The world's great fables, sagas and legends dramatically retold. Myths are the greatest stories ever told. Passed down over millennia, they are the templates for all our stories, with their eternal themes of creation and destruction, fate and cunning, heroism and cruelty, sensuality and war.
Retold here are nearly 200 myths - from Prometheus defying Zeus to create man to the destruction of Troy; and from valiant battles against Frost Giants and Cyclopes to the heroic quests for the Golden Fle..
'When the last fire goes out, time too will be finished'
Italo Calvino was one of the most joyful and imaginative writers of the twentieth century. Here he muses on what the things we leave behind - whether waxworks or ancient graffiti, enigmatic maps or a crumbling Roman column - tell us about the greater truths of the world, space and time.
One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our..
From the award-winning author of The Whisperers, Orlando Figes' Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia is a dazzling history of Russia's mighty culture. Orlando Figes' enthralling, richly evocative history has been heralded as a literary masterpiece on Russia, the lives of those who have shaped its culture, and the enduring spirit of a people.
'Wonderfully rich ...magnificent and compelling ...a delight to read' (Antony Beevor). 'A tour de force by the great storyteller of modern Russi..
The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector is a collection of insightful and influential classic and recent readings on the existence, forms and functions of the nonprofit sector—the sector that sits between the market and government. The book encompasses everything from Andrew Carnegie’s turn-of-the-century philosophy of philanthropy to the most recent writings by current scholars and practitioners from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. Each part in the book opens with a framing essay by ..
'Europe where the sun dares scarce appearFor freezing meteors and congealed cold.' - Christopher MarloweIn this innovative and compelling work of environmental history, Philipp Blom chronicles the great climate crisis of the 1600s, a crisis that would transform the entire social and political fabric of Europe.While hints of a crisis appeared as early as the 1570s, by the end of the sixteenth century the temperature plummeted so drastically that Mediterranean harbours were covered with ice, birds..
A humbling, inspiring account of some of the real founders of modern day Special Forces soldiering' (Bear Grylls).
The Nazi Hunters is the incredible, hitherto untold story of the most secret chapter in the SAS's history. Officially, the world's most elite special forces unit was dissolved at the end of the Second World War, and not reactivated until the 1950s. Among their last actions was a disastrous commando raid into occupied France in 1944, which ended in the capture, torture and executi..
Europe is facing a wave of migration unmatched since the end of World War II - and no one has reported on this crisis in more depth or breadth than the Guardian's migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. Throughout 2015, Kingsley travelled to 17 countries along the migrant trail, meeting hundreds of refugees making epic odysseys across deserts, seas and mountains to reach the holy grail of Europe. This is Kingsley's unparalleled account of who these voyagers are.
It's about why they keep co..
In The New Threat renowned expert and prize-winning reporter Jason Burke provides the clearest and most comprehensive guide to Islamic militancy today.
From Syria to Somalia, from Libya to Indonesia, from Yemen to the capitals of Europe, Islamic militancy appears stronger, more widespread and more threatening than ever. ISIS and other groups, such as Boko Haram, together command significant military power, rule millions and control extensive territories. Elsewhere Al-Qaeda remains potent and ..
The violent and predatory society of Dark Age Scandinavia left a unique impact on the history of medieval Europe. From their chill northern fastness, Norse warriors, explorers and merchants raided, traded, and settled across wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.
THE VIKING CHRONICLES narrates their story region by region, focusing on places where key events were played out, from the sack of Lindisfarne in 793 to the murder in Iceland in 1..
Acclaimed fantasy author China Miéville plunges us into the year the world was turned upside down
Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville tells the extraordinary story of this pivotal moment in history.
In February of 1917 Russia was a backwards, autocratic monarchy, mired in an unpopular war; by October, after not one but two revolutions, it had become the world’s first workers’ state, straining to be at th..
How could such a book speak so powerfully to our present moment? The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times' (Washington Post).
Hannah Arendt's chilling analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards total domination. 'A non-fiction bookend to Nineteen Eighty-Four' (The New York Times). 'The politi..
'A sweeping, brilliant overview of the history not only of our species but of the world ... Dartnell has a rare talent in being able to see the big picture – and explaining why it matters' PETER FRANKOPAN, author of The Silk RoadsWhen we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us?As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Af..
The Ottoman chronicles recount that the first sultan, Osman, dreamt of the dynasty he would found - a tree, fully-formed, emerged from his navel, symbolising the vigour of his successors and the extent of their domains. This is the first book to tell the full story of the Ottoman dynasty that for six centuries held sway over territories stretching, at their greatest, from Hungary to the Persian Gulf, and from North Africa to the Caucasus. Understanding the realization of Osman's vision is essent..
'Both a saga of tragedies and a detective story... Pale Rider is not just an excavation but a reimagining of the past' Guardian
With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.
In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pande..
This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.
Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha ..
Winner of the Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Prize "The best large-scale synthesis in any language of what we currently know and understand about this multidimensional, cataclysmic conflict." -Richard J. Evans, Times Literary Supplement In this monumental history of the First World War, Germany's leading historian of the period offers a dramatic account of its origins, course, and consequences. Joern Leonhard treats the clash of arms with a sure feel for grand strategy. He captures the slow attrition,..
'Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not-very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!' – Margaret Atwood
The Greek myths are among the world's most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.
Stories of gods and monsters are the mainstay of epic poetry and Greek tragedy, from Homer to Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, from ..
Between January and July 1919, after the war to end all wars, men and women from all over the world converged on Paris for the Peace Conference. At its heart were the leaders of the three great powers - Woodrow Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau. Kings, prime ministers and foreign ministers with their crowds of advisers rubbed shoulders with journalists and lobbyists for a hundred causes - from Armenian independence to women's rights.
Everyone had business in Paris that year - T.E. Lawrence,..
Paul Kennedy's The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government is the extraordinary story of the UN - its creation, the threats it has faced, and the possibilities it holds for the future. Can the world be governed by agreement rather than conflict? In 1945 the world's most powerful nation states came together to 'save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights'. Over sixty years later, the United Nations still d..
The International Bestseller
‘Barney White-Spunner’s book stands out for its judicious and unsparing look at events from a British perspective.’ Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times Review
'This book is at its most powerful in its month-by-month narrative of how Partition tore apart northern and eastern India, with the new state of Pakistan carved out of communities who had lived together for the past millennium.' Zareer Masani BBC History Magazine
‘A highly readable account . . .’ Times Lit..
In Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science, Jim al-Khalili celebrates the forgotten pioneers who helped shape our understanding of the world.
For over 700 years the international language of science was Arabic. Surveying the golden age of Arabic science, Jim Al-Khalili reintroduces such figures as the Iraqi physicist Ibn al-Haytham, who practised the modern scientific method over half a century before Bacon; al-Khwarizmi, the greatest mathematician of the medieval world; and Abu Rayhan ..
The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability, rarely seen before or since. Yet the Romans were first and foremost conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Their peace meant Roman victory and was brought about by strength and dominance rather than co-existence with neighbours.
The Romans were aggressive and ruthless, and during the creation of their empire mil..
From the Sunday Times bestselling author, Carl Chinn
The Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, are infused with drama and dread. Fashionably dressed, the charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family have become cult anti-heroes.
Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, revealed the true story of the notorious gang in his bestselling Peaky Blinders: The Real Story and now in this follow-up book, he explores the legacy they created in Birmingham and ..
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERThe Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, are infused with drama and dread. Fashionably dressed, the charismatic but deeply flawed Shelby family blind enemies by slashing them with the disposable safety razor blades stitched in to the peaks of their flat caps, as they fight bloody gangland wars involving Irish terrorists and the authorities led by a devious Home Secretary, Winston Churchill.But who were the real Peaky Blinders? Did they really ex..
'Burning ice, biting flame; that is how life began'
The extraordinary Scandinavian myth cycle is one of the most enduring, exciting, dramatic and compelling of the world's great stories.
The Penguin Book of the Norse Myths compellingly retells these stories for the modern reader, taking us from the creation of the world through the building of Asgard's Wall to the final end in Ragnarok. You'll discover how Thor got his hammer and how Odin lost his eye, the terrible price of binding th..
This new historical atlas - richly illustrated with photographs, artwork recreations and full-colour maps - explores the Middle Ages from the coming of the barbarian invasions in the fourth century to the first voyages to the New World in the sixteenth. Coverage of major events - the Hundred Years' War, the Christian Reconquest of Spain - is supplemented by discussion of such key topics as the medieval economy, the growth of towns and the spread of printing, resulting in a rich and multi-faceted..
Russia's recent past has encompassed revolution, civil war, mass terror and two world wars, and the country is still undergoing huge change. In his acclaimed history, now updated to 2015, Robert Service provides a superb panoramic viewpoint on Russia, exploring the complex, changing interaction between rulers and ruled from Nicholas II, Lenin and Stalin through to Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin and beyond. This new edition also discusses Russia's unresolved economic and social difficulties and its de..
WINNER OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION'S JOHN K. FAIRBANK PRIZE
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CUNDHILL HISTORY PRIZE 2017
'This is the finest single-volume history of Vietnam in English. It challenges myths, and raises questions about the socialist republic's political future' Guardian
'Powerful and compelling. Vietnam will be of growing importance in the twenty-first-century world, particularly as China and the US rethink their roles in Asia. Christopher Goscha's book is a brilliant accou..
Eight hundred years ago, the Cathars, a group of heretical Christians from all walks of society, high and low, flourished in what is now the Languedoc in Southern France. Their subversive beliefs brought down on them the wrath of Popes and monarchs and provoked a brutal 'Crusade' against them. The final defeat of the Cathars was horrific with mass burnings of men, women and children in the village of Montaillou in the Pyrenees...
The trial of the Knights Templar is one of the most infamous in history. Accused of heresy by the king of France, the Templars were arrested and imprisoned, had their goods seized and their monasteries ransacked. Under brutal interrogation and torture, many made shocking confessions: denial of Christ, desecration of the Cross, sex acts and more.This book follows the everyday reality of the trial, from the early days of scandal and scheming in 1305, via torture, imprisonment and the dissolution o..
A STUNNINGLY ILLUSTRATED BOOK REVEALING THE GREATEST MYTHS, LIES AND BLUNDERS ON MAPS
'Highly recommended' - Andrew Marr
'A spectacular, enjoyable and eye-opening read' - Jonathan Ross
The Phantom Atlas is an atlas of the world not as it ever existed, but as it was thought to be. These marvellous and mysterious phantoms - non-existent islands, invented mountain ranges, mythical civilisations and other fictitious geography - were all at various times presented as facts on maps and atlase..
The New York Times bestseller that tells the story of Britain's greatest and worst dynasty--"a real-life Game of Thrones" (The Wall Street Journal)--by the author of The Templars
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine..
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was but a memory, and Hitler's dominance seemed complete. Yet over the next few years, an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged – soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter – who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer's genocidal reign.
Danny Orbach's meticulously researched book tells the story of their noble, ingenious, an..
The unexpected story of an essential 18th and 19th century accessory This fascinating and enlightening study of the tie-on pocket combines materiality and gender to provide new insight into the social history of women's everyday lives-from duchesses and country gentry to prostitutes and washerwomen-and to explore their consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy, and identity. A wealth of evidence reveals unexpected facets of the past, bringing women's stories into intimate focus. "Wha..
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 a..
John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present
Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was e..
‘A gripping and compelling account…. The peaceful ending of the Cold War between West and East remains one of the greatest achievements of modern statecraft’ CHRISTOPHER ANDREW, Literary Review
This landmark global study makes us rethink what happened when the Cold War ended and our present era was born.
The world changed dramatically as the Berlin Wall fell and protest turned to massacre in Tiananmen Square. Now, with deft analysis and a wealth of newly declassified archival sources, historia..
On the 500th anniversary of Luther’s rebellion, this spectacular global history traces the revolutionary faith that shaped the modern world.
Five hundred years ago Protestant Christianity began with one stubborn monk today, it includes a billion people across the globe.
The upheaval Martin Luther triggered inspired one of the most creative and destructive movements in human history. Protestants is the story of the men and women who made and remade this quarrelsome faith by demanding ..
A scintillating, encyclopaedic history, rich in detail from the arcane to the familiar... a veritable tour de force' (Richard Overy, New Statesman). 'Transnational history at its finest ...social, political and cultural themes swirl together in one great canvas of immense detail and beauty' (Gerard DeGroot, The Times). 'Dazzlingly erudite and entertaining' (Dominic Sandbrook, The Sunday Times). A masterpiece which brings to life an extraordinarly turbulent and dramatic era of revolutionary chang..
Full of passion and betrayal, murder and war, the first volume of an epic new series from bestselling historian Alison Weir, bringing five of England's medieval queens to life.
A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
Love, murder, war, betrayal
This is the story of the five extraordinary queens who helped the Norman kings of England rule their dominions. Recognised as equal sharers in the royal authority, their story is packed with tragedy, high drama, even comedy.
Heroines, villains, sta..
1215 – the penultimate year of the reign of a king with the worst reputation of any in our history – saw England engulfed by crisis.
Weakened by the loss of Normandy, King John faced insurrection by his disgruntled barons. With the assistance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, they drew up a list of their demands. In June, in a quiet Thames-side water-meadow, John attached his regal seal – under oath – to a charter that set limits on regal power. In return, the barons renewed their vows of feal..
Winner of the Duff Cooper and Lionel Gelber prizes
In 1932-33, nearly four million Ukrainians died of starvation, having been deliberately deprived of food. It is one of the most devastating episodes in the history of the twentieth century. With unprecedented authority and detail, Red Famine investigates how this happened, who was responsible, and what the consequences were. It is the fullest account yet published of these terrible events.
The book draws on a mass of archival material and ..
'Superb' The Economist'Elegant, entertaining and frequently surprising' New York TimesThe fascinating story of the Regency period in Britain - an immensely colourful and chaotic decade that marked the emergence of the modern world.The Regency began on 5 February 1811 when the Prince of Wales replaced his violently insane father George III as the sovereign de facto. It ended on 29 January 1820, when George III died and the Prince Regent became King as George IV. At the centre of the era is of cou..
A Longman-History Today Book Prize Finalist Winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year "Deeply thoughtful...A delight." -The Economist "[A] tour de force...Bevilacqua's extraordinary book provides the first true glimpse into this story...He, like the tradition he describes, is a rarity." -New Republic In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Western scholars laid the groundwork for the modern understanding of Islamic c..
For more than 40 years after the Second World War the Iron Curtain divided Europe physically, with 300 km of walls and barbed wire fences; ideologically, between communism and capitalism; psychologically, between people imprisoned under totalitarian dictatorships and their neighbours enjoying democratic freedoms; and militarily, by two mighty, distrustful power blocs, still fighting the cold war. At the start of 1989, ten European nations were still Soviet vassal states. By the end of the year, ..
The definitive history of the Iran-Iraq war, and revolutionary Iran, essential for understanding the country today
For over 30 years the Islamic Republic has resisted widespread condemnation, sanctions, and sustained attacks by Iraq in an eight-year war. Many policy-makers today share a weary wish that Iran would somehow just disappear as a problem. But with Iran's continuing commitment to a nuclear programme and its reputation as a trouble-maker in Afghanistan, Lebanon and elsewhere, this is..
What caused the Russian Revolution? Did it succeed or fail? Do we still live with its consequences?
Orlando Figes teaches history at Birkbeck, University of London and is the author of many acclaimed books on Russian history, including A People's Tragedy, which The Times Literary Supplement named as one of the '100 most influential books since the war', Natasha's Dance, The Whisperers, Crimea and Just Send Me Word. The Financial Times called him 'the greatest storyteller of modern Russian his..
How do we find the life that's right for each of us?More and more of us are feeling overwhelmed by the everyday struggle to lead the lives to which we aspire. Children are placed under unbearable pressure to achieve; adults fight a constant battle to balance family life with work and economic demands; old people suffer from social isolation and a lack of emotional security. People of every age are feeling increasingly at odds with the world, and less able to live a life that corresponds to their..
Sunday Times History Book of the Year 2014
Winner of the 2014 Wolfson History Prize, the 2014 Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize in Military History, the Society for Military History's 2015 Distinguished Book Award and the 2015 British Army Military Book of the Year
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 f..
The Husayni family of Jerusalem dominated Palestinian history for 250 years, from the Ottoman times through to the end of the British Mandate. At the height of the family's political influence, positions in Jerusalem could only be obtained through its power base.In this compelling political biography, Ilan Pappe traces the rise of the Husaynis from a provincial Ottoman elite clan into the leadership of the Palestinian national movement in the twentieth century. In telling their story, Pappe..
Winner of the 2010 W.J.M. Mackenzie Prize for Best Political Science Book of the Year 2010.
The relentless rise of Communism was the most momentous political development of the first half of the twentieth century. No political change has been more fundamental than its demise in Europe and its decline elsewhere. In this hugely acclaimed book Archie Brown provides an indispensable history that examines the origins of the ideology, its development in different countries, its collapse in many sta..
Rise and Fall opens with the Akkadian Empire, which ruled over a vast expanse of the region of ancient Mesopotamia, then turns to the immense Roman Empire, where we trace back our western and eastern roots. Next Strathern describes how a great deal of western classical culture was developed in the Abbasid and Umayyid Caliphates. Then, while Europe was beginning to emerge from a period of cultural stagnation, it almost fell to a whirlwind invasion from the East, at which point we meet the Emperor..