‘Jeremy Black skilfully sketches social, cultural and political trends’ – Christina Hardyment, Times audiobook of the week
‘A remarkable mixture of cold history, wide culture and personal experience’
Ciro Paoletti, Secretary General of the Italian Commission of Military History
Despite the Roman Empire’s famous 500-year reign over Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East, Italy does not have the same long national history as states such as France or England. Divided for much of its history,..
Despite being relatively brief, this very readable history covers environmental, political, social, economic, cultural and artistic elements, and is very open to regional variations and to the extent that the history of the peninsula and of its political groupings was far from inevitable. Its tone is accessible, supported by boxes providing supplemental information, and is perfect for travellers to Spain...
This fully updated edition is recognised as the most comprehensive history of the Knights Templar
Much has been written about the Knights Templar in recent years. A leading specialist in the history of this legendary medieval order now writes a full account of the Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, to give them their full title, bringing the latest findings to a general audience. Putting many of the myths finally to rest, Nicholson recounts a new history of these storm troopers of..
A wonderfully concise and readable, yet comprehensive, history of the Mediterranean Sea, the perfect companion for any visitor -- or indeed, anyone compelled to stay at home.
'The grand object of travelling is to see the shores of the Mediterranean.'
Samuel Johnson, 1776
The Mediterranean has always been a leading stage for world history; it is also visited each year by tens of millions of tourists, both local and international. Jeremy Black provides an account in which the experience of trave..
The key to understanding the Arab world today is unlocking its past. In this authoritative account, John McHugo takes the reader through the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs from the Roman Empire right up to the present day. Going beyond the headlines, he describes in vivid detail a series of key turning points in Arab history - from the mission of the Prophet Muhammad and the expansion of Islam to the region's interaction with Western ideas and the rise of Islamism.
Winner of the Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2019Shortlisted for the Cundill History Prize and the Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award'Astonishing, staggering' Ben Okri, Daily TelegraphA groundbreaking new history that will transform our view of West AfricaBy the time of the 'Scramble for Africa' in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for many centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic world since around 1000, and its..
Continues Neil's landmark exploration of how our land and its people came to be, which began with the acclaimed A HISTORY OF SCOTLAND.
Who were the first Britons, and what sort of world did they occupy? In A HISTORY OF ANCIENT BRITAIN Neil Oliver turns a spotlight on the very beginnings of the story of Britain; on the first people to occupy these islands and their battle for survival. There has been human habitation in Britain, regularly interrupted by Ice Ages, for the best part of a million..
The extraordinary history of Ancient Egyptian civilization - from its earliest origins to the creation of its greatest monument - from specialist John Romer. This exceptional book draws on a lifetime of research and thought to recreate the previously untold story of how a civilization which began with handfuls of semi-itinerant fishermen settled, spread and created a rich, vivid, strange civilization that had its first culmination in the pharaoh Khufu building the Great Pyramid. The book immerse..
Christianity, one of the world's great religions, has had an incalculable impact on human history. This book, now the most comprehensive and up to date single volume work in English, describes not only the main ideas and personalities of Christian history, its organisation and spirituality, but how it has changed politics, sex, and human society.
Diarmaid MacCulloch ranges from Palestine in the first century to India in the third, from Damascus to China in the seventh century and from San Fra..
Khadija was the first believer, to whom the Prophet Muhammad often turned for advice. At a time when strongmen quickly seized power from any female Muslim ruler, Arwa of Yemen reigned alone for five decades. In nineteenth-century Russia, Mukhlisa Bubi championed the rights of women and girls, and became the first Muslim woman judge in modern history. After the Gestapo took down a Resistance network in Paris, British spy Noor Inayat Khan found herself the only undercover radio operator left in th..
A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr confronts head-on the victory of shopping over politics. It tells the story of how the great political visions of New Jerusalem or a second Elizabethan Age, rival idealisms, came to be defeated by a culture of consumerism, celebrity and self-gratification. In each decade, political leaders think they know what they are doing, but find themselves confounded. Every time, the British people turn out to be stroppier and harder to herd than predicted.
WINNER OF THE 2019 DUFF COOPER PRIZE
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece.' Sunday Times
The Bible is the central book of Western culture. For the two faiths which hold it sacred, it is the bedrock of their religion, a singular authority on what to believe and how to live. For non-believers too, it has a commanding status: it is one of the great works of world litera..
In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; François Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. Against the odds their pact sur..
With a language disappearing every two weeks and neologisms springing up almost daily, an understanding of the origins and currency of language has never seemed more relevant. In this charming volume, a narrative history written explicitly for a young audience, expert linguist David Crystal proves why the story of language deserves retelling.From the first words of an infant to the peculiar modern dialect of text messaging, A Little Book of Language ranges widely, revealing language's myriad int..
A spirited volume on the great adventures of science throughout history, for curious readers of all ages Science is fantastic. It tells us about the infinite reaches of space, the tiniest living organism, the human body, the history of Earth. People have always been doing science because they have always wanted to make sense of the world and harness its power. From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wo..
This stimulating history of early Christianity revisits the extraordinary birth of a world religion and gives a new slant on a familiar story The relevance of Christianity is as hotly contested today as it has ever been. A New History of Early Christianity shows how our current debates are rooted in the many controversies surrounding the birth of the religion and the earliest attempts to resolve them. Charles Freeman's meticulous historical account of Christianity from its birth in Judaea in the..
A Short History of Byzantium is renowned historian, and author of A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich's classic history of Byzantium. Constantine the Great moved the seat of Roman power to Constantinople in AD 330 and for eleven brutal, bloody centuries, the Byzantine Empire became a beacon of grand magnificence and depraved decadence . . .Here there are the centuries dominated by ferocious arguments over the nature of Christ and his Church. By knowledge, where scholars and scribes preserve..
From the invaders of the dark ages to the aftermath of the coalition, one of Britain's most respected journalists, Simon Jenkins, weaves together a strong narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in a book that characteristically is as stylish as it is authoritative.
A Short History of England sheds light on all the key individuals and events, bringing them together in an enlightening and engaging account of the country's birth, rise to global prominence and then partial ec..
As long as we have been human, we have been mythmakers. In A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong holds up the mirror of mythology to show us the history of ourselves, and embarks on a journey that begins at a Neanderthal graveside and ends buried in the heart of the modern novel.
Surprising, powerful and profound, A Short History of Myth examines the world's most ancient art form - the making and telling of stories - and why we still need it.
"Elegantly argued and consistently thought..
The extraordinary creative energy of Renaissance Italy lies at the root of modern Western culture. In her elegant new introduction, Virginia Cox offers a fresh vision of this iconic moment in European cultural history, when between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries Italy led the world in painting, building, science and literature. Her book explores key artistic, literary and intellectual developments, but also histories of food and fashion, map-making, exploration and anatomy. Alongside tow..
The Phoenicians present a tantalizing face to the ancient historian. Latin sources suggest they once had an extensive literature of history, law, philosophy and religion; but all now is lost. Offering new insights based on recent archaeological discoveries in their heartland of modern-day Lebanon, Mark Woolmer presents a fresh appraisal of this fascinating, yet elusive, Semitic people. Discussing material culture, language and alphabet, religion (including sacred prostitution of women and boys t..
In 1917 revolutionary fervour swept through Russia, ending centuries of imperial rule and instigating political and social changes that would lead to the formation of the Soviet Union. Arising out of proletariat discontent with the Tsarist autocracy and Lenin's proclaimed version of a Marxist ideology, the revolutionary period saw a complete overhaul of Russian politics and society and led directly to the ensuing civil war. The Soviet Union eventually became the world's first communist state and..
"Masterful...An indispensable warning for our own time." -Samuel Moyn "Magisterial...Covers this dark history with insight and skill...A major intervention into our understanding of 20th-century Europe and the lessons we ought to take away from its history." -The Nation For much of the last century, Europe was haunted by a threat of its own imagining: Judeo-Bolshevism. The belief that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe took hold during the Russian Revolution and quickly..
The medieval era is often associated with dynastic struggles, gruesome wars and the formidable influence of the Church. But what about the everyday experience of the royal subjects and common people? Here, alongside the coronations, diplomatic dealings and key battles, can be found the fabric of medieval life as it was really lived, in its folk songs, recipes and local gossip. With a diverse range of entries - one for each day of the year - historian Toni Mount provides an almanac for lovers of ..
The city of Acre, powerfully fortified and richly provisioned, was the last crusader stronghold. When it fell in 1291, two hundred years of Christian crusading in the Holy Land came to a bloody end. With his customary narrative brilliance and immediacy, Roger Crowley chronicles the tumultuous and violent attack on Acre, the heaviest bombardment before the age of gunpowder, which left this once great Mediterranean city a crumbling ruin. The 'Accursed Tower' was the focal point of this siege. As t..
Tobias Buck arrived in Madrid in December 2012, in time to celebrate the bleakest Christmas the city had seen in a generation. Capital and country were reeling from a series of economic shocks that had brought Spain to the brink of ruin. The housing boom had dramatically turned to bust, a large chunk of the nation's banking system was in state hands, businesses were closing across the country, debt was spiralling out of control and unemployment levels had reached a record high.
AFTER THE FALL p..
Against Everything is a thought-provoking study and essential guide to the vicissitudes of everyday life under twenty-first-century capitalism. Mark Greif is one of the most exciting writers of his generation. In this invigorating collection, he challenges us to rethink the ordinary world and take life seriously - in short, to stay honest in dishonest times. In a series of coruscating set pieces he asks why we put ourselves through the pains of exercise, what our concerns about diet or sex does ..
The kind of vision the world needs right now...Pankaj Mishra shouldn't stop thinking' Christopher de Bellaigue, Financial Times
'This is the most astonishing, convincing, and disturbing book I've read in years' Joe Sacco
'Urgent, profound and extraordinarily timely' John Banville
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world - from American 'shooters' and ISIS to Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across t..
The story of thirteen Empires, showing their key role in the foundation of today’s global civilizationEmpires evoke potent images: Stanley, Livingstone and the colonial gallery of great explorers; the Spanish Conquistador’s quest for gold and silver; and the Dutch heritage of trade in the East Indies. For over 500 years empires have been a feature of the political landscape and – a generation or more after the final collapse of most of the European Empires – the subject is still a major issue fo..
What happened to the European mind between 1605, when an audience watching Macbeth at the Globe might believe that regicide was such an aberration of the natural order that ghosts could burst from the ground, and 1649, when a large crowd, perhaps including some who had seen Macbeth forty-four years earlier, could stand and watch the execution of a king? Or consider the difference between a magus casting a star chart and the day in 1639, when Jonathan Horrock and William Crabtree watched the tran..
The closing months of 2008 saw the world's nations united in financial uncertainty. Amid endless reports of collapsing stock markets, failed banks, fiscal fraud and snowballing unemployment, THE AGE OF NOTHING offers a compelling insight into the demise of capitalism and the beginning of a new era. Peter Watson's scintillating thesis argues that the unprecedented credit crunch of 2008 was the result of a fundamental change in the fabric of society - one that became truly visible only as it reach..
Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of this seminal book, this new edition includes an illuminating foreword by Carlos Eire and Ronald K. Rittges
The seeds of the swift and sweeping religious movement that reshaped European thought in the 1500s were sown in the late Middle Ages. In this book, Steven Ozment traces the growth and dissemination of dissenting intellectual trends through three centuries to their explosive burgeoning in the Reformations―both Protestant and Catholic―of the sixteenth ..
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, Richard Holmes’s dazzling portrait of the age of great scientific discovery is a groundbreaking achievement.
The book opens with Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cook’s first Endeavour voyage, who stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769 fully expecting to have located Paradise. Back in Britain, the same Romantic revolution that had inspired Banks was spurring other great thinkers on to their own v..
The Reformation which engulfed England and Europe in the sixteenth century was one of the most highly-charged, bloody and transformative periods in their history, and has remained one of the most contested. In this dazzling book, Diarmaid MacCulloch explores a turbulent and endlessly fascinating era.
'A masterly take on the Reformation ... absorbing and compelling, full of insights' Linda Hogan, Irish Times
'One of our very best public historians ... as this collection triumphantly confirm..
The idea behind the alphabet - that language with all its wealth of meaning can be recorded with a few meaningless signs - is an extraordinary one. So extraordinary, in fact, that it has occurred only once in human history: in Egypt about 4000 years ago. Alpha Beta follows the emergence of the western alphabet as it evolved into its present form, contributing vital elements to our sense of identity along the way.
The Israelites used it to define their God, the Greeks to capture their myths, t..
UPDATED WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION
'Magnificent ... a major work by two of the world's most perceptive and intelligent India-watchers writing today' William Dalrymple, New Statesman
From two of India's leading economists, Jean Drèze and Nobel Prize-winner Amartya Sen, An Uncertain Glory is a passionate, considered argument for the need for a greater understanding of inequalities in India.
When India regained independence from colonial rule in 1947, it immediately adopted a firmly democratic poli..
Following his hugely popular account of the previous 2,000 years (which won Best Comedy History Book at the 1815 Congress of Vienna), John O'Farrell now comes bang up to date with a hilarious modern history asking 'How the hell did we end up here?'
All the major post-war landmarks are faithfully recorded. The sombre day in 1967 when Harold Wilson went on the television to announce that Britain was converting to flared trousers. The tragic split of Seventies rock superstars The Wombles after G..
THE TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2019
THE TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR
FINALIST FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 2020
LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2019
A FINANCIAL TIMES, OBSERVER, DAILY TELEGRAPH, WALL STREET JOURNAL AND TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
'Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India . A book of beauty' - Gerard DeGroot, The Times
In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emper..
What does it mean to be a hero? The ancient Greeks who gave us Achilles and Odysseus had a very different understanding of the term than we do today. Based on the legendary Harvard course that Gregory Nagy has taught for well over thirty years, The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours explores the roots of Western civilization and offers a masterclass in classical Greek literature. We meet the epic heroes of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, but Nagy also considers the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and ..
Graham Robb's new book will change the way you see European civilization. Inspired by a chance discovery, Robb became fascinated with the world of the Celts: their gods, their art, and, most of all, their sophisticated knowledge of science. His investigations gradually revealed something extaordinary: a lost map, of an empire constructed with precision and beauty across vast tracts of Europe. The map had been forgotten for almost two millennia and its implications were astonishing. Minutely rese..
At the time of Jesus's birth, the world was in ferment. Across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Asia - societies rife with gods and messiahs, priests and warriors - the old certainties of family, village and tribe were being overturned. Religion was becoming the source of order and stability.
And Man Created God takes the reader on a dazzling journey across the empires of the ancient world to reveal how emperors and kings manipulated religion to consolidate their power. In Rome, Augu..
'A magnum opus, an accessible and genuinely global history ... This is a book for today and tomorrow' Financial Times
Capitalist enterprise has existed in some form since ancient times, but the globalization and dominance of capitalism as a system began in the 1860s when, in different forms and supported by different political forces, states all over the world developed their modern political frameworks: the unifications of Italy and Germany, the establishment of a republic in France, the elimi..
‘Terrific and enthralling’ New Scientist
'An authoritative account of Apollo 11 and the end of the space race, shedding light on the true drama behind the mission.' Observer
Fifty years ago, in July 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the Moon, and Neil Armstrong the first man to step on to its surface. He and his crewmates, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, were the latest men to risk their lives in this extraordinary scientific, engineering and human venture that would ..
** Sunday Times Bestseller **
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL BOOK WRITING 2020
‘Astonishing’ ANTONY BEEVOR
‘One of the most promising young historians to enter our field for years’ MAX HASTINGS
On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, ‘peace for our time’. Less than a year later, Germany invaded..
A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone.This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years be..
Despite dating from the 4th century BC, The Art of Rhetoric continues to be regarded by many as the single most important work on the art of persuasion. As democracy began emerging in 5th-century Athens, public speaking and debate became an increasingly important tool to garner influence in the assemblies, councils, and law courts of ancient Greece. In response to this, both politicians and ordinary citizens became desperate to learn greater skills in this area, as well as the philosophy behind ..
In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising -an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis.ASSAD OR WE BURN THE COUNTRY examines Syria's tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass fami..
The name Attila the Hun has become a byword for barbarism, savagery and violence. His is a truly household name, but what do we really know about the man himself, his position in history and the world in which he lived? This riveting biography reveals the man behind the myth. In the years 434-454AD the fate of Europe hung upon the actions of one man, Attila, king of the Huns. The decaying Roman empire still stood astride the Western World, from its twin capitals of Rome and Constantinople, but i..
‘Mendelsohn takes the classical costumes off figures like Virgil and Sappho, Homer and Horace … He writes about things so clearly they come to feel like some of the most important things you have ever been told.’ Sebastian Barry
Over the past three decades, Daniel Mendelsohn’s essays and reviews have earned him a reputation as ‘our most irresistible literary critic’ (New York Times). This striking new collection exemplifies the way in which Mendelsohn – a classicist by training – uses the class..
A fresh new look at the Roman Empire, from the point of view of those regarded by the Romans as 'barbarians'. Kershaw builds a narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the those who ultimately brought the empire down.
'And now what will become of us without barbarians?
Those people were a sort of solution.'
'Waiting for the Barbarians'
C. P. Cavafy
History is written by the victors, and Rome had some very ..
In this brilliant work, Amanda Vickery unlocks the homes of Georgian England to examine the lives of the people who lived there. Writing with her customary wit and verve, she introduces us to men and women from all walks of life: gentlewoman Anne Dormer in her stately Oxfordshire mansion, bachelor clerk and future novelist Anthony Trollope in his dreary London lodgings, genteel spinsters keeping up appearances in two rooms with yellow wallpaper, servants with only a locking box to call their own..
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land and sea, it will affect every element of global society, from shipping to agriculture, digital economy to tourism, politics to culture. Most importantly, it symbolises a new phase in China’s ambitions as a superpower: to remake the world economy and crown Beijing as the new centre of capitalism and globalisation. Bruno Maçães traces this extraordin..