceding five months of drama, filled with failed coups d'etat and political intrigue. Honing in on this previously disregarded but crucial period and using recently declassified documents and original interviews with key participants, he shatters the established myths of 1991 and presents a bold new interpretation of the Soviet Union's final months. Plokhy argues that contrary to the triumphalist Western narrative, George H. W. Bush desperately wanted to preserve the Soviet Union and keep Gorbachev in power, and that it was Ukraine and not the US that played the key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The consequences of those five months and the myth-making that has since surrounded them are still being felt in Crimea, Russia, the US, and Europe today. With its spellbinding narrative and strikingly fresh perspective, The Last Empire is the essential account of one of the most important watershed periods in world history, and is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to make sense of international politics today.
The Russian Empire once extended deep into America: in 1818 Russia's furthest outposts were in California and Hawaii. The dreamer behind this great Imperial vision was Nikolai Rezanov - diplomat, adventurer, courtier, millionaire and gambler. His quest to plant Russian colonies from Siberia to California led him to San Francisco, where he was captivated by Conchita, the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Spanish Governor, who embodied his dreams of both love and empire. From the glittering court of Catherine the Great to the wilds of the New World, Matthews conjures a brilliantly original portrait of one of Russia's most eccentric Empire-builders.
The Darkest Days shows how the war-hungry leaders and the right-wing press hustled the nation into war, making only the barest efforts to save the peace. As a result the declaration was the result of political negotiation, dishonesty and willful belligerence that split the cabinet and kept the opposition and the nation itself in the dark until it was too late. Through a forensic study of the personal papers of many of the key figures on both sides of the debate, historian Douglas Newton pieces together what really went on in the frenetic weeks between the assassination in Sarajevo and Britain's declaration of war upon Germany on Tuesday 4 August 1914. Many recently published histories of Britain's Great War embrace the conflict as a good war - irresistible, righteous - and popular. It has become almost heretical to offer criticism of Britain's intervention. This book presents a new critical examination of the government's choice for war, and weaves into the story an account of those radicals and other activists who urged neutral diplomacy in 1914.
For many young women, the 1920s felt like a promise of liberty. It was a period when they dared to shorten their skirts and shingle their hair, to smoke, drink, take drugs and to claim sexual freedoms. In an era of soaring stock markets, consumer expansion, urbanization and fast travel, women were reimagining both the small detail and the large ambitions of their lives. In Flappers, acclaimed biographer Judith Mackrell follows a group of six women - Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and Tamara de Lempicka - who, between them, exemplified the range and daring of that generation's spirit. For them, the pursuit of experience was not just about dancing the Charleston and wearing fashionable clothes. They made themselves prominent among the artists, icons, and heroines of their age, pursuing experience in ways that their mothers could never have imagined, seeking to define what it was to be young and a woman in an age where the smashing of old certainties had thrown the world wide open. Talented, reckless and wilful, with personalities that transcended their class and background, they re-wrote their destinies in remarkable, entertaining and sometimes tragic ways. And between them they blazed the trail of the New Woman around the world.
Former USAF F-16 legend Dan Hampton tells the thrilling story of how fighter pilots have ruled the skies for 100 years, from the Red Baron to today's supersonic jets.
Former US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dan Hampton is one of the most decorated fighter pilots in history, flying over 151 F-16 missions during his 20 years of service. Hampton visits the most famous fighter planes in the history of aviation, telling the thrilling story of how pilots have ruled the skies for 100 years.
From the infamous Red Baron, to brave soldiers who flew the iconic P51 Mustang of WWII, up to his own legendary F-16 Falcon, Dan paints a sweeping portrait of air combat through the ages, seeking our their storied aircraft and flying them for himself. A history book like no other, from one of the most talented pilots who ever lived, this is a unique and enthralling account of aviation at its finest.
This excellent study was commissioned by the U.S. Marine Corps from the distinguished academic and military historian Russel Stolfi. This groundbreaking work is more than just a Divisional history. The whole basis of Rommel's exceptional handling is summed up in Stolfi's masterful conclusion 'Rommel had a bias for action.' The book traces the actions of the 7th 'Ghost' division in France during 1940 and the early part of the campaign in Russia during 1941. This powerful work brilliantly illustrates Stolfi's commanding insight into the genius of Rommel as a Divisional commander. Long out of print, this new edition brings back into circulation a classic piece of military history writing for a new audience.
One of the bloodiest conflicts in military history, the Battle of the Somme raged from 1 July to 18 November 1916. It has come to signify for many the waste and bloodshed of the First World War as hundreds of thousands of men on all sides lost their lives fighting over small gains in land. If you want to understand what happened and why - read Battle Story.
To many they were nothing more than cowards, but the 'conchies' of the First World War had the courage to stand by their principles when the nation was against them...
An innovative new history of conscientious objectors during the First World War. Drawing on previously unpublished archive material, Karyn Burnham reconstructs the personal stories of several men who refused to fight, bringing the reader face-to-face with their varied, often brutal, experiences.
Charles Dingle: Defying his father's wishes by objecting to military service, Charles joins the Friends Ambulance Unit and finds himself in the midst of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
Jack Foister: Jack, a young student, cannot support the war in any way. Imprisoned and shipped secretly out to France, Jack has no idea what lengths the military will go to in order to break him.
James Landers: A Christian and pacifist, James faces a dilemma: if he sticks to his principles, he faces imprisonment but if he joins the Non Combatant Corps he can financially support his family.
Gripping accounts reveal the traumatic and sometimes terrifying events these men went through and help readers to discover what it was really like to be a conscientious objector.
Examines the human side of one of the great tragedies of modern warfare, the Gallipoli campaign of WW I. The story of the battle is told in the combatant's own words - drawn from diaries, letters, and stories passed down through generations of families.
Explore the First World War as never before in stunningly designed infographics, and enjoy a unique way of finding out about all aspects of this grave conflict. From the weapons used to the men on the ground, this fascinating new approach offers informative, easy-to-digest facts about the Great War that can be understood and pored over by people of all ages. So delve into The Great War 100 today and be stunned as history comes alive as never before.
A Short History of the First World War tells the story of this cataclysmic event. It begins by describing the background to war, the international rivalries and conflicts of the previous decades that led to the nations of Europe forming virtual armed camps, the relentless build-up of military and naval hardware that characterised the early years of the 20th century and the great figures that tried to prevent conflict or enthusiastically pushed for it.
'World War Two From Above' retells the fascinating and hitherto little-known story of the battle waged by Allied and Axis spies in the skies to obtain accurate aerial intelligence during the Second World War. Featuring dozens of eye-catching aerial reconnaissance photographs drawn from the archives compiled by all the major fighting powers, the accompanying text sheds light on the daring pilots who risked death to shoot these photographs, and the photographic interpreters who pioneered a totally new science to reveal the secrets they contained. Inspiring and informative chapters focus on particularly crucial World War Two operations. Examples include the aerial reconnaissance that led to the airborne assault on the Italian fleet at Taranto; the hunt for the supposedly unsinkable German battleship Bismarck; and the Dam Busters' raid on the Ruhr dams. The final section focuses on the end of the war with the D-Day landings, V-Weapons, the firestorm raids on Tokyo and the dropping of the first atomic bombs on Japan.
Even 100 years on from the First World War it haunts us still. No other conflict has revealed so dramatically the senselessness of war, and none has shaped the modern world to the same extent, from its impact on the Russian Revolution and the rise of Hitler to the final break-up of the British Empire and the supremacy of America. These compelling eyewitness accounts - over 180 of them - of the War to End All Wars cover every facet of the war, from the Flanders trenches to the staffrooms of the Imperial German Army, from T. E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia') in the desert to German fighter ace the Red Baron in the air, and from English Land Girls to German U-boat crews in the North Atlantic. There are contributions from all combatant nations, including the UK, USA, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Australia, Russia, Serbia, and India and the book includes a detailed timeline and maps.
An original and highly detailed approach to the history of the First World War, combining contemporary accounts with a modern-day guide to the battlefields of the Western Front. This fascinating anthology provides a more authentic picture than any textbook could ever hope to give of the courage and the daily life of the men who served during the First World War.
Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August is a spellbinding history of the fateful first month when Britain went to war. War pressed against every frontier. Suddenly dismayed, governments struggled and twisted to fend it off. It was no use...Barbara Tuchman's universally acclaimed, Pulitzer prize-winning account of how the first thirty days of battle determined the course of the First World War is to this day revered as the classic account of the conflict's opening. From the precipitous plunge into war and the brutal and bloody battles of August 1914, Tuchman shows how events were propelled by a horrific logic which swept all sides up in its unstoppable momentum. Dazzling . (Max Hastings). Magnificent . (Guardian). Fascinating, splendid, glittering. One of the finest works of history . (New York Times). A brilliant achievement . (Sunday Telegraph). Barbara Tuchman achieved prominence as a historian with The Zimmerman Telegram and international fame with the Pulitzer-Prize winning The Guns of August. She is also the author of The Proud Tower, Stilwell and the American Experience in China (also awarded the Pulitzer Prize), A Distant Mirror and The March of Folly. She died in 1989. The Proud Tower and The Zimmerman Telegram are published by Penguin.
In November 1942 - in a devastating counter-attack from outside the city - Soviet forces smashed the German siege and encircled Stalingrad, trapping some 290,000 soldiers of the 6th Army inside. For almost three months, during the harshest part of the Russian winter, the German troops endured atrocious conditions. Freezing cold and reliant on dwindling food supplies from Luftwaffe air drops, thousands died from starvation, frostbite or infection if not from the fighting itself. This important work reconstructs the grim fate of the 6th Army in full for the first time by examining the little-known story of the field hospitals and central dressing stations. The author has trawled through hundreds of previously unpublished reports, interviews, diaries and newspaper accounts to reveal the experiences of soldiers of all ranks, from simple soldiers to generals. The book includes first-hand accounts of soldiers who were wounded or fell ill and were flown out of the encirclement; as well as those who fought to the bitter end and were taken prisoner by the Soviets. They reflect on the severity of the fighting, and reveal the slowly ebbing hopes for survival. Together they provide an illuminating and tragic portrait of the appalling events at Stalingrad.
Towards the end of September 1918 the Allied armies were poised to seize the Hindenburg Line - the end of the war on the Western Front was at last in sight. These final days became a series of battles to capture a number of river lines: as each one was captured by the Allies, the German Army fell back to the next. Despite stiff resistance from the enemy, the Allies slowly advanced. The Germans became increasingly demoralised, and about a quarter of their army surrendered. By the beginning of November the Allies had closed in until they were flanking the Forest of Mormal, surrounding the enemy. On 11 November the Canadian Corps retook Mons and, following the signing of the armistice, the guns finally fell silent at 11 a.m. Covering the six-week period from the Battle of Canal du Nord to Armistice Day, this volume tells the story of the fifty-six VC winners from France, Canada and Britain who fought in the victorious Allied advance.
Have you ever dreamed about flying? Thought so. The story of our ambition to join the birds is as old as we are: the lure of the impossible challenge, the deep-rooted thrill of excitement, the desire to feel free...And even if they haven't always been elegant and smooth, our efforts have been dangerous, exciting, unexpected, spectacular, courageous or just plain brilliant. The Big Book of Flight is a celebration of them all, and a lot more besides, packed with derring-do stories of aviation pioneers as well as fascinating profiles of remarkable planes (and other wondrous projects that never quite got off the drawing board). Along with a unique collection of fantastic flight trivia, crucial mysteries are also answered, such as how do you park an aeroplane? Why does airline food taste so bad? And how do you make the perfect paper dart? Enhanced by stunning photographs and illustrations throughout, The Big Book of Flight promises to surprise, entertain and fire the imaginations of anyone with their head in the clouds.
Tall ships epitomize the glamour, majesty and romance of the sea. This book - supported and endorsed by Sail Training International - is a celebration of tall ships today, shining a spotlight on the world's most interesting and glamorous tall ships, the most spectacular regattas, races and adventurous passages, and the huge array of people who sail on them. With gorgeous photography and absorbing text, the book is divided into four chapters: 1) Origins and Evolution, telling the story of tall ships, giving a fascinating perspective on the impact of the development of international trade, conflict, design, technology and navigation 2) Tall Ships Today, celebrating the diversity of over 100 of the most interesting and famous tall ships in the world, with beautiful photography, key statistics and brief text on their histories 3) The Tall Ships Experience, following life on board and exploring how being part of the crew develops life, leadership and employability skills 4) Racing, Regattas and Passages, with at-sea and in-port photography featuring the most spectacular assemblies of sail that bring tall ships to the attention of millions worldwide With unique access to the very best photography and up to date information, this stunning book showcases just why tall ships continue to inspire and captivate people all over the world. Includes a Preface from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and a Foreword from Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.