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 ..
How new is atheism?
In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean to recover the stories of those who first refused the divinities.
Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively free-thinking voices of antiquity.
Tim Whitmarsh brings to life the fascinating..
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..
The second edition of the definitive book on how modern Japan works, now fully updated up to include the new 'Reiwa' Era and the year of the Olympics'A superb book that, better than any other I have read, manages to get the reader inside the skin of Japanese society ... astutely observed ... a great read brimming with insights' Japan TimesDespite years of stagnation, Japan remains one of the world's largest economies and a country which exerts a remarkable cultural fascination. David Pilling's n..
Human history is a tale not just of constant change, but of perpetual restlessness. In Beneath Another Sky the esteemed historian Norman Davies embarks upon a journey round the world to show the layers of experience that underpin our present - and brilliantly complicate our view of the past.
'If you are someone, or know someone, who is romanced by stamps, or maps, or names, or journeys, or plaques, then I recommend this book to you. I loved it. It deserves a shelf of its own' David Aaronovitc..
The first single-volume biography of Berlin, one of the world's great cities - told via twenty-one portraits, from medieval times to the twenty-first century. A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.
Through vivid portraits..
This book offers a vivid and human glimpse into Europe's borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule - back in print after nearly 20 years.
'In this superb book, in which one senses the spirit of Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz, the dramatic world of the Eastern borderlands comes to life.' (Ryszard Kapuscinski).
As Europe's borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from the Baltic to the Black Sea, through Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the Carpathian mountains. Rich in..
Renowned biographer and historian Philip Ziegler tackles the great cultural and social events, flashpoints and diplomatic wrangles that led the world from the First to the Second World War
At the end of 1918 one prescient American historian began to write a history of the Great War. "What will you call it?" he was asked. "The First World War," was his bleak response.
In Between the Wars Philip Ziegler examines the major international turning points - cultural and social as well a..
The Bible is the most widely distributed book in the world. Translated into over two thousand languages, it is estimated that more than six billion copies have been sold in the last two hundred years alone. In this seminal account, Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years.
Karen Armstrong begins her analysis with the origins of the very earliest books of the Hebrew Bible, in which God wa..
Stimulating, encyclopaedic, and often downright funny, this is a book worth remembering." , Stephen O'Shea, Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada) A lively, full-to-bursting history of the turbulent tenth century in Europe, . Collins presents chaotic upheaval across Europe in an organized and riveting fashion." , Kirkus (starred review)The tenth century dawned in violence and disorder. Charlemagne's empire was in ruins, most of Spain had been claimed by Moorish invaders, and even the papacy in Rome wa..
In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.
Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth centu..
This book is long listed for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize.
We have come to see the Holocaust as a factory of death, organised by bureaucrats. Yet by the time the gas chambers became operation more than a million European Jews were already dead: shot at close range over pits and ravines. They had been murdered in the lawless killing zones created by the German colonial war in the East, many on the fertile black earth that the Nazis believed would feed the German people. It comforts us to beli..
'A clear-eyed and thrilling vision of the man behind the legend' DAN JONES.
In 1346, at the age of sixteen, he won his spurs at Crécy; nine years later he conducted a brutal raid across Languedoc; in 1356 he captured the king of France at Poitiers; as lord of Aquitaine he ruled a vast swathe of southwestern France. He was Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of Edward III, but better known to posterity as 'the Black Prince'.
Michael Jones tells the remarkable story of a great warrior-prince – a..
Black Sea is a homage to an ocean and its shores and a meditation on Eurasian history, from the earliest times to the present. It explores the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea.
Ascherson recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Christian Goths; the Tatar Khanates; the growth of Russian power across the grasslands, and the centuries..
Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018
A Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer
A black porter publicly whips a white Englishman in the hall of a Gloucestershire manor house. A Moroccan woman is baptised in a London church. Henry VIII dispatches a Mauritanian diver to salvage lost treasures from the Mary Rose. From long-forgotten records emerge the remarkable stories of Africans who lived free in Tudor England…
They were present at some of the defining moment..
Jack Metcalf was blinded by smallpox at the age of six, but he did not let this stop him from leading an astonishing and adventurous life - becoming an expert horseman, gambler and guide. He eloped at the age of twenty-one; ran numerous enterprises; joined the military as a musician, and led the Yorkshire Blues onto the battlefield at Culloden...
A history of resilience ... sweeping, comprehensive ... it's a story that has been waiting to be told' (Guardian). 'An account sorely needed ...a kaleidoscopic view of Native American history, refreshing and rollicking, and not unlike its fractured reality' (Standpoint).
Blood and Land is a dazzling, panoramic account of the history and achievements of Native North Americans, and why they matter today. It is about why no understanding of the wider world is possible without comprehending the o..
Under Hitler and Stalin the Nazi and Soviet regimes murdered fourteen million people in the bloodlands between Berlin and Moscow. The killing fields extended from central Polads to western Russia. For twelve savage years, on this bloodsoaked soil an average of one million individuals - mostly women, children and the aged - were murdered every year. Though in 1939 these lands became battlefields, not one of these fourteen million was killed in combat. They were victims of a murderous policy, not ..
The story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners.
"A most valuable book." —Christian Science Monitor
For readers of The Monuments Men and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the small team of heroic librarians now working to return the stolen books to their rightful owners.
While the Nazi party was being ..
Winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2017
Winner of the 2017 Highland Book Prize
Winner of the Saltire Society Book of the Year 2017
Shortlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2018
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2017
Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize 2017
Shortlisted for the Bread and Roses Award 2018
Shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2017
Shortlisted for the National Circle of Critics Award 2017
When Kapka Kassabova was a child, the borderzone between ..
‘A wickedly entertaining read’ The Times
A Daily Mail Book of the Week
The sensational story of the rise and fall of one of the most notorious families in history, by the author of The Medici.
The Borgias have become a byword for evil. Corruption, incest, ruthless megalomania, avarice and vicious cruelty – all have been associated with their name. But the story of this remarkable family is far more than a tale of sensational depravities, it also marks a decisive turning point in European hist..
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scienti..
Dazzling ...a trenchant, provocative account of the intimate relations of Britain and Europe and how each shaped the other' (Prospect Magazine). 'Elegant, refreshing and wide-ranging ...this is essentially a brief history of the UK but a deliciously different one' (Literary Review).
Britain has always had a tangled, complex, paradoxical role in Europe's history. It has invaded and been invaded, changed sides, stood aloof, acted with both brazen cynicism and the cloudiest idealism. Every centu..
For a thousand years an extraordinary empire made possible Europe’s transition to the modern world: Byzantium. An audacious and resilient but now little known society, it combined orthodox Christianity with paganism, classical Greek learning with Roman power, to produce a great and creative civilization which for centuries held in check the armies of Islam.
Judith Herrin’s concise and compelling book replaces the standard chronological approach of most histories of Byzantium. Instead, each sh..
Europe is still a divided continent. In the place of a fallen Berlin wall, there is a chasm between the East and the West. Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even deeper? What divides us today? To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough.
But a visitor to this part of the world will soon discover that we, the Eastern Europeans, live in another time zone. We live in the twentieth century, but at the same time we in..
What is a caliphate? What is the history of the idea? How is the term used and abused today?
In the first modern account of a subject of critical importance today, acclaimed historian Hugh Kennedy answers these questions by chronicling the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present. At its height, the caliphate stretched from Spain to the borders of China and was the most powerful political entity in western Eurasia. In an era when Paris and London boasted a few ..
A controversial examination of the internal Israeli debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a best-selling Israeli author Since the Six-Day War, Israelis have been entrenched in a national debate over whether to keep the land they conquered or to return some, if not all, of the territories to Palestinians. In 2017, best-selling Israeli author Micah Goodman published a balanced and insightful analysis of the situation that quickly became one of Israel's most debated books of the year. N..
One of the great love stories of history, in a league with Napoleon and Josephine, and Antony and Cleopatra ...Excellent, with dazzling mastery of detail and literary flair' (Economist).
It was history's most successful political partnership - as sensual and fiery as it was creative and visionary. Catherine the Great was a woman of notorious passion and imperial ambition. Prince Potemkin - wildly flamboyant and sublimely talented - was the love of her life and her co-ruler. Together they seiz..
China has become the powerhouse of the world economy, its incredible boom overseen by the elite members of the secretive and all-powerful communist party. But since the election of Xi Jinping as General Secretary, life at the top in China has changed. Under the guise of a corruption crackdown, which has seen his rivals imprisoned, Xi Jinping has been quietly building one of the most powerful leaderships modern China has ever seen. In CEO China, the noted China expert Kerry Brown reveals the hidd..
‘As convoluted and deadly as the plot of a novel by John le Carre, but all too real’ Daily Mail, Must Reads
‘With a gripping narrative and vivid interviews with those on all sides whose lives were directly affected by that grim symbol of the East-West divide that poisoned Europe for almost half a century, [MacGregor] has made an important contribution to the history of our times‘ Jonathan Dimbleby
‘Captures brilliantly and comprehensively both the danger and exhilaration that I and other rep..
Mark Greengrass' gripping, major, original account of Europe in an era of tumultuous change Sunday Times and Financial Times Books of the Year 2014. This addition to the landmark Penguin History of Europe series is a fascinating study of 16th and 17th century Europe and the fundamental changes which led to the collapse of Christendom and established the geographical and political frameworks of Western Europe as we know it. From peasants to princes, no one was untouched by the spiritual and intel..
Geza Vermes, translator and editor of The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls and worldwide expert on the life and times of Jesus, tells the enthralling story of early Christianity and the origins of a religion.
The creation of the Christian Church is one of the most important stories in the development of the world's history, yet one of the least understood. With a forensic, brilliant re-examination of all the key surviving texts of early Christianity, Geza Vermes illuminates the origins of a faith an..
This book, which includes a new preface by the author, offers an engrossing portrayal of the early years of the Christian movement from the perspective of the Romans. "A fascinating . . . account of early Christian thought. . . . Readable and exciting."-Robert McAfee Brown, New York Times Book Review "Should fascinate any reader with an interest in the history of human thought."-Phoebe-Lou Adams, Atlantic Monthly "The pioneering study in English of Roman impressions of Christians during the firs..
A short history of the ancient civilization of Angkor, home to the spectacular temple of Angkor Wat. In the late sixteenth century a mythical encounter was reported on an elephant hunt in the dense jungle north of the Tonle Sap, or Great Lake, of central Cambodia. King Satha of Cambodia and his retainers were beating a path through the undergrowth when they were halted by stone giants, and then a massive wall. The King, the fable reported, ordered 6,000 men to bring down the wall, thereby exposi..
In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. Yet, somehow, the West came to dominate the Rest for most of the next half millennium.
In this vital, brilliant book, Niall Ferguson reveals the six 'killer applications' that the Rest lacked: competition, science, property rights, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic. And he asks: do we still have these winning tools? Or is this the end of We..
Pulitzer Prize Finalist Silver Gavel Award Finalist "A sobering history of how American communities and institutions have relied on torture in various forms since before the United States was founded." -Los Angeles Times "That Americans as a people and a nation-state are violent is indisputable. That we are also torturers, domestically and internationally, is not so well established. The myth that we are not torturers will persist, but Civilizing Torture will remain a powerful antidote in confro..
Robin Lane Fox's The Classical World: An Epic History of Greece and Rome is a comprehensive and enthralling introduction to Ancient civilization. The classical civilizations of Greece and Rome dominated the world for centuries and continue to intrigue and enlighten us with their inventions, whether philosophy, politics, theatre, athletics, celebrity, science or the pleasures of horse racing. Robin Lane Fox's spellbinding history, spans almost a thousand years of change from the foundation of the..
The Cold War is one of the furthest-reaching and longest-lasting conflicts in modern history. It spanned the globe - from Greece to China, Hungary to Cuba - and lasted for almost half a century. It has shaped political relations to this day, drawing new physical and ideological boundaries between East and West.
In this meticulously researched account, Bridget Kendall explores the Cold War through the eyes of those who experienced it first-hand. Alongside in-depth analysis that explains ..
'Masterly ... a book of resounding importance for appraising our global future as well as understanding our past' Richard Davenport-Hines, The Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year
'A masterful survey that will set the standard for Cold War scholarship for years to come' Jonathan Steele, London Review of Books
As Germany and then Japan surrendered in 1945 there was a tremendous hope that a new and much better world could be created from the moral and physical ruins of the ..
From the author of Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive is a visionary study of the mysterious downfall of past civilizations.Now in a revised edition with a new afterword, Jared Diamond's Collapse uncovers the secret behind why some societies flourish, while others founder - and what this means for our future.What happened to the people who made the forlorn long-abandoned statues of Easter Island?What happened to the architects of the crumblin..
One of the primary triggers of the outbreak of World War I was undoubtedly the myriad alliances and suspicions that existed between the Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian empires in the early 20th century. Yet much of the actual fighting between these nations has been largely forgotten in the West. Driven by first-hand accounts and detailed archival research, Collision of Empires seeks to correct this imbalance. The first in a four-book series on the Eastern Front in World War I, Prit Buttar'..
Is America the new world empire? Presidents from Lincoln to Bush may have denied it but, as Niall Ferguson's brilliant and provocative book shows, the US is in many ways the greatest imperial power of all time. What's more, it always has been an empire, expanding westwards throughout the nineteenth century and rising to global dominance in the twentieth. But is today's American colossus really equipped to play Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders? The United States, Ferguson r..
Discovered on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in the decade after the Second World War, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a historical and religious record of immense significance, altering our understanding of Jewish and early Christian history. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English is translated and edited with an introduction and notes by Geza Vermes in Penguin Classics.
'He will heal the wounded and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor'.
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls i..
Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick examine the dark side of American history from the beginning of the twentieth century right up to the Obama administration. Looking at American intervention in foreign conflicts in Latin American, Asia and the Middle East, including taking part in covert operations and interfering to overthrow elected leaders in favour of right-wing dictators, they ask whether US involvement around the globe is about democratic ideals, or political ..
In September 1814, the rulers of Europe and their ministers descended upon Vienna after two decades of revolution and war. Their task was to redraw continental borders following the collapse of the Napoleonic Empire. Inevitably, all of the major decisions were made by the leading statesmen of the five 'great powers'-Castlereagh, Metternich, Talleyrand, Hardenberg and Tsar Alexander of Russia. The territorial reconstruction of Europe marks only one part of this story. Over the next seven years, E..
Without question one of the best books ever written by an Englishman on the Turks' William Dalrymple
Philip Mansel's highly acclaimed history of Constantinople (formerly known as Byzantium) absorbingly charts the interaction between the vibrantly cosmopolitan capital - the city of the world's desire - and its ruling family.
In 1453, Mehmed the Conqueror entered Constantinople on a white horse, beginning an Ottoman love affair with the city that lasted until 1924, when the last Caliph hurri..
Orlando Figes' Crimea is a powerful history of the Crimean War, the conflict that dominated the nineteenth century. The Crimean War one of the fiercest battles in Russia's history, killing nearly a million men and completely redrawing the map of Europe. Pitting the Tsar's empire against an alliance of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire, it was the first conflict to use photography, the telegraph and newspapers; a war over territory, from the Balkans to the Persian Gulf; a war of religion, dr..
The Crimean War was the most destructive conflict of Queen Victoria’s reign, the outcome of which was indecisive; most historians regard it as an irrelevant and unnecessary conflict despite its fame for Florence Nightingale and the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Here Hugh Small shows how the history of the Crimean War has been manipulated to conceal Britain’s – and Europe’s – failure. The war governments and early historians combined to withhold the truth from an already disappointed nation in ..
A major new history of the Crusades that illuminates the strength and sophistication of the Western and Muslim armies During the Crusades, the Western and Muslim armies developed various highly sophisticated strategies of both attack and defense, which evolved during the course of the battles. In this ambitious new work, Steve Tibble draws on a wide range of Muslim texts and archaeological evidence as well as more commonly cited Western sources to analyze the respective armies' strategy, adaptat..
From the bestselling author of The Templars.
'Voyages, battles, sieges and slaughter: Dan Jones's tumultuous and thrilling history of the crusades is one of the best' SUNDAY TIMES.
'A powerful story brilliantly told. Dan Jones writes with pace, wit and insight' HELEN CASTOR.
'A fresh and vibrant account of a conflict that raged across medieval centuries' JONATHAN PHILLIPS.
Dan Jones, best-selling chronicler of the Middle Ages, turns his attention to the history of the Crusades the sequence of..
European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common. For Arabs, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were years of strenuous efforts to repel a brutal and destructive invasion by barbarian hordes. Under Saladin, an unstoppable Muslim army inspired by prophets and poets finally succeeded in destroying the most powerful Crusader kingdoms. The memory of this greatest and most enduring victory ever won by a non-European society against the West still lives in the minds of millions of Ar..
Released to coincide with a major BBC TV documentary series on the crusades presented by the author.
In the eleventh century, a vast Christian army, summoned to holy war by the pope, rampaged through the Muslim world of the eastern Mediterranean, seizing possession of Jerusalem, a city revered by both faiths. Over the two hundred years that followed this First Crusade, Islam and the West fought for dominion of the Holy Land, clashing in a succession of chillingly brutal wars, both firm in the..