ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2015 ----- Ever since the First Fleet dropped anchor, Australia's ports have been our opening to the world. They are also the breeding ground for many of Australia's most notorious criminals, and a magnet for local and overseas criminal syndicates.
This is the story of the crimes, the politics, the characters and the corruption in our nation's ports. From the time of Phillip and Bligh to today, from the gold rushes to modern-day drug smuggling, a criminal element has always found ways to profit from the rise and dominance of waterfront unions.
After a century of Royal Commissions, reports, denials and crackdowns, crime and wrongdoing in Australia's ports remains organised, entrenched and incredibly profitable.
Investigative journalist and former police detective Duncan McNab lifts the lid on the intriguing and chequered history of Australia's waterfront.
ABBEY'S CHOICE AUGUST 2015 ----- In the summer of 1865, when a Confederate warship sailed into the port of Melbourne, 42 men secretly enlisted to fight for the South in the American Civil War. On the notorious raider Shenandoah - scourge of the Yankee merchant fleet - they sailed off to adventure and controversy, and fired the last shot of the war.
When the Shenandoah - a sleek steamer/sailer and one of the fastest ships afloat - dropped anchor in Hobsons Bay, the fledgling colony of Victoria was taken by surprise, and the Confederates had no way of knowing whether they would be hailed as heroes or hanged as pirates.
To the rebels' surprise, Melbourne took them to its heart. Victorians came in their thousands to visit the ship, and its officers were feted as celebrities. They were wined and dined by the city's elite, attended a ball held in their honour, mixed it with Yankee sympathisers in a barroom brawl, and charmed the ladies of Melbourne and Ballarat with their grand Southern manners.
Some 120 Australians are known to have fought in the American Civil War, on both sides. Looking back, it is an uncomfortable thought that Australians could sympathise with a society based on the obscenity of slavery, yet while officialdom in the colonies backed the Union and British neutrality, public opinion generally favoured the South. The gold rush era, during which the Shenandoah arrived, tended to glorify rebel causes, and the Southerners had no difficulty finding willing recruits.
Of the 42 men who signed on in Melbourne as petty officers, seamen and marines, some returned home, others dropped out of sight and one died aboard ship – the last man to die in the service of the Confederacy. This is their story.
As a soldier and general, statesman and empire-builder, Genghis Khan is an almost legendary figure. His remarkable achievements and his ruthless methods have given rise to a sinister reputation. As Chris Peers shows, in this concise and authoritative study, he possessed exceptional gifts as a leader and manager of men - he ranks among the greatest military commanders - but he can only be properly understood in terms of the Mongol society and traditions he was born into. So the military and cultural background of the Mongols, and the nature of steppe societies and their armies, are major themes of his book. He looks in detail at the military skills, tactics and ethos of the Mongol soldiers, and at the advantages and disadvantages they had in combat with the soldiers of more settled societies. His book offers a fascinating fresh perspective on Genghis Khan the man and on the armies he led.
Sumeria, c.3500 BC, witnessed the birth of the world's very first city by the rich and fertile banks of the Uruk. Over the next four millennia, the social and cultural landscape would change beyond recognition as many of history's most important kingdoms and cities took root. Interweaving Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman history, this book follows these burgeoning empires over 4,000 years, examining the delicate balance of power as they vied for territory, conquest and glory. From Alexander the Great's 22,000-mile march on Persia to Attila the Hun's plunder of the Roman empire, John Haywood brings the most crucial battles and decisive campaigns to vivid life, and examines the extraordinary cultural achievements of these civilizations - the first written words, the spectacular works of architecture, the growth of democracy and the spread of religions - that changed our world for ever.
Modern Western European culture would have been impossible without the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome. The disciplines of philosophy, drama, history, and science all owe an immense debt to these two Mediterranean cultures. At the same time, there are aspects of this legacy that are less worthy of celebration. Slavery went hand in hand with democracy. The pursuit of beauty coexisted with breathtaking acts of brutality. This book explores the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the distinctive cultures they produced. It charts the rise and fall of empires as well as examining the intricacies of domestic life. The opening sections of the book give a chronological overview of the ancient world. They orientate the reader to the key places, actors, and historical trends. The remaining chapters focus on some of the most important and influential aspects of Greco-Roman culture including ancient festivals, art, architecture, religion, and medicine.
After surviving the fifth century fall of the Western European Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire flourished as one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe for a thousand years. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Sarris introduces the reader to the unique fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition and Christian faith that took place in the imperial capital of Byzantium under the emperor Constantine and his heirs. Using examples from Byzantine architecture, art and literature, Sarris shows how their legacy was re-worked and re-invented in the centuries ahead, in the face of external challenges and threats. Charting the impact of warfare with the Persian and Islamic worlds to the east, Sarris explores the creativity of Byzantine statecraft and strategy, as well as the empire's repeated (but ultimately forlorn) attempts to enlist aid from the Christian powers of Western Europe to ensure its survival.
Written by the Oxford historian Henrietta Leyser, Bede's England is a gazetteer to the remaining Anglo-Saxon ruins in England, many of them from the time of the Venerable Bede. For those who have bought Simon Jenkins' 100 Best Churches and now want something different, this is an invaluable window onto the world of the author of the Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Concentrating on Bede himself (our most valuable historical source on Anglo Saxon England, and author of books that played a key role in the development of English national identity), this book is an accessible history and a guidebook simultaneously, illustrated with maps and photographs. Since Sr Benedicta Ward's book on Bede, with its endorsement by Rowan Williams, general interest in Anglo-Saxon Britain has been growing. This book serves as a perfect introduction to the subject, and is the only book of its kind.
In the ninth century, Vikings carried out raids on the Christian north and Muslim south of the Iberian peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal), going on to attack North Africa, southern Francia and Italy and perhaps sailing as far as Byzantium. A century later, Vikings killed a bishop of Santiago de Compostela and harried the coasts of al-Andalus. Most of the raids after this date were small in scale, but several heroes of the Old Norse sagas were said to have raided in the peninsula. These Vikings have been only a footnote to the history of the Viking Age. Many stories about their activities survive only in elaborate versions written centuries after the event, and in Arabic. This book reconsiders the Arabic material as part of a dossier that also includes Latin chronicles and charters as well as archaeological and place-name evidence. Arabic authors and their Latin contemporaries remembered Vikings in Iberia in surprisingly similar ways. How they did so sheds light on contemporary responses to Vikings throughout the medieval world.
The ancient Greeks gave us our alphabet and much of our scientific, medical and cultural language; they invented democracy, atomic theory, and the rules of logic and geometry; laid the foundations of philosophy, history, tragedy and comedy; and debated everything from the good life and the role of women, to making sense of foreigners and the best form of government, all in the most sophisticated terms. But who were they?
In Eureka!, Peter Jones tells their epic story, which begins with the Trojan War and ends with the rise of the Roman Empire, by breaking down each major period into a series of informative nuggets. Along the way he introduces the major figures of the age, including Homer, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Euclid and Archimedes; explores the Greek myths and the role of the gods;provides fascinating insights into everyday life in ancient times; and shows us the very foundations of Western culture.
Eureka! is both entertaining and illuminating, and will delight anyone who ever wanted to know more about our ancient ancestors.
The Athens of Socrates's time has gone down in history as the very place where democracy and freedom of speech were born. Yet this city put Socrates, its most famous philosopher, to death. Presumably this was because it citizens did not like what he was teaching. Yet he had been teaching there all his life, unmolested. Why did they wait until he was 70, and had only a few years to live, before executing him? In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over both Roman and Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today.
The fifteenth century experienced the longest and bloodiest series of civil wars in British history. The crown of England changed hands violently five times as the great families of England fought to the death for the right to rule. Some of the greatest heroes and villains in history were thrown together in these chaotic years. Yet efforts were made to maintain some semblance of peace and order, as chivalry was reborn, the printing press arrived, and the Renaissance began to flourish. Following on from Dan Jones' best selling The Plantagenets, The Hollow Crown is a vivid and engrossing history of these turbulent times.
In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city's walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story soon spread that it was a ritual murder, performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion as a mockery of Christianity. The outline of William's tale swiftly gained currency far beyond Norwich, and the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murder became firmly rooted in the European imagination.
E.M Rose's engaging book delves into the story of William's murder and the notorious trial that followed to uncover the origin of the ritual murder accusation-known as the blood libel -in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the specific historical context-the 12th-century reform of the Church, the position of Jews in England, and the Second Crusade-and suspensefully unraveling the facts of the case, Rose makes a powerful argument for why the Norwich Jews (and particularly one Jewish banker) were accused of killing the youth, and how the malevolent blood libel accusation managed to take hold.
She also considers four copycat cases, in which Jews were similarly blamed for the death of young Christians, and traces the adaptations of the story over time. In the centuries after its appearance, the ritual murder accusation provoked instances of torture, death and expulsion of thousands of Jews and the extermination of hundreds of communities. Although no charge of ritual murder has withstood historical scrutiny, the concept of the blood libel is so emotionally charged and deeply rooted in cultural memory that it endures even today.
Rose's groundbreaking work, driven by fascinating characters, a gripping narrative, and impressive scholarship, provides clear answers as to why the blood libel emerged when it did and how it was able to gain such widespread acceptance, laying the foundations for enduring anti-Semitic myths that continue to the present.
This collective memoir is for anyone who has ever wondered why Aboriginal people choose to live in remote communities in the heart of Australia. It is for all who want to truly understand why nyinanyi ngurangka - being on country - is not a "lifestyle choice" but a hard won right, a spiritual and cultural duty, a constant battle, a source of happiness and opportunity and the meaning of life all at the same time. Why some of the poorest Australians consider themselves "rich with my family, rich with my country." From living off the land to negotiating their place in the digital age,Every Hill Got A Story is the first comprehensive history of Central Australia’s Aboriginal people, as told in their own words and their many languages.
Timothy Cook is a maverick artist non-conformist, individualistic, original and inventive, straddling the modern and ancient with confidence. In this stunning monograph prepared by Seva Frangos, she and her fellow four writers attest to his achievements, inhabiting a place and space where innovation might seem impossible against the background of tradition and ritual; where he realigns artistic and cultural boundaries and re-explores being Tiwi. These pages capture the remarkable levels of energy and emotional charge in his painting and provide a brilliant introduction to his vast body of work over two decades in a range of media.
This is the story of Billy Gray, who called himself a blackfella from Bourke . It is the authentic speaking voice of the man. Transcribed from tapes made by his friend of 52 years, he tells of life working as a stockman, drover, fencer, taxi driver, factory labourer, water and oil driller, in Australia and South America and Indonesia. His travels and experiences gave him a deep understanding of the cultures of different peoples. In South America he found for the first time in his life that he could move freely without experiencing that feeling of being an outcast; he just blended in.
When The Chopper Boys was published 20 years ago, there were three editions, one each for Britain, the United States and South Africa. The book sold out in a short time and a revised edition of the work has been asked for many times in recent years from aviation enthusiasts, but in particular from the men and women who flew these beautiful machines. This new edition attempts to plug those holes by including chapters on ongoing hostilities against al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) where the French air force is battling Islamic Jihadis in that country's northern mountains, as well ongoing events in Somalia. Also included is a section on the South African mercenary group Executive Outcomes who fought two successful anti-insurgency campaigns in Angola and Sierra Leone. The author also takes a long, hard look at the future of private military contracting work in the Third World, and specifically the role that chopper gunships are likely to play in future conflagrations on what some people still refer to as the 'Dark Continent'.
Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of the World's Largest Archipelago Indonesia is by far the largest nation in Southeast Asia and one of the largest countries in the world and is fourth largest in terms of population after the United States.
Indonesian history and culture are especially relevant today as the Island nation is an emerging power in the region with a dynamic new leader. It is a land of incredible diversity and unending paradoxes that has a long and rich history stretching back a thousand years and more. Indonesia is the fabled Spice Islands of every school child's dreams - one of the most colorful and fascinating countries in history. These are the islands that Europeans set out on countless voyages of discovery to find and later fought bitterly over in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. This was the land that Christopher Columbus sought and Magellan actually reached and explored. One tiny Indonesian island was even exchanged for the island of Manhattan in 1667!
This fascinating book tells the story of Indonesia as a narrative of kings, traders, missionaries, soldiers and revolutionaries, featuring stormy sea crossings, fiery volcanoes, and the occasional tiger. It recounts the colorful visits of foreign travelers who have passed through these shores for many centuries - from Chinese Buddhist pilgrims and Dutch adventurers to English sea captains and American movie stars.
For readers who want an entertaining introduction to Asia's most fascinating country, this is delightful reading.
Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 March 2015 at the age of 92. This book, which was first published in 1998, tells the story of his life from when the Japanese occupied Singapore in 1941 until 1998 when he was Senior Minister. Based on 13 exclusive interviews held over 30 hours, this book chronicles the events, people and political fortunes that were to shape Lee's view of the world, as well as the path he set for the transformation of Singapore. It delves into the choices he made, the political turnings he took, the insights gained and lessons learnt, some of which were expounded to the authors for the first time, with wit, wisdom, candour and vivid recollection.
A special edition hardcover book and DVD set with more than three hours of rarely seen American footage from the war Mike Lepine creates an extraordinary, panoramic view of all sides of the war. His narrative begins well before American forces set foot in Vietnam, delving into French colonialism's contribution to the 1945 Vietnamese revolution, and revealing how the Cold War concerns of the 1950s led the United States to back the French. The heart of the book covers the American war, ranging from the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem and the impact of the Tet Offensive to Nixon's expansion of the war into Cambodia and Laos and the peace agreement of 1973 which resulted in the ending of the conflict in 1975. This illustrated book and three DVD set provides an extensive examination of the brutal conflict that was the Vietnam War. The DVDs feature Billy Brown, a young American recruit who is the guiding thread of these powerful and unusual films put together from American archive material left forgotten or subject to censorship until now.
When Harold Bell Lasseter disappeared it could have been the end of a mystery that began the day he staggered out of the desert at the turn of the 20th century, almost dead, his pockets bulging with gold, claiming to have found a 15 kilometre gold reef.
It was mystery that deepened when he and a surveyor returned to the isolated and mysterious Petermann Ranges where the reef was supposed to be located - and couldn't find it. It became legendary when the largest inland expedition since Burke and Wills was launched and, from the start, like Burke and Wills, was doomed because the partners only had one thing in common: greed.
Here, Warren Brown vividly recreates the drama of the search - the characters, the fights, the soaring temperatures, the impossible terrain, the plane crash, the pistol-carrying dingo-skinner who appeared out of nowhere. He also asks just who was this man Lasseter? A one-time sailor, a bigamist, a man who claimed John Bradfield stole his plans for a single span bridge to cross Sydney Harbour - was he also a very, very good liar?
The entries in Lasseter's diaries suggest he did find the gold, but that by then it was too late. The expedition had finished, he was alone and what he needed was food. Or did he? Was the body they found even his? What did happen to his vast, lost treasure? Did it ever exist? Does it still exist?
A gripping story of an outback legend, a myth and, perhaps, a field of gold - there for the taking?
The story of Changi, told by those who lived through it. In the tradition of The Anzac Book comes this fascinating collection of accounts of life in the notorious Changi prison camp. Changi is synonymous with suffering, hardship and the Australian prisoner-of-war experience in WWII. It is also a story of ingenuity, resourcefulness and survival. Containing essays, cartoons, paintings, and photographs created by prisoners of war, The Changi Book provides a unique view of the camp: life-saving medical innovation, machinery and tools created from spare parts and scrap, black-market dealings, sport and gambling, theatre productions, and the creation of a library and university. Seventy years after its planned publication, material for The Changi Book was rediscovered in the Australian War Memorial archives. It appears here for the first time along with insights from the Memorial's experts.
Australian and New Zealand special forces are renowned for their bravery, their skill and their sense of duty - so much so that World War II Allied commanders turned to ANZAC soldiers, sailors and airmen to carry out the most dangerous and virtually impossible missions behind enemy lines.
Paddling canoes 4,000 kilometres to attack enemy ships in Singapore; lightning raids on Rommel's forces in the deserts of North Africa. Flying bombers at tree-top level deep into Nazi Germany to destroy vital targets; rescuing sultans and future US presidents from under the noses of the Japanese and playing crucial roles in the greatest commando raid of the war at St Nazaire - the Aussies and Kiwis were there.
The special forces showed incredible bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. They were determined to complete their missions. Often alone and far behind enemy lines, they demonstrated resourcefulness, spirit and a humanity that inspired others to follow them.
Frank Walker, author of bestselling books on the Vietnam War and the British atomic tests in Australia, brings to life the amazing exploits and extraordinary stories of this select band of heroes.
On the afternoon of 18 August 1966, just five kilometres from the main Australian Task Force base at Nui Dat, a group of Viet Cong soldiers walked into the right flank of Delta Company, 6 RAR. Under a blanket of mist and heavy monsoon rain, amid the mud and shattered rubber trees, a dispersed Company of 108 men held its ground with courage and grim determination against a three sided attack from a force of 2,500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army troops.
When the battle subsided, 17 Australian soldiers lay dead, 24 had been wounded of which one died 9 days later. Battlefield clearance revealed 245 enemy bodies with captured documents later confirming the count at over 500 enemy killed and 800 wounded.
These men were led by a gruff and gusty perfectionist, Major Harry Smith. Now, some 47 years after the battle, Harry tells his story for the first time. But this book is more than just an account of a historic battle. Harry Smith takes his readers on an extraordinary journey — one that ultimately reveals a remarkable cover-up at the highest military and political echelons.
Written in partnership with award-winning journalist Toni McRae, Long Tan A lifelong battle is also Harry’s life story and portrays his many personal battles, from failed marriages to commando-style killing; from a horrific parachute accident through to his modern-day struggles with bureaucracy for recognition for his soldiers. Harry’s battles are tempered by his love of sailing, where he has at last found some peace.Long Tan A lifelong battle portrays the wrenching, visceral experience of a man who has fought lifelong battles, in a story that he is only now able to tell. Harry can still hear the gunfire and smell the blood spilt at Long Tan. For him, the fight continues.
The Cambridge History of Australia offers a comprehensive view of Australian history from its pre-European origins to the present day.
Over two volumes, this major work of reference tells the nation's social, political and cultural story. Each volume is divided into two parts. The first part offers a chronological treatment of the period, while the second examines the period in light of key themes, such as law, religion, the economy and the environment.
Both volumes feature detailed maps, chronologies and lists of further reading. Volume 1 examines Australia's indigenous and colonial history through to the Federation of the colonies in 1901.
This is a lively and systematic account of Australia's history, incorporating the work of more than sixty leading historians. It is an ideal work of reference for students, scholars and general readers.
The Cambridge History of Australia offers a comprehensive view of Australian history from its pre-European origins to the present day.
Over two volumes, this major work of reference tells the nation's social, political and cultural story. Each volume is divided into two parts. The first part offers a chronological treatment of the period, while the second examines the period in light of key themes, such as law, religion, the economy and the environment.
Both volumes feature detailed maps, chronologies and lists of further reading. Volume 1 examines Australia's indigenous and colonial history through to the Federation of the colonies in 1901.
This is a lively and systematic account of Australia's history, incorporating the work of more than sixty leading historians. It is an ideal work of reference for students, scholars and general readers.
Set in Sydney in the first decade of the 1900s, Long Bay is based on the true case of a young female abortionist who was convicted of manslaughter and served out her sentence in the newly opened Long Bay Women’s Reformatory - the first of its kind in Australia. The woman, Rebecca Sinclair, was pregnant when she went to prison. Long Bay looks at how Rebecca became involved in the burgeoning illegal abortion racket in Edwardian-era Sydney and how she was drawn into Donald Sinclair’s underworld. In unadorned prose, it examines the limiting effects of poverty, the mistakes we make for love, and the bond between mother and child.
'For much of its history Australia has been described as riding on the sheep's back... but if the country rode on anyone's back, it was on the aching, creaking, flexing spines of Australian shearers.'
Armed with their blades, a sense of adventure and a relentless work ethic, shearers have been a fundamental part of Australia's outback for centuries. From legendary figures such as blade shearing record-holder Jack Howe and fearless union man and poet Julian Stuart, to today's young guns having to adapt to a rapidly changing industry, these rugged, resilient and proud characters have influenced the social landscape and folklore of the country. Shearers contributed to the formation of both the Labor and National parties, while Australia's national song, 'Waltzing Matilda', was written on a Queensland sheep station.
Expert outback chronicler Evan McHugh - author of bestselling titles such as The Drovers and Outback Heroes - presents the definitive history of these men, bringing to life the toil, tumult and toughness of the shearing life, and the effect it has had on Australia's national character.
They were young, they were tough and they were everywhere. They were both the backyard builders and the frontline troops in Australia's war against the Taliban. This is the powerful story of the sappers, the Army engineers in Afghanistan whose raw courage and skills were inspired by the original Australian Tunnel Rats of the war in Vietnam. These Tunnel Rats of Afghanistan have rooted out the enemy from deep inside their caves and mountain hideouts, have defused thousands of improvised explosive devices (the booby traps and landmines of this most recent of wars), built bridges and schools to win a war of hearts and minds, and fought side by side with special forces commandos and SAS troops. They, too, lost a disproportionate number of their comrades and many returned home with the devastating baggage of war, post-traumatic stress disorder. Inspiring and action packed, this is the story of a special breed of soldier operating in a modern war against an enemy with medieval morals ...and bombs triggered by mobile phones. It is a story that connects the unsung heroes of Vietnam with the modern heroes of Afghanistan.
On 25 April 1915, Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in present-day Turkey to secure the sea route between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. After eight months of terrible fighting, they would fail. Turkey regards the victory to this day as a defining moment in its history, a heroic last stand in the defence of the nation's Ottoman Empire. But, counter-intuitively, it would signify something perhaps even greater for the defeated Australians and New Zealanders involved: the birth of their countries' sense of nationhood. Now approaching its centenary, the Gallipoli campaign, commemorated each year on Anzac Day, reverberates with importance as the origin and symbol of Australian and New Zealand identity. As such, the facts of the battle - which was minor against the scale of the First World War and cost less than a sixth of the Australian deaths on the Western Front - are often forgotten or obscured. Peter FitzSimons, with his trademark vibrancy and expert melding of writing and research, recreates the disaster as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt.
Lost Melbourne looks at the cherished places in the city that time, fashion and progress have swept aside - the old cinemas, the outdated hotels, the Victorian buildings in the wrong place. Organised chronologically from the date of loss, the book looks back at all kinds of Melbourne institutions that have vanished from the city's cultural and architectural life. Included in the book are sites such as the palatial Federal Coffee House, the original location of the Burke and Wills statue, the horse-racing track in Albert Park, old Spencer Street Station, the original grandstand of the MCG, large areas of Victoria Docks, the Fish Market, Western Market and Hegarty's Royal Gymnasium Baths at St.Kilda.
Political Vision provides a behind-the-scenes view of Australian politics from the 1970s to 2000s, from Whitlam to Abbott, framing the past in a series of unforgettable images, and providing an unflinching look at the election process while reflecting upon the changing face of the political landscape in Australia.
First published in 1920, The Australian Victories in France in 1918 immediately garnered glowing praise as one of the most entertaining and informative accounts of war ever written. It is now recognised as one of the most important records of World War I, revealing the critical role Australians played on the Western Front.
General Sir John Monash, regarded as the best allied commander of World War I, records his experiences leading a series of victories that turned the tide of the war, from the defence of Amiens, to the battle of August 8th and the breaking of the Hindenburg Line. He reveals the challenges he faced in leading tens of thousands of troops, and the decision-making and innovations in the field that led to their success.
Republished in full, this edition features a new foreword by Bruce Haigh, colour reproductions of the original maps that were hand-drawn under Monash's supervision, and new photos.
Perth, 1899: a respected public servant mistakes a bottle of cyanide for his heart medicine, swallows it and dies.
Months later on the other side of the country, a prisoner of Pentridge gaol with the same name as the deceased reads of the inquest with alarm. He writes to the coroner with his suspicions: the supposedly upstanding government accountant was an impostor - an ex-con - who had stolen his identity and deceived people at the highest level.
The claims sent the authorities into a spin; who really was the deceased? Was it possible he was the bushranger known as 'Captain Starlight' who, thirty years earlier, had callously murdered a policeman and been sentenced to hang? How had he pulled off the subterfuge and what other secrets remained hidden? As the investigation unfolds, the remarkable life and crimes of Captain Starlight, committed across four states of Australia under countless aliases, are revealed.
In The English and their History, the first full-length account to appear in one volume for many decades, Robert Tombs gives us the history of the English people, and of how the stories they have told about themselves have shaped them, from the prehistoric 'dreamtime' through to the present day.
If a nation is a group of people with a sense of kinship, a political identity and representative institutions, then the English have a claim to be the oldest nation in the world. They first came into existence as an idea, before they had a common ruler and before the country they lived in even had a name. They have lasted as a recognizable entity ever since, and their defining national institutions can be traced back to the earliest years of their history. The English have come a long way from those precarious days of invasion and conquest, with many spectacular changes of fortune. Their political, economic and cultural contacts have left traces for good and ill across the world.
This book describes their history and its meanings from their beginnings in the monasteries of Northumbria and the wetlands of Wessex to the cosmopolitan energy of today's England.
Robert Tombs draws out important threads running through the story, including participatory government, language, law, religion, the land and the sea, and ever-changing relations with other peoples. Not the least of these connections are the ways the English have understood their own history, have argued about it, forgotten it, and yet been shaped by it. These diverse and sometimes conflicting understandings are an inherent part of their identity. Rather to their surprise, as ties within the United Kingdom loosen, the English are suddenly beginning a new period in their long history. Especially at times of change, history can help us to think about the sort of people we are and wish to be.
This book, the first single-volume work on this scale for more than half a century, and which incorporates a wealth of recent scholarship, presents a challenging modern account of this immense and continuing story, bringing out the strength and resilience of English government, the deep patterns of division, and yet also the persistent capacity to come together in the face of danger.
This book is Short-listed for the Duff Cooper Prize. As the Napoleonic wars raged, what was life really like for those left at home? Award-winning social historian Jenny Uglow reveals the colourful and turbulent everyday life of Georgian Britain through the diaries, letters and records of farmers, bankers, aristocrats and mill-workers. Here, lost voices of ordinary people are combined with those of figures we know, from Austen and Byron to Turner and Constable. In These Times movingly tells the story of how people really lived in one of the most momentous and exciting periods in history.
Step back in time and discover the sights, sounds and smells of London through the ages in this enthralling journey into the capital's rich, teeming and occasionally hazardous past. London: A Travel Guide Through Time is easily the most engaging social history of the capital since the books of Liza Picard a decade ago. (Londonist). Let time traveller Dr Matthew. Green be your guide to six extraordinary periods in London's history - the ages of Shakespeare, medieval city life, plague, coffee houses, the reign of Victoria and the Blitz. We'll turn back the clock to the time of Shakespeare and visit a savage bull and bear baiting arena on the Bankside. In medieval London, we'll circle the walls as the city lies barricaded under curfew, while spinning further forward in time we'll inhale the 'holy herb' in an early tobacco house, before peering into an open plague pit. In the 18th century, we'll navigate the streets in style with a ride on a sedan chair, and when we land in Victorian London, we'll take a tour of freak-show booths and meet the Elephant Man. You'll meet pornographers and traitors, actors and apothecaries, the mad, bad and dangerous to know, all desperate to show you the thrilling and vibrant history of the world's liveliest city.
25 October 2015 is the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt - a hugely resonant event in English (and French) history. Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event, revealing that three of his own ancestors fought in the battle for Henry V, and at least one for the French.
This is a unique perspective on Agincourt from a trained and decorated soldier. Ran reveals the truth behind the myths and legends of the battle. He tells how after the battle Henry V entertained his senior commanders to dinner, where they were waited on by captured French knights. There is the story of Sir Piers Legge of Lyme Hall, who lay wounded in the mud while his mastiff dog fought off the French men-at-arms. Then there is the legend that the French intended to cut off the first and second right hand fingers of every captured archer, to prevent him from using his bow. The archers raised those two fingers to the advancing French as a gesture of defiance.
In this gripping new study Sir Ranulph Fiennes brings back to life these stories and more, including those of his own ancestors, in a celebration of a historical event integral to English identity.
The Victorians risked more than just delays when boarding a steam train... Victorian inventors certainly didn't lack steam, but while they squabbled over who deserved the title of 'The Father of the Locomotive' and enjoyed their fame and fortune, safety on the rails was not their priority. Brakes were seen as a needless luxury and boilers had an inconvenient tendency to overheat and explode, and in turn, blow up anyone in reach. Often recognised as having revolutionised travel and industrial Britain, Victorian railways were perilous. Disease, accidents and disasters accounted for thousands of deaths and many more injuries. While history has focused on the triumph of engineers, the victims of the Victorian railways had names, lives and families and they deserve to be remembered...
The extraordinary story of the Druce-Portland affair, one of the most notorious, tangled and bizarre legal cases of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. In 1897 an elderly widow, Anna Maria Druce, made a strange request of the London Ecclesiastical Court: it was for the exhumation of the grave of her late father-in-law, T.C. Druce. Behind her application lay a sensational claim: that Druce had been none other than the eccentric and massively wealthy 5th Duke of Portland, and that the - now dead - Duke had faked the death of his alter ego. When opened, Anna Maria contended, Druce's coffin would be found to be empty. And her children, therefore, were heirs to the Portland millions. The legal case that followed would last for ten years. Its eventual outcome revealed a dark underbelly of lies lurking beneath the genteel facade of late Victorian England.
David Kynaston's history of post-war Britain has so far taken us from the radically reforming Labour governments of the late 1940s in Austerity Britain and through the growing prosperity of Family Britain's more placid 1950s. Now Modernity Britain 1957-62 sees the coming of a new Zeitgeist as Kynaston gets up close to a turbulent era in which the speed of social change accelerated.
The late 1950s to early 1960s was an action-packed, often dramatic time in which the contours of modern Britain began to take shape. These were the 'never had it so good' years, when the Carry On film series got going, and films like Room at the Top and the first soaps like Coronation Street and Z Cars brought the working class to the centre of the national frame; when CND galvanised the progressive middle class; when 'youth' emerged as a cultural force; when the Notting Hill riots made race and immigration an inescapable reality; and when 'meritocracy' became the buzz word of the day.
In this period, the traditional norms of morality were perceived as under serious threat (Lady Chatterley's Lover freely on sale after the famous case), and traditional working-class culture was changing (wakes weeks in decline, the end of the maximum wage for footballers). The greatest change, though, concerned urban redevelopment: city centres were being yanked into the age of the motor car, slum clearance was intensified, and the skyline became studded with brutalist high-rise blocks. Some of this transformation was necessary, but too much would destroy communities and leave a harsh, fateful legacy.
This profoundly important story of the transformation of Britain as it arrived at the brink of a new world is brilliantly told through diaries, letters newspapers and a rich haul of other sources and published in one magnificent paperback volume for the first time.
In the bleak moments after defeat on mainland Europe in winter 1939, Winston Churchill knew that Britain had to strike back hard. So Britain's wartime leader called for the lightning development of a completely new kind of warfare, recruiting a band of eccentric free-thinking warriors to become the first 'deniable' secret operatives to strike behind enemy lines, offering these volunteers nothing but the potential for glory and all-but-certain death. Churchill's Secret Warriors tells the story of the daring victories for this small force of 'freelance pirates', undertaking devastatingly effective missions against the Nazis, often dressed in enemy uniforms and with enemy kit, breaking all previously held rules of warfare. Master storyteller Damien Lewis brings the adventures of the secret unit to life, weaving together the stories of the soldiers' brotherhood in this compelling narrative, from the unit's earliest missions to the death of their leader just weeks before the end of the war.
Family history is a massive phenomenon of our times but what are we after when we go in search of our ancestors? Beginning with her grandparents, Alison Light moves between the present and the past, in an extraordinary series of journeys over two centuries, across Britain and beyond. Epic in scope and deep in feeling, Common People is a family history but also a new kind of public history, following the lives of the migrants who travelled the country looking for work. Original and eloquent, it is a timely rethinking of who the English were - but ultimately it reflects on history itself, and on our constant need to know who went before us and what we owe them.
Drawing on a wealth of contemporary source material, The Bishop's Brothels is a fascinating social history of how commercial sex has been bought and sold in London for over a thousand years.
The Bankside Brothels, or 'stewes', were a celebrated feature of London life since Roman times. Located on the south side of the River Thames, in the Bishop of Winchester's 'Liberty of the Clink', they were a highly lucrative source of revenue for the Church. In AD 1161 a royal decree ordered that these establishments be licensed and regulated. For many years they attracted the great and the not-so-good, helping to make Southwark the 'pleasure-garden' of London.
But who were the people of the Bankside Brothels? What living conditions did they have to endure? How did women cope with the constant threat of violence, unwanted pregnancy and venereal disease? The streets of Southwark and those who walked them are vividly brought to life in this richly researched exploration of the history of this stretch of the Thames over the centuries.
Through the stories of those who lived and worked in this fascinating part of London, we can begin to gain an understanding of a crucial but hitherto neglected aspect of the social history of England.
Maids, Wives, Widows is a lively exploration of the everyday lives of women in early modern England, from 1540-1740. The book uncovers details of how women filled their days, what they liked to eat and drink, what jobs they held, and how they raised their children.
With chapters devoted to beauty regimes, fashion, and literature, the book also examines the cultural as well as the domestic aspect of early modern women's lives. Further, the book answers questions such as how women understood and dealt with their monthly periods and what it was like to give birth in a time before modern obstetric care was available.
The book also highlights key moments in women's history such as the publication in 1671, of the first midwifery guide by an English woman, Jane Sharp. The turmoil caused by the Civil Wars of the 1640s gave rise to a number of religious sects in which women participated to a surprising extent and some of their stories are included in this book. Also scrutinised are cases of notorious criminals such as murderer Sarah Malcolm and confidence trickster Mary Toft who pretended to give birth to rabbits.
Overall the book describes the experiences of women over a two hundred year period noting the changes and continuities of daily life during this fascinating era.
Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian's chief culture writer, steps behind the polished doors of Broadcasting House and investigates the BBC. Based on her hugely popular essay series, this personal journey answers the questions that rage around this vulnerable, maddening and uniquely British institution. Questions such as, what does the BBC mean to us now? What are the threats to its continued existence? Is it worth fighting for? Higgins traces its origins, celebrating the early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the BBC today. She explores how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad. She shows how controversy is in its DNA and brings us right up to date through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, and she sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals. This is a deeply researched, lyrically written, intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.
Adam Zamoyski first wrote his history of Poland two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. This substantially revised and updated edition sets the Soviet era in the context of the rise, fall and remarkable rebirth of an indomitable nation. In 1797, Russia, Prussia and Austria divided Poland among themselves, rewriting Polish history to show that they had brought much-needed civilisation to a primitive backwater. But the country they wiped off the map had been one of Europe's largest and most richly varied, born of diverse cultural traditions and one of the boldest constitutional experiments ever attempted. Its destruction ultimately led to two world wars and the Cold War. Zamoyski's fully revised history of Poland looks back over a thousand years of turmoil and triumph, chronicling how Poland has been restored at last to its rightful place in Europe.
Many see China's rise as a threat to U.S. leadership in Asia and beyond. Thomas J. Christensen argues instead that the real challenge lies in dissuading China from regional aggression while eliciting its global cooperation. Drawing on decades of scholarship and experience as a senior diplomat, Christensen offers a deep perspective on China's military and economic capacity. Assessing China's political outlook and strategic goals, Christensen shows how nationalism and the threat of domestic instability influence the party's decisions about regional and global affairs. If China obstructs international efforts to confront nuclear proliferation, civil conflicts, financial instability, and climate change, those efforts will likely fail; but if China merely declines to support such efforts, the problems will grow vastly more complicated. Articulating a balanced strategic approach along with perceptive historical analysis, Christensen describes how we might shape China's choices in the coming decades so that it contributes more to the international system from which it benefits so much.
This is a lavish pictorial record produced in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). It features 200 unique photographs taken by Isabella Bird that transport the reader to the China of the late 19th century. It includes supporting text by travel photography expert Debbie Ireland. Ammonite Press is proud to collaborate with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in celebrating the achievements of Isabella Bird in this lavish pictorial record of her last great journey through China, in the closing years of the 19th century, with supporting text by travel photography expert Debbie Ireland. Bird was in her mid-sixties when she undertook her travels, to a land that was largely unknown and largely misunderstood in the West, where a woman travelling alone was greeted with incredulity and, occasionally, hostility. The highlight of her visit was journeying by boat and sedan chair to make a major tour of the valley of the Yangtze River and much beyond, right up to the border with Tibet.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.
Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europe's first great walking city.
A century of planned development made Paris both beautiful and exciting. It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. And it gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. By 1700, Paris had become the capital that would revolutionize our conception of the city and of urban life.
Set in Renaissance France at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, The Rival Queens is the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm.
Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forced the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then used her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his Huguenot followers to their deaths, she created not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Rich in historical detail and vivid prose, Nancy Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic.
Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a story whose fascinating array of characters include such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. From Catherine's early struggles with her husband's exquisite mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and her exultant rise to power, through Marguerite's poignant sacrifice of love and happiness to save her husband's life, and ultimately to the political awakening that leads to a threat to her very survival, The Rival Queens is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.
This unique and atmospheric volume presents the dramatic story of Napoleon's escape from Elba and his march on Paris in the words of eyewitnesses and participants. Drawing on hundreds of first-hand accounts by Napoleon's supporters and opponents, Paul Britten Austin recreates the drama of those tumultuous days of the spring of 1815: Napoleon's dramatic landing at Antibes in the south of France, the first heady days of his arrival after almost a year of exile, his almost miraculous march across France, his arrival in Paris, and the coup which led to the fall of the Bourbons. Paul Britten Austin's technique, so brilliantly presented in his 1812 trilogy on Napoleon's invasion of Russia, brings historical events to life and gives a dramatic insight into the hopes and fears of the French nation in that spring of 1815.
'This must undoubtedly become the standard work for anyone interested in the artillery of the period.' Waterloo Journal In this detailed study Kevin Kiley looks at artillery in use throughout the Napoleonic period. He examines Napoleon's own artillery as well as that employed by his enemies, and he evaluates the gunners' contribution to warfare in the period. By looking at particular battles in detail, Kevin Kiley shows just how the effective employment of artillery could tip the scales of victory. Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars reveals much of the technical aspects of gunnery during the period - how guns were placed, their range, what calibres were preferred, how artillery operate. It examines French artillery, including that of the Imperial Guard, and compares it to that of Britain, Russia and Austria; it also looks at many of the personalities involved and the difference between good gunnery and mediocre artillery. Illustrated with beautiful line drawings and rare contemporary plates this unique book reveals a whole new dimension to the Napoleonic period. Based on years of research into regulations of the period, eyewitness accounts of artillerymen and material culled from official reports, this is a definitive account.
As the Allies attempted to break out of Normandy, it quickly became apparent that there would be no easy victory over the Germans, and that every scrap of territory on the way to Berlin would have to be earned through hard fighting. This study concentrates on the ferocious battles between the German Panzer IV and US Sherman that were at the heart of this decisive phase of World War II. The two types were among the most-produced tanks in US and German service and were old enemies, having clashed repeatedly in the Mediterranean theater. Throughout their long service careers, both had seen a succession of technical developments and modifications, as well as an evolution in their intended roles - but both remained at the forefront of the fighting on the Western Front. Written by an expert on tank warfare, this book invites the reader into the cramped confines of these armoured workhorses, employing vivid technical illustrations alongside archive and contemporary photography to depict the conditions for the crewmen within.
'More than 70 years ago I was a gift for Adolf Hitler. I was stolen as a baby to be part of one of the most terrible of all Nazi experiments: Lebensborn.' The Lebensborn programme was the brainchild of Himmler: an extraordinary plan to create an Aryan master race, leaving behind thousands of displaced victims in the wake of the Nazi regime. In 1942 Erika, a baby girl from Sauerbrunn in Yugoslavia, was taken for a 'medical' examination by the Nazi occupiers. Declared an 'Aryan', she was removed from her mother and held in a children's home; her true identity erased, she became Ingrid von Oelhafen. Later, as Ingrid began to uncover her true identity, the full scale of the Lebensborn scheme and the Nazi obsession with bloodlines became clear - including the kidnapping of up to half a million babies like her, and the deliberate murder of children born into the programme who were deemed 'substandard'. Written with insight and compassion, this is a powerful meditation on the personal legacy of Hitler's vision, of Germany's brutal past and of a divided Europe that for many years struggled to come to terms with its own history.If you would like to listen to the authors talk on their book, they are making the following radio appearances: BBC Radio 4 Midweek (broadcast on the 20 May) BBC Radio Wales - Roy Noble Show (broascast on the 24 May) BBC Radio Scotland - Culture Cafe (broadcast on the 19 May) BBC Radio Berkshire - Paul Ross Show (broadcast on the 20 May) Radio Gorgeous (yet to be scheduled)
The Oxford History of Historical Writing is a five-volume series that explores representations of the past from the beginnings of writing to the present day and from all over the world. Volume I offers essays by leading scholars on the development and history of the major traditions of historical writing, including the ancient Near East, Classical Greece and Rome, and East and South Asia from their origins until c. AD 600. It provides both an authoritative survey of the field and an unrivalled opportunity to make cross-cultural comparisons.
How was history written in Europe and Asia between 400-1400? How was the past understood in religious, social and political terms? And in what ways does the diversity of historical writing in this period mask underlying commonalities in narrating the past? The volume, which assembles 28 contributions from leading historians, tackles these and other questions. Part I provides comprehensive overviews of the development of historical writing in societies that range from the Korean Peninsula to north-west Europe, which together highlight regional and cultural distinctiveness. Part II complements the first part by taking a thematic and comparative approach; it includes essays on genre, warfare, and religion (amongst others) which address common concerns of historians working in this liminal period before the globalizing forces of the early modern world.
Volume III of The Oxford History of Historical Writing contains essays by leading scholars on the writing of history globally during the early modern era, from 1400 to 1800. The volume proceeds in geographic order from east to west, beginning in Asia and ending in the Americas. It aims at once to provide a selective but authoritative survey of the field and, where opportunity allows, to provoke cross-cultural comparisons. This is the third of five volumes in a series that explores representations of the past from the beginning of writing to the present day, and from all over the world.
Volume 4 of The Oxford History of Historical Writing offers essays by leading scholars on the writing of history globally from 1800 to 1945. Divided into four parts, it first covers the rise, consolidation, and crisis of European historical thought, and the professionalization and institutionalization of history. The chapters in Part II analyze how historical scholarship connected to various European national traditions. Part III considers the historical writing of Europe's 'Offspring': the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil, and Spanish South America. The concluding part is devoted to histories of non-European cultural traditions: China, Japan, India, South East Asia, Turkey, the Arab world, and Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the fourth of five volumes in a series that explores representations of the past from the beginning of writing to the present day, and from all over the world. This volume aims at once to provide an authoritative survey of the field, and especially to provoke cross-cultural comparisons.
The fifth volume of The Oxford History of Historical Writing offers essays by leading scholars on the writing of history globally since 1945. Divided into two parts, part one selects and surveys theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches to history, and part two examines select national and regional historiographies throughout the world. It aims at once to provide an authoritative survey of the field and to provoke cross-cultural comparisons. This is chronologically the last of five volumes in a series that explores representations of the past across the globe from the beginning of writing to the present day.
Nobody expected the liberation of India and birth of Pakistan to be so bloody - it was supposed to be an answer to the dreams of Muslims and Hindus who had been ruled by the British for centuries. Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi's protege and the political leader of India, believed Indians were an inherently nonviolent, peaceful people. Pakistan's founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular lawyer, not a firebrand. But in August 1946, exactly a year before Independence, Calcutta erupted in street-gang fighting. A cycle of riots - targeting Hindus, then Muslims, then Sikhs - spiraled out of control. As the summer of 1947 approached, all three groups were heavily armed and on edge, and the British rushed to leave. Hell let loose. Trains carried Muslims west and Hindus east to their slaughter. Some of the most brutal and widespread ethnic cleansing in modern history erupted on both sides of the new border, searing a divide between India and Pakistan that remains a root cause of many evils. From jihadi terrorism to nuclear proliferation, the searing tale told in Midnight's Furies explains all too many of the headlines we read today.
This book offers a searing cultural history of the remarkable generation who transformed Ireland, from R. F. Foster. It was the winner of the times Literary Supplement Books of the Year and Observer Books of the year 2014.
Vivid Faces surveys the lives and beliefs of the people who made the Irish Revolution: linked together by youth, radicalism, subversive activities, enthusiasm and love. Determined to reconstruct the world and defining themselves against their parents, they were in several senses a revolutionary generation. The Ireland that eventually emerged bore little relation to the brave new world they had conjured up in student societies, agit-prop theatre groups, vegetarian restaurants, feminist collectives, volunteer militias, Irish-language summer schools, and radical newspaper offices. Roy Foster's book investigates that world, and the extraordinary people who occupied it. Looking back from old age, one of the most magnetic members of the revolutionary generation reflected that 'the phoenix of our youth has fluttered to earth a miserable old hen', but he also wondered 'how many people nowadays get so much fun as we did'.
Working from a rich trawl of contemporary diaries, letters and reflections, Vivid Faces re-creates the argumentative, exciting, subversive and original lives of people who made a revolution, as well as the disillusionment in which it ended.
The war between the fertile Stewarts and the barren Tudors was crucial to the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth century.
The legendary struggle, most famously embodied by the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, was fuelled by three generations of powerful Tudor and Stewart monarchs. It was the marriage of Margaret Tudor, elder sister of Henry VIII, to James IV of Scotland in 1503 that gave the Tudors a claim to the English throne - a claim which became the acknowledged ambition of Mary Queen of Scots and a major factor in her downfall.
Here is the story of divided families, of flamboyant kings and queens, cultured courts and tribal hatreds, blood feuds, rape and sexual license, of battles and violent deaths. It brings alive a neglected aspect of British history - the blood-spattered steps of two small countries on the northern fringes of Europe towards the union of their crowns.
Beginning with the dramatic victories of two usurpers, Henry VII in England and James IV in Scotland, in the late fifteenth century, Linda Porter's Tudors Versus Stewarts sheds new light on Henry VIII, his daughter Elizabeth I and on his great-niece, Mary Queen of Scots, still seductive more than 400 years after her death.
Which Scottish anti-slavery campaigner lost a son in a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War? Was the enemy of Scotland's first 'freedom fighter' not England, but ancient Rome? What was the laboratory accident that led to one of the greatest discoveries in modern medicine? How did the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 influence the legal foundation of the greatest superpower the world has ever seen? Which singing superstar overcame a learning difficulty to become a worldwide inspiration?
The answers to these and many other questions can be found in Great Scottish Heroes, covering 2,000 years of Scottish history and encompassing outstanding leaders in a broad range of pursuits, including the arts, exploration, medicine, sport, religion and politics. Even a brief list of Scottish inventions shows the nation's influence upon our world: television, penicillin, the steam engine, the telephone, the vacuum flask, to name only a few.
Scotland has for centuries produced a great number of exceptional, heroic individuals out of all proportion to its small population and geographical size. This concise but wide-ranging book offers biographies of fifty Scottish heroes and heroines, but in truth there are a hundred others, and more, who would qualify for inclusion. These men and women helped to shape the world, and continue to do so today. Great Scottish Heroes shows how they achieved such remarkable success. If you are a Scot by birth, descent, or adoption, this book will make you even prouder of your countrymen. If you are not Scottish, you will wish you were.
As an antidote to more sober accounts of Scotland's history, Ian Crofon offers a colourful chronology of the eccentric, the infamous, the bawdy, the horrific and the hilarious people and events that have spattered across the pages of our nation's story. From the Royal High School riot to Marocco the Wonder Horse, from the War of the One-Eyed Woman to the MP cleared of stealing his ex-mistress's knickers, A History of Scotland Without the Boring Bits includes a host of little-known tales that you won't find in more conventional works of history, including the chatelaine who struck a general over the head with a leg of mutton, the cow that gave birth to fourteen puppies, the clan chief who ripped out the throat of his enemy with his teeth, the surgeon who was so fast with the saw that he inadvertently took off his patient's testicles as well as his leg, the mathematician who calculated that the Christian religion would finally disappear in the year 3153. Ian Crofton's alternative history of Scotland looks at the country's seedy underbelly with a quizzical eye. It is full of the mischievous humour and lightly-worn scholarship so praised by the critics in his Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable.
From Cosa Nostra to Bunga Bunga... People the world over are appalled and fascinated in equal measure by the stratospheric political career of the tycoon and three-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In Being Berlusconi, Michael Day examines the life and crimes of the shameless media mogul. He tells the story of a bright and ambitious man from a lower-middle-class family who shook off his humble origins and rose to become rich and powerful beyond most people's dreams, a multi-billionaire whose Mediaset company remains one of Europe's largest television and cinema conglomerates. Along the way, amid the election victories and business triumphs, he became bogged down by his hubris, egotism and sexual obsessions - and his flagrant disregard for the law.
How and why did Italy and Italians put up with him for so long? With the 78-year-old's legal woes ongoing, Being Berlusconi: The Rise and Fall from Cosa Nostra to Bunga Bunga is well-timed to mark the final chapters of a notorious - and astonishing - life and career.
The passionate, gripping true story of one man's single-minded quest to reclaim what the Nazis stole from his family – their beloved art collection – and to restore their legacy.
Simon Goodman's grandparents came from German-Jewish banking dynasties, and perished in concentration camps. That's almost all he knew about them – his father rarely spoke of their family history or heritage. But when he passed away, and Simon received his father's old papers, a story began to emerge.
The Gutmanns rose from a small Bohemian hamlet to become one of Germany's most powerful banking families. They also amassed a magnificent, world-class art collection that included works by Degas, Renoir, Botticelli, Guardi, and many, many others. But the Nazi regime snatched from them everything they had worked to build: their remarkable art, their immense wealth, their prominent social standing, and their very lives.
Simon grew up in London with little knowledge of his father's efforts to recover their family's prized possession. It was only after his father's death that Simon began to piece together the clues about the Gutmanns' stolen legacy and the Jazi looting machine. Through painstaking detective work across two continents, Simon has been able to prove that many works belonged to his family, and to successfully secure their return.
Goodman's dramatic story, told with great heart, reveals a rich family history almost obliterated by the Nazis. It is not only the account of a twenty-year long detective hunt for family treasure, but an unforgettable tale of redemption and restoration.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, violent anti-Castro groups based in Florida carried out hundreds of military attacks on Cuba, bombing hotels, dusting Cuban crops with insects, and opening fre with machine guns on Cuban beaches. The Cuban government struck back with the Wasp Network - a group of a dozen men and two women - sent to infiltrate the Florida organizations.
The Last Soldiers of the Cold War tells the story of these unlikely spies, and their eventual unmasking and prosecution by US authorities. Five of the Cubans have languished in US prisons for years. Global best-selling Brazilian author Fernando Morais tells the story of the Cuban Five in vivid, novelistic, page-turning prose, but he also delves probingly into the decades-long conflict between Cuba and the US, the growth of the powerful Cuban exile community in Florida, and what he calls the travesty of justice that resulted in long or life terms for the Cubans on wrongful charges of espionage and murder.
Based on years of research and including exclusive interviews conducted in Cuba with members of the Wasp Network and their families, The Last Soldiers of the Cold War is both a real-life spy thriller and a searching examination of continuing Cold War policy.
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.
Over three decades after the Iranian Revolution reconfigured the strategic landscape in the Middle East, scholars are still trying to decipher its aftereffects. Suzanne Maloney provides the first comprehensive overview of Iran's political economy since the 1979 revolution and offers detailed examinations of two aspects of the Iranian economy of direct interest to scholars and non-specialist readers of Iran: the energy sector and the role of sanctions. Based on the author's research as both a scholar and government advisor, the book also features interviews with American and Iranian government officials. Moving chronologically from the early years under Khomeini, through the economic deprivations of the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, through liberalization under Khatami to the present, Maloney offers fascinating insights into Iran's domestic politics and how economic policies have affected ideology, leadership priorities, and foreign relations.
Operation HOREV - the Israeli winter offensive from December 1948 until January 1949 - practically ended Israel's War for Independence (also known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War), with an Israeli victory that forced Egypt to seek ceasefire and to negotiate a settlement with the fledgling nation.
From HOREV Day 1 on 23 December 1948 until HOREV Day 16 on 7 January 1949, this title presents Israeli Air Force missions during Operation HOREV in heretofore unseen depth and detail. This title chronicles Israeli Air Force sorties during Operation HOREV; from Austers and Pipers to C-46s and C-47s; from Messerschmitts, Spitfires and P-51s to Beaufighters and B-17s; Israel Air Force operations are detailed spanning the timeline of the conflict down to every unearthed sortie in depth, and shown in a way that Israeli Air Force operations during Operation HOREV had never been presented before.
This level of detail has been made possible by extensive use of contemporary documentation. The detailed text is supported by numerous photographs and colour profiles.
Middle East@War - following on from our highly-successful Africa@War series, Middle East@War replicates the same format - concise, incisive text, rare images and high quality colour artwork providing fresh accounts of both well-known and more esoteric aspects of conflict in this part of the world since 1945.
By participating in 1956 Suez Crisis Israel exploited an opportunity to join forces with France and the United Kingdom in an attack against Egypt in order to accomplish diplomatic, military and political objectives: to open the Red Sea international shipping lane to ships sailing from and to Eilat; to strengthen its alliance with France; to end or at least to scale down Egyptian hosted Palestinian terror attacks against Israel; to launch a preventive war in order to crush Egyptian military power before its completion of the transition to Soviet weapons could tempt Egypt to attack Israel and in order to accomplish a profound victory to deter Egypt from pursuing a another round of war policy.
Operation KADESH was the Israeli part in the Anglo-French attack and this title chronicles Israeli Air Force operations along the timeline of Operation KADESH from day 1 on 29 October 1956 until day 11 on 8 November 1956 in thus far unmatched depth and detail; all known Israel Air Force missions and sorties are listed and described and all air combats between Israeli Mysteres and Egyptian MiGs and Vampires are presented and analyzed.
The large variety of aircraft flown Dassault Mysteres, Dassault Ouragans and Gloster Meteors; B-17 Flying Fortresses, P-51 Mustangs and De Havilland Mosquitoes; T-6 Texans (Harvards) and T-17 Kaydets (Stearmans); Nord 2501 Noratlases, C-47 Skytrains (Dakotas), Pipers and Consuls and even a pair of Sikorsky S-55 helicopters are all covered in this title, which presents Israeli Air Force operations during the Suez War in a depth and detail unseen in previous publications.
The text is supported by numerous photographs and color profiles.Middle East@War - following on from our highly successful Africa@War series, Middle East@War replicates the same format - concise, incisive text, rare images and high quality color artwork providing fresh accounts of both well-known and more esoteric aspects of conflict in this part of the world since 1945.
Sinan was the greatest architect of the Ottoman Golden Age of the sixteenth century when the Ottoman Empire reached its zenith of power and magnificence. His style marks the apogee of Turkish art. Under Suleyman the Magnificent and his succcessor Selmi II, Sinan designed hundreds of buildings: mosques, palaces, tombs, mausolea, hospitals, schools, caravanserai, bridges, aqueducts and baths, many of them presented and analysed in this book. In his greatest works, he adapted Byzantine and Islamic styles to produce something quite new: a centralized organization of absolute space unhindered by pillars or columns and covered by a soaring dome. An architect of genius in a dynamic new empire expanding into both Asia and Europe, he was a true man of the Renaissance.
'If it had not been for you English, I should have been Emperor of the East; but wherever there is water to float a ship, we are sure to find you in our way.' Emperor Napoleon
But just thirty-five years earlier, Britain lacked any major continental allies, and was wracked by crises and corruption. Many thought that she would follow France into revolution. The British elite had no such troubling illusions: defeat was not a possibility. Since not all shared that certainty, the resumption of the conflict and its pursuit through years of Napoleonic dominance is a remarkable story of aristocratic confidence and assertion of national superiority. Winning these wars meant ruthless imperialist expansion, spiteful political combat, working under a mad king and forging the most united national effort since the days of the Armada. And it meant setting the foundations for the greatest empire the world has ever known.
In this powerful narrative, Nick Bunker tells the story of the last three years of mutual embitterment that preceded the outbreak of America's war for independence in 1775. It was a tragedy of errors, in which both sides shared responsibility for a conflict that cost the lives of at least twenty thousand Britons and a still larger number of Americans. Drawing on careful study of primary sources from Britain and the United States, An Empire on the Edge sheds new light on the Tea Party's origins and on the roles of such familiar characters as Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Hutchinson. At the heart of the book lies the Boston Tea Party, an event that arose from fundamental flaws in the way the British managed their affairs. With lawyers in London calling the Tea Party treason, and with hawks in Parliament crying out for revenge, the British opted for punitive reprisals without foreseeing the resistance they would arouse. For their part, the Americans underestimated Britain's determination not to give way. By the late summer of 1774, the descent into war had become irreversible.
Norman Mailer and William F. Buckley, Jr., were towering figures who argued publicly about every major issue of the 1960s: the counterculture, Vietnam, feminism, civil rights, the Cold War. Behind the scenes, the two were close friends and trusted confidantes who lived surprisingly parallel lives. In Buckley and Mailer, historian Kevin M. Schultz delves into their personal archives to tell the rich story of their friendship, arguments, and the tumultuous decade they did so much to shape. From their Playboy-sponsored debate before the Patterson-Liston heavyweight fight in 1962 to their campaigns for mayor of New York City to their confrontations at Truman Capote's Black-and-White Ball, over the March on the Pentagon, and at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Schultz delivers a fresh chronicle of the '60s and its long aftermath as well as an entertaining work of narrative history that explores these extraordinary figures' contrasting visions of America and the future.
A gripping chronicle of the band of maverick aviators who signed on for the suicidal, dangerous top-secret "Wild Weasel" missions during the Vietnam War - which used controversial and revolutionary tactics to combat Soviet missile technology - from New York Times bestselling author Dan Hampton.
On July 24, 1965, Soviet advisors to North Vietnam launched an SA-2 surface-to-air missile (SAM), blowing an American F-4 Phantom out of the sky - the first of several kills using this menacing system. To counter this new weaponry, stunned Pentagon officials created a classified program - 'Wild Weasel I' - pairing experimental equipment with a highly select group of electronic warfare officers and fighter pilots to combat this deadly threat. The men who did this became the 'Hunter Killers'- and it is time to know their names.
Fifty years later, Dan Hampton provides a cockpit view of this highly classified military program that was a radical departure from conventional fighter jet tactics - and carried with it a fifty-percent casualty rate. Yet despite the odds, these courageous, daring, and skilled warriors risked their lives to fight the SAMs and save their brother aviators.
Using first-hand accounts, declassified documents from both sides of the conflict, and featuring unpublished photographs, The Hunter Killers takes readers into the skies, and up close to the bloody duels that left half the Weasels dead or captured. At its center are the men who risked everything to fight the most dangerous anti-aircraft weapons the world had seen. Hampton brings them into focus, exploring their lives and personalities, and the characteristics - a combination of ego, bravery, heroism, and duty - that motivated them. He also looks at their legacy, which continues to influence the military today.
Once considered a respectable rare-map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley made millions and was highly esteemed for his knowledge; until he was arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. Though pieces of the story have been told before, Blanding is the first reporter to gain access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent. Although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more, and offer evidence to prove it. Using interviews, Blanding teases out the tale of deception.
This is a blistering account of the battle of Cowpens, a short, sharp conflict which marked a crucial turning point in the American Revolution. With Lt Col Banastre Tarleton and the British troops in hot pursuit, Daniel Morgan, leading a small force of 700 Continentals and militia, chose the Cowpens as the battlefield in which to make a stand. The two forces clashed for barely more than 45 minutes, yet this brief battle shaped the outcome of the War in the South and decisively influenced the conflict as a whole. Richard Blackmon provides a shrewd and perceptive analysis of what was perhaps the finest tactical performance of the entire war. Bird's-eye views, vivid illustrations and detailed maps illuminate the dynamism of this clash between two of the most famous commanders of the War of Independence.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson recovers a crucially important - yet almost always overlooked - chapter of George Washington's life, revealing how Washington saved the United States by coming out of retirement to lead the Constitutional Convention and serve as our first president.
After leading the Continental Army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington shocked the world: he retired. In December 1783, General Washington, the most powerful man in the country, stepped down as Commander in Chief and returned to private life at Mount Vernon. Yet as Washington contentedly grew his estate, the fledgling American experiment floundered. Under the Articles of Confederation, the weak central government was unable to raise revenue to pay its debts or reach a consensus on national policy. The states bickered and grew apart. When a Constitutional Convention was established to address these problems, its chances of success were slim. Jefferson, Madison, and the other Founding Fathers realized that only one man could unite the fractious states: George Washington.
Reluctant, but duty-bound, Washington rode to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 to preside over the Convention. Although Washington is often overlooked in most accounts of the period, this masterful new history from Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward J. Larson brilliantly uncovers Washington's vital role in shaping the Convention - and shows how it was only with Washington's support and his willingness to serve as President that the states were brought together and ratified the Constitution, thereby saving the country.
Surrounded by a ring of fire, the scorpion stings itself to death. The image, widespread among antislavery leaders before the Civil War, captures their long-standing strategy for peaceful abolition: they would surround the slave states with a cordon of freedom. They planned to use federal power wherever they could to establish freedom: the western territories, the District of Columbia, the high seas. By constricting slavery they would induce a crisis: slaves would escape in ever-greater numbers, the southern economy would falter, and finally the southern states would abolish the institution themselves. For their part the southern states fully understood this antislavery strategy. They cited it repeatedly as they adopted secession ordinances in response to Lincoln's election. The scorpion's sting is the centerpiece of this fresh, incisive exploration of slavery and the Civil War: Was there a peaceful route to abolition? Was Lincoln late to emancipation? What role did race play in the politics of slavery? With stunning insight James Oakes moves us ever closer to a new understanding of the most momentous events in our history.
Sailing with Cook: Inside the Private Journal of James Burney RN is about the young James Burneys experience of shipboard life and the momentous events that took place during the second voyage of exploration when he sailed with Captain Cook on the Resolution and then on the Adventure between 1772 and 1773.This book features facsimile pages extracted from the private journal and is beautifully illustrated with maps, portraits, contemporary documents and artefacts, including information text boxes on people and issues. It follows the successful format of other books such as In Blighs Hand: Surviving the Mutiny on the Bounty.
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.
In 2008, almost two decades after the Cold War was officially consigned to the history books, an average American guy helped to bring down a top Russian spy based at the United Nations. He had no formal espionage training. Everything he knew about spying he'd learned from books, films, video games and TV. And yet, with the help of an initially reluctant FBI duo, he ended up at the centre of a highly successful counterintelligence operation that targetted Russian espionage in America. For four nerve-wracking years, he worked as a double agent, spying on America for the Russians, trading cash for sensitive US military secrets, handing over thumb-drives of valuable technical data, pretending to sell out his country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Now, for the first time, he will reveal the fascinating mechanics behind his double-agent operation that helped disrupt Russia's New York-based espionage apparatus and forced Moscow to reassign its top operatives.
This volume offers a lively introduction to Russia's dramatic history and the striking changes that characterize its story. Distinguished authors Barbara Alpern Engel and Janet Martin show how Russia's peoples met the constant challenges posed by geography, climate, availability of natural resources, and devastating foreign invasions, and rose to become the world's second largest land empire.
The book describes the circumstances that led to the world's first communist society in 1917, and traces the global consequences of Russia's long confrontation with the United States, which took place virtually everywhere and for decades provided a model for societies seeking development independent of capitalism. This book also brings the story of Russia's arduous and costly climb to great power to a personal level through the stories of individual women and men-leading figures who played pivotal roles as well as less prominent individuals from a range of social backgrounds whose voices illuminate the human consequences of sweeping historical change. As was and is true of Russia itself, this story encompasses a wide variety of ethnicities, peoples who became part of the Russian empire and suffered or benefited from its leaders' efforts to meld a multiethnic polity into a coherent political entity.
The book examines how Russia served as a conduit for people, ideas, and commodities flowing between east and west, north and south, and absorbed and adapted influences from both Europe and Asia and how it came to play an increasingly important role on a regional and, ultimately, global scale.
During the course of the twentieth century, communism took power in Eastern Europe and remade the city in its own image. Ransacking the urban planning of the grand imperial past, it set out to transform everyday life, its sweeping boulevards, epic high-rise and vast housing estates an emphatic declaration of a non-capitalist idea. Now, the regimes that built them are dead and long gone, but from Warsaw to Berlin, Moscow to post-Revolution Kiev, the buildings, their most obvious legacy, remain, populated by people whose lives were scattered and jeopardized by the collapse of communism and the introduction of capitalism.
Landscapes of Communism is an intimate history of twentieth-century communist Europe told through its buildings; it is, too, a book about power, and what power does in cities. In exploring what that power was, Hatherley shows how much we can understand from surfaces - especially states as obsessed with surface as the Soviets were. Walking through these landscapes today, Hatherley discovers how, in contrast to the common dismissal of 'monolithic' Soviet architecture, these cities reflect with disconcerting transparency the development of an idea over the decades, with its sharp, sudden zigzags of official style: from modernism to classicism and back; to the superstitious despotic rococo of high Stalinism, with its jingoistic memorials, palaces and secret policemen's castles; East Germany's obsession with prefabricated concrete panels; and the metro systems of Moscow and Prague, a spectacular vindication of public space that went further than any avant garde ever dared. Landscapes of Communism is a revelatory journey of discovery, plunging us into the maelstrom of socialist architecture. As we submerge into the metros, walk the massive, multi-lane magistrale and pause at milk bars in the microrayons, who knows what we might find?
In Fracture, critically acclaimed historian Philipp Blom argues that in the aftermath of the First World War, citizens of the West directed their energies inwards, launching into hedonistic, aesthetic and intellectual adventures of self-discovery. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress.
From Fritz Lang's Metropolis to theoretical physics, and from Art Deco to Jazz and the Charleston dance, artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live and what to believe in a broken age. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of the First World War: progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia. On both sides of the Atlantic, disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of a new World War.
Vividly recreating this era of unparalleled ambition, artistry and innovation, Blom captures the seismic shifts that defined the interwar period and continue to shape our world today.
Every veteran has a story. Sometimes these stories become part of family folklore. Sometimes they are too terrible to speak of. In April 1943 Cyril Burcher bombed a German U-boat, killing its entire crew. Thirty years later, a letter arrived for him out of the blue from the daughter of the U-boat captain. Cy Borscht jumped out of his burning Lancaster and parachuted into even more danger, being taken prisoner by the Germans for the duration of the war. Stan Pascoe can still remember the tension of the briefing room before every mission, which disappeared the minute he was in the aeroplane. For each of these airmen and the many others interviewed in this book, the very fact that they survived the war is miraculous enough; that they are still with us today to tell their stories is another amazing feat. Michael Veitch, long-time recorder of wartime tales, has sought out WWII pilots and navigators from across the country to record and honour their service all those years ago. In these thrilling, heart-stopping, haunting stories, the day-to-day bravery and luck of these men is brought into fierce focus once more.
July 1945. Eighteen daring young British, Australian and New Zealand special forces from a top-secret underwater warfare unit prepare to undertake three simultaneous and incredibly risky missions against the Japanese. Using four brilliantly conceived XE-craft midget submarines, the raiders will creep deep behind Japanese lines to sink two huge warships and sever two vitally important undersea communications cables. Success will hasten ultimate victory over Japan; but if any of the men are captured they can expect a gruesome execution. Can the Sea Devils overcome Japanese defences, mechanical failures, oxygen poisoning and submarine disasters to fulfil their missions? Mark Felton tells the story of a band of young men living on raw courage, nerves and adrenalin as they attempt to pull off what could be the last great raid of the Second World War. Suddenly a great dark mass of green and grey angular shadows filled the little periscope's lenses. There, as plain as day, dominating the Strait, sat the heavy cruiser Takao. Fraser felt wired up, his senses heightened, and the knot of anxiety that had been plaguing him on and off since starting the mission had suddenly evaporated. He turned briefly to his crew: 'Stand by to commence attack.'
In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle for Western Europe. D-Day marked the commencement of the European war's final campaign, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich - all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters. With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson's remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.
Although a story often told, this is the first time Patrick Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnapping of General Kriepe, has been published. One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor's remarkable life was the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete, on 26 April 1944.
He and Captain Billy Moss hatched a daring plan to abduct the general, while ensuring that no reprisals were taken against the Cretan population. Dressed as German military police, they stopped and took control of Kreipe's car, drove through twenty-two German checkpoints, then succeeded in hiding from the German army before finally being picked up on a beach in the south of the island and transported to safety in Egypt on 14 May. Abducting a General is Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnap, published for the first time.
Written in his inimitable prose, and introduced by acclaimed Special Operations Executive historian Roderick Bailey, it is a glorious first-hand account of one of the great adventures of the Second World War. Also included in this book are Leigh Fermor's intelligence reports, sent from caves deep within Crete yet still retaining his remarkable prose skills, which bring the immediacy of SOE operations vividly alive, as well as the peril which the SOE and Resistance were operating under; and a guide to the journey that Kreipe was taken on, as seen in the 1957 film Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde, from the abandonment of his car to the embarkation site so that the modern visitor can relive this extraordinary event.
The colossal scale of World War II required a mobilization effort greater than anything attempted in all of the world's history.
The United States had to fight a war across two oceans and three continents - and to do so, it had to build and equip a military that was all but nonexistent before the war began. Never in the nation's history did it have to create, outfit, transport, and supply huge armies, navies, and air forces on so many distant and disparate fronts. The Axis powers might have fielded better-trained soldiers, better weapons, and better tanks and aircraft, but they could not match American productivity. The United States buried its enemies in aircraft, ships, tanks, and guns; in this sense, American industry and American workers, won World War II. The scale of the effort was titanic, and the result historic. Not only did it determine the outcome of the war, but it transformed the American economy and society.
Maury Klein's A Call to Arms is the definitive narrative history of this epic struggle - told by one of America's greatest historians of business and economics - and renders the transformation of America with a depth and vividness never available before.
For the empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary the Great War - which had begun with such high hopes for a fast, dramatic outcome - rapidly degenerated as invasions of both France and Serbia ended in catastrophe.
For four years the fighting now turned into a siege on a quite monstrous scale. Europe became the focus of fighting of a kind previously unimagined. Despite local successes - and an apparent triumph in Russia - Germany and Austria-Hungary were never able to break out of the the Allies' ring of steel. In Alexander Watson's compelling new history of the Great War, all the major events of the war are seen from the perspective of Berlin and Vienna. It is fundamentally a history of ordinary people. In 1914 both empires were flooded by genuine mass enthusiasm and their troubled elites were at one with most of the population.
But the course of the war put this under impossible strain, with a fatal rupture between an ever more extreme and unrealistic leadership and an exhausted and embittered people. In the end they failed and were overwhelmed by defeat and revolution.
In the summer of 1940, the Nazi war machine was at its zenith. France, Denmark, Norway and the Low Countries were all under occupation after a series of lightning military campaigns. Only Britain stood in the way of the complete triumph of Nazi tyranny. But for the first time in the war, Hitler did not prevail. The traditional narrative of 1940 holds that Britain was only saved from German conquest by the pluck of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. The image of Dad's Army recruits training with broomsticks is a classic symbol of the nation's supposed desperation in the face of the threat from Operation Sealion, as the German plan for invasion was code-named. Yet as Leo McKinstry details, the British were far more ruthless and proficient than is usually recognised. The brilliance of the RAF was not an exception but part of a pattern of magnificent organisation. In almost every sphere of action, such as the destruction of the French naval fleet or the capture of German spies, Britain's approach reflected an uncompromising spirit of purpose and resolution. Using a wealth of primary materials from both British and German archives, Leo McKinstry provides a ground-breaking new assessment of the six fateful months in mid-1940, beginning with Winston Churchill's accession to power in May and culminating in Germany's abandonment of Operation Sealion.
Little more than 10 years after the first powered flight, aircraft were pressed into service in World War I. Nearly forgotten in the war's massive overall death toll, some 50,000 aircrew would die in the combatant nations' fledgling air forces. The romance of aviation had a remarkable grip on the public imagination, propaganda focusing on gallant air 'aces' who become national heroes. The reality was horribly different. Marked For Death debunks popular myth to explore the brutal truths of wartime aviation: of flimsy planes and unprotected pilots; of burning 19-year-olds falling screaming to their deaths; of pilots blinded by the entrails of their observers. James Hamilton-Paterson also reveals how four years of war produced profound changes both in the aircraft themselves and in military attitudes and strategy. By 1918 it was widely accepted that domination of the air above the battlefield was crucial to military success, a realization that would change the nature of warfare for ever.
The severe shortage of munitions during the First World War increased the level of casualties in the battlefields; prevented the breakthrough of the German defenses thus continuing a war of attrition; brought about the downfall of the great Liberal Government of the early twentieth century; and placed the British public on a total war footing for the first time in history. The British Shell Shortage of the First World War looks at shell manufacture and views the military and political battles of 1915, a time when decisions made by a government whose ideology was not compatible to war, had to answer for their decisions and management since war was declared. It details the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge from the perspective of The Rifle Brigade, whose casualties in the latter battle was the catalyst of The Times article that resulted in a coalition government and the creation of a Ministry of Munitions. The political and military casualties are explained, along with the innovative creation of the Munitions Ministry, which led the way for industrial conscription, ensuring that the whole country stood behind their fighting men
This booklet contains articles originally published in 1917 in The Morning Post (bought by The Daily Telegraph in 1937). It consists of four letters, purporting to be written to relations or friends at home in India by soldiers of the Indian Army at the time of World War I. They were on active service in Europe and Africa, 1915-18. The articles include: A Retired Gentleman; The Fumes of the Heart; The Private Account; A Trooper of Horse.
In 1915, during the second year of the Great War, Kipling made a tour as a journalist to the front of some of the French armed forces. His report of what he had seen of the military activity was published in six articles in The Daily Telegraph, in England, and in the New York Sun. They were collected in booklets in both countries, with some small textual variations. The articles include: On the Frontier of Civilisation; A Nation's Spirit; Battle Spectacle and a Review; The Land that Endures; Trenches on a Mountain side; The Common Task.
Warfare magazine It is easy to visualise special-operations troops as men in camouflage with painted faces, lurking in the shadows of modern warfare. But the truth is far more complex - and enthralling. This book shows the remarkable array of skills required to be one of the world's fighting elite, detailing the equipment he uses to carry out his missions and the techniques he employs. Learn how to select a drop zone for parachute insertions. Find out how combat swimmers launch from submarines to carry out beach reconnaissance prior to an invasion. Understand the knowledge required to fight and, more importantly, survive in such hostile environments as jungle, desert or mountain. Discover how today's special operative must master skills as diverse as horsemanship and computing, or how to kill silently with a knife or laser designator. Written by a leading authority in the field, this well-organised illustrated guide shows exactly what makes the specialist soldier so very 'special'. This is a must-have for anyone interested in the covert world of elite forces.
Former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War veteran John Nichol sets out on a personal journey to discover what happened to 617 Squadron after the flood. The role RAF 617 Squadron in the destruction of the dams at the heart of the industrial Ruhr has been celebrated in book, magazine and film for more than seventy years.
On the 17th May 1943, 133 airmen set out in 19 Lancasters to destroy the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams. 56 of them did not return. Despite these catastrophic losses, the raid became an enormous propaganda triumph. The survivors were feted as heroes and became celebrities of their time. They had been brought together for one specific task - so what happened next?
Of the 77 men who made it home from that raid, 32 would lose their lives later in the war and only 45 survived to see the victory for which they fought. Few are aware of the extent of the Dambuster squadron's operations after the Dams Raid. They became the 'go to' squadron for specialist precision attacks, dropping the largest bombs ever built on battleships, railway bridges, secret weapon establishments, rockets sites and U-boat construction pens.
They were involved in attempts on the lives of enemy leaders, both Hitler and Mussolini, created a 'false fleet' on D-day which fooled the Germans, and knocked out a German super gun which would have rained 600 shells an hour on London.
In 'After The Flood', John Nichol retraces the path of 617 Squadron's most dangerous sorties as their reputation called them into action again and again.
Spanning ten historic years, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939 to 'Joe-1', the first Soviet atomic bomb test in August 1949, Atomic is the first fully realised popular account of the race between Nazi Germany, Britain, America and the Soviet Union to build atomic weapons. Rich in personality, action, confrontation and deception, Jim Baggott's book tells an epic story of science and technology at the very limits of human understanding.
Fire is one of humanity's most rudimentary tools, but also one of its oldest killers. The focus of this book is a weapon that has literally placed the power of fire in human hands - the man-portable flamethrower. From its very first use in World War I to its deployment in Vietnam, the weapon has proven to be devastatingly effective, not least because of its huge psychological impact on enemy troops - few other weapons in history have caused such terror. Yet despite this, the man-portable flamethrower has always been vulnerable, suffering from a very particular set of limitations, all of which are explored here, as are some lesser-known capabilities such as the ability to 'bounce' a stream of flammable liquid off the interior surfaces of fortified structures. Featuring expert analysis, first-hand accounts, and a startling array of illustrations and photographs, this book is the definitive guide to an extraordinary chapter in the history of military technology.
The Guadalcanal campaign began with an amphibious assault in August 1942 - the US' first attempt to take the fight to the Japanese. It escalated into a desperate attritional battle on land, air, and sea, and by the time the Japanese had evacuated the last of their forces from the island in 1943, it was clear that the tide of the war had turned. The inexorable Japanese advance and the myth of Japanese invincibility shattered. In this new study of the campaign, Pacific War expert Mark Stille draws on both US and Japanese sources to give a balanced and comprehensive account of a crucial, brutal conflict. Analyzing the three Japanese attempts to retake the island in the face of ferocious American resistance, this book shows how the battle was won and lost, and how it affected the outcome of the Pacific War as a whole.
Visual history of the Allied battles for New Guinea during 1942-44. Hundreds of photos of this important Pacific theater campaign showing soldiers, vehicles, weapons and equipment, terrain, living conditions, medical care, prisoners, and much more. Captions expertly describe photos and narrate the major events of the campaign. Perfect complement to the narrative accounts in the Stackpole Military History Series. Ideal reference for military history fans, scholars, modelers, and re-enactors.
Fighter Ace Paddy Finucane became a legend in his own lifetime and widely publicized in the press. Joining the RAF in 1938, Finucane made a poor start to his flying career and was not operational until the Battle of Britain when every pilot was needed. Posted to 65 Squadron for the Battle of Britain, he went on to become a flight commander with 452 Squadron, the first Australian squadron in Britain. His leadership qualities quickly became apparent and it was with them that he scored his most spectacular successes in the circus sweeps on the French coast. Modest by nature he was upset by the constant references to himself as 'Bader's successor' but the spotlight never left him. In January 1942 he became squadron commander of the 602 Squadron and was promptly promoted to Wing Commander Flying, Hornchurch. Finucane established an outstanding reputation for tactics and flying skill having eventually destroyed 32 enemy aircraft before ditching in the Channel in July 1942 and disappearing.
With the full co-operation of the Finucane family, the myth of a wild fighting Irishman can at last be eliminated to reveal a thoughtful, highly disciplined and respected individual, a man born to lead.
In 1967-68, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) was on the front line of the defense of South Vietnam's Quang Tri province, which was at the very heart of the Vietnam conflict. Facing them were the soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), men whose organization and equipment made them a very different opponent from the famous, irregular Viet Cong forces. From the Hill Battles in April 1967 to the struggle for the city of Hue (January-March 1968) this bloody campaign forced the two sides into a grueling trial of strength. The USMC held a general technological and logistical advantage - including close air support and airborne transport, technology, and supplies - but could not always utilize these resources effectively in mountainous, jungle, or urban environments better known by their Vietnamese opponents. In this arresting account of small-unit combat, David R. Higgins steps into the tropical terrain of Vietnam to assess the performance and experience of six USMC and NVA units in three savage battles that stretched both sides to the limit.
As soon as war broke out in September 1939, the conflict at sea began. It raged without respite until the unconditional surrender of Germany and Japan just under six years later. World War Two at Sea highlights the key moments in this absorbing story, from the protracted struggles to fight the vital Atlantic, Arctic and Mediterranean convoys through to their destinations and the decisive naval clashes to the great amphibious operations that eventually turned the tide of war decisively in the Allies' favour.
The coverage is arranged chronologically, starting with the sinking of the British passenger liner Athenia by a German U-boat just hours after war was declared and concluding with Operation Ten-Go, the last desperate attempt by the Japanese to defend Okinawa and the sinking of the Yamato, the world's last and biggest super-battleship. Throughout, decisive battles and engagements are fully covered-clashes like Cape Mataplan, aptly regarded as a Mediterranean Trafalgar in which the British navy scored one of the greatest and most one-sided victories in its history against the Italian battle fleet.
Readers will discover how, starting with Midway and continuing at Guadalcanal, the US Pacific Fleet fought the Imperial Japanese Navy to a standstill to establish naval supremacy throughout the Pacific.
Fully illustrated throughout with a fascinating mixture of historic photographs, maps, charts and specially-devised diagrams, World War Two at Sea is compelling reading and essential reference. Above all, it demonstrates how vital it was for the war at sea to be won as an essential preliminary to the land and air campaigns that brought about final victory.
The British-led Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that attacked the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli in 1915 was a multi-national affair, including Australian, New Zealand, Irish, French, and Indian soldiers. Ultimately a failure, the campaign ended with the withdrawal of the Allied forces after less than nine months and the unexpected victory of the Ottoman armies and their German allies.
In Britain, the campaign led to the removal of Churchill from his post as First Lord of the Admiralty and the abandonment of the plan to attack Germany via its 'soft underbelly' in the East. Thereafter, it was largely forgotten on a national level, commemorated only in specific localities linked to the campaign. In post-war Turkey, by contrast, the memory of Gallipoli played an important role in the formation of a Turkish national identity, celebrating both the ordinary soldier and the genius of the republic's first president, Mustafa Kemal. The campaign served a similarly important formative role in both Australia and New Zealand, where it is commemorated annually on Anzac Day.
For the southern Irish, meanwhile, the bitter memory of service for the King in a botched campaign was forgotten for decades. Shaped initially by the imperatives of war-time, and the needs of the grief-stricken and the bereft, the memory of Gallipoli has been re-made time and again over the last century. For the Turks an inspirational victory, for many on the Allied side a glorious and romantic defeat, for others still an episode best forgotten, 'Gallipoli' has meant different things to different people, serving by turns as an occasion of sincere and heartfelt sorrow, an opportunity for separatist and feminist protest, and a formative influence in the forging of national identities.
During the dark days of 1940, when Britain faced the might of Hitler's armed forces alone, the RAF played an integral role in winning the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe, thus ensuring the country's safety from invasion. The men and women of Fighter Command worked tirelessly in air bases scattered throughout the length and breadth of Britain to thwart the Nazi attacks; The Secret Life of Fighter Command tells their story. From setting up the ground-breaking radar systems along the coast of the Southeast of England, to the distribution of spotters of bombing waves coming along the Thames Estuary, the boffins who designed and built the guidance and detection structures to organise a winning defence umbrella, to the Wrens who plotted enemy movements and then conveyed this to the various RAF squadrons stationed in the UK's zonal defence system - all of them played a part in maintaining the security over Britain. Through exclusive interviews with various members of this unique and world famous organisation, bestselling author Sinclair McKay tells the human story of how Britain survived the Nazi onslaught and enabled our Hurricanes and Spitfires to triumph over the German airforce.
In this era of email intercepts and drone strikes, many believe that the spy is dead.
What use are double agents and dead letter boxes compared to the all-seeing digital eye? They couldn't be more wrong. The spying game is changing, but the need for walking, talking sources who gather secret information has never been more acute. And they are still out there. In this searing modern history of espionage, Stephen Grey takes us from the CIA's Cold War legends, to the agents who betrayed the IRA, through to the spooks inside Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Techniques and technologies have evolved, but the old motivations for betrayal - patriotism, greed, revenge, compromise - endure. This is a revealing story of how spycraft and the 'human factor' survive, against the odds.
Based on years of research and interviews with hundreds of secret sources, many of the stories in the book have never been fully told. The New Spymasters will appeal to fans of John le Carre, Jason Bourne and Ben Macintyre.
From Tristram Hunt, award-winning author of The Frock-Coated Communist and leading UK politician, Ten Cities that Made an Empire presents a new approach to Britain's imperial past through the cities that epitomised it.
Since the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and the end days of Empire, Britain's colonial past has been the subject of passionate debate. Tristram Hunt goes beyond the now familiar arguments about Empire being good or bad and adopts a fresh approach to Britain's empire and its legacy. Through an exceptional array of first-hand accounts and personal reflections, he portrays the great colonial and imperial cities of Boston, Bridgetown, Dublin, Cape Town, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Bombay, Melbourne, New Delhi, and twentieth-century Liverpool: their architecture, culture, and society balls; the famines, uprisings and repressions which coursed through them; the primitive accumulation and ghostly bureaucracy which ran them; the British supremacists and multicultural trailblazers who inhabited them.
From the pioneers of early America to the builders of modern India, from west to east and back again, Hunt follows the processes of exchange and adaptation that collectively moulded the colonial experience and which in their turn transformed the culture, economy and identity of the British Isles. This vivid and richly detailed imperial story, located in ten of the most important cities which the Empire constructed, demolished, reconstructed and transformed, allows us a new understanding of the British Empire's influence upon the world and the world's influence upon it.
Who are the Europeans? Where did they come from? In recent years scientific advances have yielded a mass of new data, turning cherished ideas upside down. The idea of migration in prehistory, so long out of favour, is back on the agenda. Visions of continuity now have to give way to a more dynamic view of Europes past, with one wave of migration followed by another, from the first human arrivals to the Vikings. This pioneering book brings together for the first time the latest genetic evidence and combines it with archaeology and linguistics to produce a new history of Europe.
In Spies We Trust reveals the full story of the Anglo-American intelligence relationship - ranging from the deceits of World War I to the mendacities of 9/11 - for the first time. Why did we ever start trusting spies?
It all started a hundred years ago. First we put our faith in them to help win wars, then we turned against the bloodshed and expense, and asked our spies instead to deliver peace and security. By the end of World War II, Britain and America were cooperating effectively to that end. At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, the 'special intelligence relationship' contributed to national and international security in what was an Anglo-American century. But from the 1960s this 'special relationship' went into decline. Britain weakened, American attitudes changed, and the fall of the Soviet Union dissolved the fear that bound London and Washington together. A series of intelligence scandals along the way further eroded public confidence. Yet even in these years, the US offered its old intelligence partner a vital gift: congressional attempts to oversee the CIA in the 1970s encouraged subsequent moves towards more open government in Britain and beyond.
So which way do we look now? And what are the alternatives to the British-American intelligence relationship that held sway in the West for so much of the twentieth century? Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones shows that there are a number - the most promising of which, astonishingly, remain largely unknown to the Anglophone world.
A monumental, wholly accessible work of scholarship that retells human history through the story of mankind's relationship with the sea.
An accomplishment of both great sweep and illuminating detail, The Sea and Civilization is a stunning work of history that reveals in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world's waterways.
Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea with our ancestors' first forays from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas. He demonstrates the critical role of maritime trade to the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley. He reacquaints us with the great seafaring cultures of antiquity like those of the Phoenicians and Greeks, as well as those of India, Southeast and East Asia who parlayed their navigational skills, shipbuilding techniques, and commercial acumen to establish vibrant overseas colonies and trade routes in the centuries leading up to the age of European overseas expansion.
His narrative traces subsequent developments in commercial and naval shipping through the post-Cold War era. Above all, Paine makes clear how the rise and fall of civilizations can be traced to the sea.
Who exactly are the intellectuals? This term is so widely used today that we forget that it is a recent invention, dating from the late nineteenth century.
In Birth of the Intellectuals, the renowned historian and sociologist Christophe Charle shows that the term intellectuals first appeared at the time of the Dreyfus Affair, and the neologism originally signified a culturaland political vanguard who dared to challenge the status quo. Yet the word, expected to disappear once the political crisis had dissolved, has somehow endured.
At times it describes a social group, and at others a way of seeing the social world from the perspective of universal values that challenges established hierarchies. But why did intellectuals survive when the events that gave rise to this term had faded into the past? To answer this question, it is necessary to show how the crisis of the old representations, the unprecedented expansion of the intellectual professions and the vacuum left by the decline of the traditional ruling class created favourable conditions for the collective affirmation of intellectuals. This also explains why the literary or academic avant garde traditionally reluctant to engage gradually reconciled themselves with political activists and developed new ways to intervene in the field of power outside of traditional political channels.
Through a careful rereading of the petitions surrounding the Dreyfus Affair, Charle offers a radical reinterpretation of this crucial moment of European history and develops a new model for understanding the ways in which public intellectuals in France, Germany, Britain, and the United States have addressed politics ever since.
In this volume Professor Sean McGrail introduces the reader to a relatively new branch of Archaeology - the study of water transport - how early rafts, boats and ships were built and used. Concepts, such as boatbuilding traditions, ship stability and navigation without instruments, are first described. Archaeological research is then discussed, including sea levels in earlier times, how to distinguish the vestigial remains of a cargo vessel from those of a fighting craft; and the difference between a boat and a ship.
Chapters 2 and 3, the heart of the text, deal with the early water transport of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Europe, from the Stone Age to Medieval times. Each chapter includes a description of the region's maritime geography and an exposition of its boat-building traditions. The third element is a discussion of the propulsion, the steering and the navigation of these early vessels.
The sparse, often jumbled, remains of excavated vessels have to be interpreted, a process that is assisted by consideration of early descriptions and illustrations. Studies of the way traditional builders of wooden boats ply their trade today are also a great help.Experimental boat archaeology is still at an early stage but, when undertaken rigorously, it can reveal aspects of the vessel's capabilities.
Such information is used in this volume to further our understanding of data from boat and ship excavations, and to present as coherent, comprehensive and accurate a picture as is now possible, of early European boatbuilding and use.